The importance of China in the global information economy continues to grow. Its e-commerce market is rising, the country has become the top player in the international trade of ICT goods (Asian dynamism boosts trade in information technology goods, UNCTAD figures show), and despite internal gaps in connectivity, Internet users in China account for 23 per cent of the world’s total and 37 per cent of the developing countries’ Internet users (source: ITU). Against this background, the Government finds itself requiring better statistics to assess progress in this area, evaluate current policies, and plan for the future.
This workshop on information economy statistics will focus on the use of ICT by businesses and on e-commerce. At the request of China's National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), UNCTAD assisted in liaising with the international experts that will present at the workshop. UNCTAD will also deliver a presentation on the importance of such statistics for policy making and in the context of international work to measure the information society.
The workshop will introduce the main concepts of the information economy and related core indicators developed by UNCTAD with the Partnership on Measuring ICT for Development. Close to 60 participants from the provincial and central statistical offices of China, as well as a few selected statisticians from neighbouring Asia-Pacific countries, will be trained on methodological issues relevant to producing such data. A session will be devoted to examining the e-commerce statistics of the Republic of Korea, which are a best practice in the region. Lessons will also be drawn from European experience in developing e-commerce data.
The aim is to make China better prepared to produce data and indicators on e-commerce and on the use of ICT by businesses, which can be used for international benchmarking and also support national e-commerce policies or initiatives. UNCTAD disseminates data on the information economy through its statistics portal UNCTADStat.
The workshop is financed and hosted by the Statistical Education Center of the National Bureau of Statistics of China (NBS), while the Swedish International Development Agency (Sweden) is funding UNCTAD's attendance and advisory services to the workshop.