TRAINFORTRADE improved the skills and knowledge on trade statistics of more than 1,100 participants from 163 countries. The moderated six-week online course on International Merchandise Trade Statistics (IMTS) was organised in English and French from 28 February to 22 April.

The biggest participant groups came from China, India, Indonesia, Cameroon and Gabon. They were mainly trade data compilers from national statistics offices, central banks, ministries of trade and customs offices. 45% of the participants were women.

The course focused on the collection, compilation, analysis and dissemination of trade data. It consisted of six modules and an interactive webinar, with each course having its own dedicated support and moderators. The training enhanced statisticians’ ability to apply the most recent internationally agreed recommendations on IMTS, define best possible data sources, set up adequate collection systems and improve statistics compilation processes.

The IMTS course scored a very high 90% satisfaction rate among the participants.

”This course was very insightful and informative. I knew that customs duties were important, but I had no idea that it is so pertinent to data compilation. The harmonized system should be adopted worldwide,” commented Ms. Virmala Dalipram from Trinidad and Tobago.

”It’s always a challenge to collect data, to make it available to various users and to disseminate reports with quality data. I think this course should be offered to all staff at central banks, national statistical institutes and customs,” she added.

”The course has made me appreciate the data I work with on the daily basis, the impact of managing the data and it’s reporting”, said Mr. Abdul-Jalil Abdul-Rahaman from Ghana.

Many pratricipants thought that the training was very practical and they will use their new skills and knowledge in their own work.

”The training was really helpful, it was really related to my job. After finishing all the courses, I can really understand the concept of IMTS which I believe will help me to improve my performance at work especially in compiling exports and imports statistics,” thought Indonesian Nur Adli Ari Darmawand.

”The work I am responsible for is more biased towards the data and system itself, and I have little deep understanding of the business field. This training makes me understand that the business field is inseparable from the data and system,” said Ms. Qifei Zhang from China.

”I have also learned many ways and methods from this training, which I will use in my practical work in the future,” she thinks.

The IMTS course is jointly developed and produced by UNCTAD, the World Trade Organization and the UN Statistics Division. It has been organized annually since 2019.