Sources of International Economic, Trade, and Gender Data
A number of international organizations make economic, trade, and gender data available online and provide in-depth qualitative assessments of economic and commercial conditions in country reports.
The World Trade Organization (WTO)
Statistics Databases, Publications and Tools
The WTO has several powerful statistical databases on trade that are easily accessible and do not require registration. The interactive International Trade and Market Access Data database is a good starting point. This database provides an excellent visual representation of trade in commercial services flows as well as merchandise trade. The scope and quality of the databases makes exploration worthwhile for investment information.
The World Bank
The World DataBank provides economic and trade statistics that are easily comparable by country and across time. For example, it is easy to assemble tables to compare trade in services as a % of GDP for different countries or regions for the last 5 years. This is also true for GDP growth, foreign direct investment, lending interest rates, and numerous other indicators. The scope of indicators is vast and enables firms to analyze and compare several factors important to their sector. Registration is required and there is a moderate learning curve to effectively use the database.
Eurostat is the statistical office of the European Union and provides a broad range of statistics that service enterprises can use for market research. Registration is required and there is a significant learning curve to effectively use the databases. A wide range of statistical publications are also available on the site.
Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)
The OECD provides disaggregated trade data for OECD country members at a detailed level useful for examining trade in particular products and services. The country statistical profiles are valuable in identifying specific data for select service industries such as education and health. Not all data is publicly available and there is a moderate learning curve for effectively using the databases.
Gender Data Portals
Several institutions maintain gender data. For example, the World Bank provides a portal with information on women's agency, economic opportunities, education, health, and public life. The Bank has a database illustrating the degree of women's financial inclusion. The OECD maintains a gender database including discrimination in the family, physical integrity, access to productive and financial resources, and civil liberties. The UN maintains Human Development Data with gender disaggregated data. The World Health Organization maintains detailed data on gender-based violence. The Inter-Parliamentary Union reports on the percentage of women in national parliaments. The Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace, and Security Index provides comparable country data on women's security.
International Monetary Fund
The IMF produces valuable country reports useful for investment analysis as part of its "Article IV Consultation" with IMF members. The reports generally cover recent economic developments, fiscal developments, external sector developments as well as monetary and financial sector developments. The extensive use of graphs makes the data easy to absorb and analyze for investment purposes. Registration is not required.
United Nations Statistics Division
Trade Statistics Branch
The Trade Statistics Branch maintains goods and services trade statistics. Service enterprises can use the UN Service Trade database to find information on services trade flows. The database requires registration. There is a moderate learning curve to use the database effectively. This database is particularly useful for quickly identifying trade in services flows between economies according to the Extended Balance of Payments Services Classification (EBOPS).
United Nations Conference on Trade and Development
UNCTAD maintains a wide range of statistics on international trade, economic trends, and foreign direct investment. UNCTAD's annual World Investment Report provides insight into foreign direct investment at the global, regional and national level. UNCTADSTAT also offers import and export flows of services by country.