CSO to make trade statistics available for wider use
The Honourable Camille Robinson-Regis, Minister of Planning and Development is announcing that the Central Statistical Office (CSO) has embarked on a project to provide wider access to trade statistics more quickly and securely.
This project is being led by the Trade and Economic Statistics Division of the CSO. The main aim of this project is to make better trade data available to all stakeholders. Better data means better decisions, better analysis, better national policies and better policy assessment through access to trade data, anytime, anywhere.
Web Comext is an online data extraction tool which is a module of the EUROTRACE system which the CSO utilizes. Eurotrace is an application for collection, compilation and dissemination of external trade data at national and regional levels. It is a generic and open system able to be adapted to national, regional requirements and to most types of statistics. The CSO adopted the Eurotrace System to work in conjunction with the system being used by the Customs and Excise Division of the Ministry of Finance, which is responsible for collecting trade statistics in Trinidad and Tobago. To contrary belief, the Ministry of Trade and Industry is not the primary agency responsible for the collection of Trade statistics, this responsibility lies with the Customs and Excise Division.
Work on this programme began in 2016 and culminated in November 2019 with a training session for stakeholders of the National Statistical System which includes Ministry of finance; Customs and Excise Department; CSO and the Central Bank. Work on the project also involved equipment outfitting at the CSO; configuration, installation and testing of the software as well as the selection and training of master users.
The initial phase of access will be provided to policy makers to facilitate more data driven decisions; the business community to support more sound business decisions; tertiary institutions for research and key regional and international organisations. Once this element of the project has been mastered, the CSO is considering making this system available to the public for access to data that may also enable the development of entrepreneurial ideas and new businesses, and inform the development of new and existing small businesses.
This project falls under the goal of Trinidad and Tobago’s National Development Strategy, Vision 2030, Theme 4- Building Globally Competitive Businesses. This also falls in line with the implementation of Goal 8 of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Decent Work and Economic Growth.