The distance-learning course on, International Merchandise Trade Statistics (IMTS) for Association of Caribbean States member states and other countries, was successfully organized from 5th March to 13th April 2018, by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), the United Nations Statistics Division (UNSD) and the Association of Caribbean States (ACS). The course has been developed and produced jointly by UNCTAD TrainForTrade Programme and UNCTADStat, the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the UN Statistics Division (UNSD) in response to several demands for technical assistance in the collection, compilation, quality assurance and dissemination of international merchandise trade statistics.
More than 130 users, compilers and producers of data, from 28 countries participated in the e-learning course and 105 were certified. The course was well received by the participants with 81 per cent of overall satisfaction rate.
“The course was very interesting and useful to my job. It also helped me to better understand my job and the different ways in which other countries deal with their trade data,” stated one of the participants.
Soon after, the Regional Validation workshop was held in Port of Spain, from 15 to 18 May 2018. Attended by 24 experts, from ACS member states, the workshop allowed the validation of the training material for upcoming training courses, the identification of best practices and the exchange of experiences and information.
Knowledge sharing across organizations was a key feature during the workshop “The workshop gave us the opportunity to meet our peers and helped us to understand their experiences … on how they were able to overcome the challenges they had in producing their trade data, and we learned a lot of lessons from it. So, now we can go back to our offices and we can improve ourselves,” said Ava Mahabir-Dass, statistical practitioner at the Central Statistical Office of Trinidad y Tobago.
During the closing ceremony of the workshop, the 24 experts were certified and Dr. June Soomer, Secretary General of ACS, remarked the importance of statistical practitioners to policy work and the development of a sound statistical system as key to the implementation of evidence-based policies and the emergence of an open and unbiased dialogue between stakeholders and policy makers.