Trade and Development in numbers UNCTAD Handbook offers crucial economic data for global decision-makers

UNCTAD has launched its annual Handbook of Statistics in a new, user-friendly format to celebrate its fiftieth year of publication. The 2017 edition has been overhauled entirely to make it shorter and easier to read, and features a wealth of maps, charts, and infographics.
 
“The release of our new-format Handbook of Statistics is particularly timely ahead of next week’s Eleventh Ministerial Conference of the World Trade Organization,” UNCTAD Deputy Secretary-General Isabelle Durant said. “Reliable statistical information is essential to support, evaluate and guide policy choices for all nations, and notably developing countries, providing them with tools that are not always easy for them to produce. Such tools are indispensable, both for their national economies and development, and to better integrate them into the global economy,” she added.
 
Based on the wealth of statistics on international trade, investment, development and population, validated and processed by UNCTAD and made available in UNCTADstat, the Handbook of Statistics provides a coherent overview of trends worldwide and novel summary analyses of countries, regions and sectors.
 
For example, this year’s handbook reveals that 2016 was a difficult year of African economies. This was particularly evident in merchandise exports, which fell by 10.5%. Decreasing volumes of goods loaded in seaports for international shipment (-1.3%) and falling foreign direct investment receipts (-3.5%) also illustrated the challenges. Nevertheless, for the region, GDP grew by a modest 1.7%.
 
Several factors contributed to this picture: Africa's exports remain characterized by low product diversification (see figure 1) and a high dependency on raw materials compared with other regions of the world.

For more information, refer to http://unctadstat.unctad.org

 
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