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CARICOM SERVICES STATISTICS WORKSHOP ENDS

(CARICOM Secretariat, Georgetown, Guyana) The three-day workshop on Services Statistics convened by the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Secretariat Statistics Programme with funding from the USAID Caribbean Trade and Competitiveness Programme (CTRADECOM) ended in Barbados on Wednesday 13th April with discussions focussed on the profile of the financial sectors and challenges faced in the compilation of data in the Region.

During the workshop, representatives from CARICOM Member States, Associate Member States and other Regional institutions and organisations received presentations on Common Guidelines to enable a harmonised approach to the compilation of statistics on Trade in Services. The sessions were facilitated by consultants who were also tasked with assisting Member States to review the existing basic data available on Trade in Services and Foreign Direct Investment, recommend a common classification system to facilitate the collection and compilation of detailed core statistics on trade in services, all to ensure conformity with the data requirements of the CSME establishment.

Participants also received insights into best practices in Member States such as Belize, in its collection of detailed data for the Services Component of the Balance of Payments, and the method being employed by Trinidad and Tobago to compile Statistics on Foreign Affiliate Trade in Services. Further, the workshop examined issues surrounding the surveying of establishments in services.

In the area of construction of databases, an exposé was showcased by a Regional Information Technology (IT) expert, who shared an approach that can enable the efficient production of national and Regional databases, and the flow of information at various levels. Member Sates were urged to consider the outputs required from the system so as to better inform the design of a computerised database system.

The workshop follows a similar one held in 2002 which was geared to strengthen capacity to compile statistics in Trade in Services. It is part of a series of three workshops being held this year relative to the Project being executed by the CARICOM Secretariat and CTRADECOM. Recommendations emanating from the meeting will be used to inform the way forward in the further development of the Services Statistical Systems.

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