Boosting Trade in Services: EU4Business Project Empowers National Governments

Armenia Azerbaijan Georgia Moldova Ukraine
Boosting Trade in Services: EU4Business Project Empowers National Governments

EU4Business project implemented by ITC offers capacity-building and analytical assistance to national governments in collecting and processing data on trade in services.

The EaP Trade Helpdesk, launched in late 2019, is a project under EU4Business, implemented by the International Trade Centre (ITC). As part of the project, ITC provides support to national governments in building their capacity and analyzing data related to trade in services. This assistance helps them in effectively collecting and processing such information that can ultimately lead to more detailed and better/quality trade in services data. This can be beneficial for SMEs as it helps create a more comprehensive understanding of trade in services, enabling them to better analyze market trends, identify potential customers or partners, and make informed business decisions. 

An evaluation of trade in services statistics in Ukraine serves as a perfect example of how the component is applied in practice. Working together with the National Bank of Ukraine (NBU) and the State Statistics Service of Ukraine (SSSU), ITC identified the priority sector for Ukraine, which is the category of Travel in the Balance of Payments (BoP). Subsequently, the ITC created a concept note that provides recommendations on best practices for collecting and compiling data in this particular service category.

The ITC has continued to provide support to Ukrainian data compilers for BoP statistics even amid the ongoing war. The objective has shifted to address new challenges associated with data collection in the Travel category. These challenges include determining the resident/non-resident status of refugees and understanding its impact on Travel statistics, overcoming the lack of data sources, capturing expenses of travelers in transit and one-day visitors, utilizing credit card payment data as a source of Travel information, and exploring the potential use of mirror data.

The survey was conducted in May and June in eight countries, including Germany, Poland, Hungary, Moldova, Romania, Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Italy. The results showed that various methods were employed by EU member states' national compilers when dealing with Ukrainian refugees. As per the German approach, individuals who register in Germany as refugees and apply for temporary protection are categorized as residents. While Poland’s methodology differs significantly as it strictly separates resident and non-resident refugees.

ITC will facilitate further dialogue between the Ukrainian, EU, and other compilers, and data sharing.

The EU4Business Initiative encompasses the entirety of EU assistance provided to SMEs in the Eastern Partnership region. This region brings together the EU, its member states, and five partner countries: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine.

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