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Foreign Trade Working Group holds its Third Meeting in Riyadh

Monday the 13th of February, the GCC Foreign Trade Working Group held its third meeting on the implementation and monitoring of the statistical goals of the GCC Foreign Trade Statistics Project. The meeting was organized by the Statistical Center of the Gulf Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf (GCC-Stat), located in Muscat, in cooperation with the General Authority for Statistics (GASTAT) in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and will last for two days. The meeting focused on the technical and methodological assistance provided in support of the production of standard foreign trade statistics and indicators in the GCC countries. During the meeting, discussions were held and experiences were exchanged about the development and adaptation of the national methodologies to meet the latest international recommendations in the compilation of foreign trade statistics. The meeting discussed the technical support provided by the GCC-Stat for Foreign trade statistics, and the progress made in the implementation of the national plans to achieve the objectives of the Statistical Strategic Plan (2015-2020). The attendees also discussed the GCC-Stat’s vision regarding the preparation of the Customs Procedures Manual which will be carried out in cooperation with the national statistical entities and customs departments in each of the GCC countries. Moreover, the meeting discussed foreign trade data dissemination and metadata and how to provide the GCC-Stat with this data, as well as the Foreign Trade Data Quality Framework and the Foreign Trade Harmonised System 2017. The meeting also tackled the GCC-Stat preparation of the Foreign Trade Statistics Manual which is based on the international manual (IMTS 201), and the linking tables among different classifications like (HS, SITC, BEC, ICIC, CP). The meeting is part of a series of meetings organized by the GCC-Stat to activate the GCC Statistical Strategic Plan aiming to standardise concepts and methodologies, build the competencies of national cadres, and disseminate regional foreign trade data and detailed statistics issued by the GCC member states. The development of foreign trade statistics in the GCC countries is one of the GCC-Stat’s strategic projects, therefore the center developed a strategy for the development of foreign trade statistics (2015-2020), and annual work programmes related to the development of foreign trade statistics as they are closely linked to the national economy, and represent a fundamental pillar in the economy in the GCC countries.

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