Biosecurity and Trade

Biosecurity is a strategic and integrated approach to analyzing and managing relevant risks to human, animal and plant life and health and associated risks to the environment. Interest in biosecurity has risen considerably over the last decade in parallel with increasing trade in food, plant and animal products, more international travel, new outbreaks of transboundary disease affecting animals, plants and people, heightened awareness of biological diversity and greater attention to the environment and the impact of agriculture on environmental sustainability.

Pacific Island Countries and Territories (PICTSs) need to position themselves to take advantage of trading opportunities, while protecting their natural resource base from potential risks.
SPC officiates first regional workshop on international Merchandise Trade Statistics
Thursday, 20 December 2012 15:46

The first regional workshop on international merchandise trade statistics (IMTS) took place in Noumea, New Caledonia in November. Organised by the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC), the week-long workshop was held in recognition of the need for reliable and timely IMTS data on the part of governments and other users.


While officiating at the workshop, SPC Deputy Director-General Richard Mann noted that the high-level panel — trade statisticians and customs officials from the region, SPC development partners, the Pacific Financial Technical Assistance Centre, the Australian Bureau of Statistics and Statistics New Zealand, as well as resource persons from the United Nations Statistics Division, the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat, the Oceania Customs Organisation and SPC —  presented a valuable opportunity for SPC member countries and the region as a whole to progress further in this important area.
Different users need different statistics covering a range of data sets of varying detail, organised by country and commodity. A major challenge in compiling IMTS is to meet the needs of these various users. Customs services are the main source for the data on trade statistics and, in this workshop, customs officials were able to assess user needs and see how their services can best assist statisticians to produce high quality, timely statistics.

The workshop aimed to address areas that are of interest to both customs officials and trade statisticians, including concerns with respect to data sources, skills needed for the job, problems faced in the compilation of trade statistics and possible avenues for improving results.
Benefits expected from the workshop were:

  • adoption of international best practice, i.e. the World Customs Organization 2012 harmonised commodity description and coding system (HS 2012) and the United Nations International Merchandise Trade Statistics Manual 2010;
  • adoption of a standard methodology to compile IMTS in the Pacific;
  • production of more reliable and timely trade data available for inclusion in compilation of GDP and balance of payments figures, trade negotiations etc. and data that are more easily comparable between countries; and documentation on metadata in the form of an IMTS

SPC Land Resources Division was represented by Biosecurity Trade Statistics Technician, Mr Navneel Prasad and IACT’s Small & Medium Enterprise (SME) Development Officer, Mr Elenio Yap.

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