A specificity in external trade statistics is that you always have two measures of the same flow: an import of country A from country B is also an export from country B to country A. In a perfect world, the two measures should be the same but this is rarely the case. This may be due to differences in valuation of the flows between the two countries, to the cost of certain services attached to the flow such as insurance or simply to a different interpretation and translation of the international rules and classifications. But whatever is the cause of the gap (of these asymmetries), understanding its magnitude and its origin is key to the improvement of external trade statistics.
Mirror exercises have been a topic covered by the previous MEDSTAT project and the ENP-S countries have today a better grip on what create the asymmetries in the regional trade and in the trade with the EU. However, it is important to regularly check the gaps particularly as the international standards have recently evolved. In addition, MEDSTAT IV will open the ground for mirror exercises on trade in services, something that has not been done before.
A sub-regional workshop will be held on 9, 10 and 11 January 2018 in Tunis (Tunisia) on the theme of « Asymmetries in the External Trade Statistics Sector ». Representatives of Tunisia, Morocco and Algeria will attend this event that will be facilitated by two experts who have an extensive knowledge of trade statistics in the ENP-S countries, one for the trade in merchandises (Mr Nicola Veronese, Director at Venice Consulting S.A) and one for trade in services (Mr Thierry Coulet, Key Expert of the MEDSTAT project).
The ENP-S Countries were required to prepare in advance data files regarding their imports by country of origin and their exports by country of destination, especially with the EU and for trade among the ENP-S countries themselves. The workshop will thus build on real data, this allowing an immediate internalisation of the results of the mirror exercises.
For more information, please contact Medstat4@expertisefrance.fr