UNCTAD and WTO launch partnership on Integrated Trade Database

28 January 2015

UNCTAD Secretary-General and the WTO Director General agreed to provide joint assistance to the WTO members in fulfilling their notification requirements for the WTO Integrated Database.

UNCTAD and the WTO agreed to cooperate in assisting the WTO members in implementing notification requirements for the WTO Integrated Data Base (IDB).

Mukhisa Kituyi, Secretary-General of UNCTAD, in his letter to Roberto Azevedo, WTO's Director General, welcomed this collaboration between the two organizations, which will allow the WTO Member States to supply information and data for the WTO IDB in an efficient and timely manner.

WTO's Integrated Database (IDB) contains data that member governments supply annually on the tariffs they apply normally under the non-discrimination principle of most-favoured nation (MFN). Data on lower preferential duties under free trade agreements or preferential schemes for developing countries are available for some members. Annual import statistics by country of origin are also available in the IDB.

Developing countries are facing institutional, technical and human capacity limitations in fulfilling their notification requirements for the WTO.

UNCTAD, through its Customs automation programme (ASYCUDA), will work closely with the WTO Secretariat to provide the interested Member States with specially developed electronic functions, allowing for easy extraction of properly structured data and its automatic forwarding to the WTO Integrated Database.

In addition UNCTAD will provide technical assistance and related capacity building in extraction of national trade data and its transmission to the WTO in an agreed standard format.

Beneficiaries of such technical assistance can be both the WTO Member States and acceding countries. In order to implement specific activities the two agencies will make special collaboration arrangements in each particular case, relying on donors support.

This new partnership is part of a broader cooperation between UNCTAD and the WTO on important trade issues of the moment.