On July 17-18, 2018, MEDSTAT IV organised a workshop in Athens for experts from the ENP-S countries working in the area of trade in services and the compilation of the balance of payment. Evaluating trade in services in a fast changing environment poses real challenges for statisticians: complex regulations must be applied that require a deep understanding of what the flows of services are and a practical experience on their measurement.
To facilitate the workshop, MEDSTAT IV called on an experimented statistician who worked for many years in the Central Bank of a EU member states and at the International Monetary Fund. He brought in the debate very concrete examples, drawing from his past responsibilities, and gave very practical advices to the participants on various dimensions of this difficult area of statistics.
After a general introduction to recent international agreements and recommendations (WTO, GATS) on statistics of international trade in services, aiming at reminding the main definitions of the twelve services trade items that the balance of payments should present, the discussion addressed the following issues:
- The transport and insurance services, the values of which are included in the CIF value (cost, insurance, freight) of imports, with emphasis on the nationality of carriers and insurance companies (residents, non- residents),
- The importance of sharing FISIM (financial intermediation services indirectly measured) between the part consumed locally and part imported or exported,
- The construction services and the accounting of large equipment imported by major companies of construction and civil engineering,
- The impact of introducing the results of services surveys into the balance of payments.
Discussions also covered how to handle the difference between the new version of the BoP according to the 6th edition and the old version based on the 2010 recommendations on ITRS.
Very lively discussions followed each presentation and participants emphasized the importance of the topics presented by the expert.
In addition, the representative of Morocco made two presentations. The first concerned the IT platform created and managed by the « Office des Changes » which allows a direct link between the customs, importers-exporters, banks and the various departments of the Office. The second presentation concerned the various surveys carried out by the foreign exchange office: sampling, surveys, results and impact on the balance of payments.
For more information, please contact MEDSTAT4@ExpertiseFrance.fr
Photo of participants in the Athens Regional Workshop 17-18 July 2018