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Country Information: Foreign Trade

Guide to find information resources on countries - main focus on quantitative and statistical sources

WTO - World Trade Organization

WTO Annual Report:
The WTO Annual Report provides a comprehensive overview of WTO activities over the past year with main focus on trade negotiations and dispute settlements.

WTO Trade Topics:
gives an overview of the different topic areas of trade (trade topics). For each topic there is a historical overview, a status update and access to different documents

WTO Statistics Database:

  • The Trade Profiles provide predefined information leaflets on the trade situation of members, observers and other selected economies;
  • The Tariff Profiles provide information on the market access situation of members, observers and other selected economies;
  • The Services Profiles provide detailed statistics on key infrastructure services (transportation, telecommunications, finance and insurance) for selected economies;
  • The Aid for Trade Profiles provide information on trends of aid for trade, trade costs, trade performance and development for selected Aid for Trade recipients;
  • The Time Series section allows an interactive data retrieval of international trade statistics.

WTO Publications:

  • International Trade Statistics
    International Trade Statistics provides an annual compilation of global trade statistics up to 2015. In 2016, the WTO launched a new annual publication, the World Trade Statistical Review, which replaces International Trade Statistics as the WTO's flagship statistical publication.
  • World Trade Report: annual publication that aims to deepen understanding about trends in trade, trade policy issues and the multilateral trading system.

Litterature on WTO and foreign trade policy

Foreign trade - statistics

UN Comtrade: 
Free access to detailed global trade data. UN Comtrade is a repository of official trade statistics and relevant analytical tables. It contains annual trade statistics starting from 1962 and monthly trade statistics since 2010

HS, Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System / World Customs Organization  The Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System generally referred to as "Harmonized System" or simply "HS" is a multipurpose international product nomenclature developed by the World Customs Organization (WCO). It comprises about 5,000 commodity groups; each identified by a six digit code, arranged in a legal and logical structure and is supported by well-defined rules to achieve uniform classification.

Standard International Trade Classification (SITC) / United Nations  
In international foreign trade statistics, SITC is often used. In this nomenclature, the degree of processing of the goods (raw materials, semi-finished products, finished products) is crucial for their location in the classification. SITC comprises approx. 3,100 5-digit item numbers.

BEC, Broad Economic Categories.  
The original Classification by Broad Economic Categories (BEC) was produced in 1961 to provide a means for international trade statistics to be analyzed by broad economic categories such as food, industrial supplies, capital equipment, consumer durables and consumer non-durables. The original BEC was linked to the Standard International Trade Classification

  • International Trade Statistics Yearbook - ITSY (UN Comtrade Yearbook):
    • Vol.I - Trade by Country: The main content of the yearbook is divided into two parts. Part 1 consists of two detailed world data tables on merchandise trade. One presents total merchandise imports and exports by countries, areas and regions in a time series up to the latest year, the other shows world merchandise exports by group of commodity and by provenance and destination in many smaller time series sub-tables. Part 2 contains the country trade profiles for most countries and areas in the world.
    • Vol. II - Trade by Product: The main content of the yearbook is divided into three parts. Part 1 consists of 11 detailed world data tables on merchandise trade. Part 2 contains the commodity trade profiles for 257 individual commodities. Part 3 contains profiles of service trade for the 11 main EBOPS categories.

OECD Quarterly International Trade Statistics:
This reliable and up-to-date source of statistics on international trade of OECD countries provides a detailed insight into the most recent trends in trading patterns for OECD countries with the rest of the world. It replaces Monthly Statistics of International Trade.

Eurostat (EU)

Statistics Denmark