Interagency Task Force on Statistics of International Trade in Services (TF on SITS)

The Interagency Task Force on Statistics of International Trade in Services (TF on SITS) was created in 1994 by mandate of the UN Statistics Commission (UNSC), following request from WTO and UNCTAD to UNSC to address need for data on services to inform GATS negotiations. Original mandate covered all of services statistics. The terms of reference were formally narrowed to international trade in services in 1997, so as not to duplicate work of others such as the Voorburg Group. The name of the TF was similarly changed in 1997.

Current Terms of Reference agreed in 1997 at the sixth meeting of TF:

  • The work of the Task Force focuses on the following objectives:

    • strengthening cooperation between international organisations in the area of international trade in services statistics by liaising with other agencies or groups involved with international trade in services statistics;
       
    • promoting the development of international standards, systems and classifications for international trade in services statistics;
       
    • improving the availability, quality and comparability of international trade in services statistics;
       
    • facilitating the provision of technical assistance in the compilation of trade in services statistics to developing countries.
       
  • The work of the Task Force will focus on the statistical requirements of the General Agreement on Trade in Services Statistics (GATS). Trade in services is defined in Article I, paragraph 2 of GATS.
     
  • The Task Force will serve as a forum of communication on requirements and resources and will endeavour to rationalise efforts expended towards the achievement of its goals.

TF on SITS reports annually to the UNSC http://unstats.un.org/unsd/tradeserv/TFSITS/statcomreports.htm and has an official website http://unstats.un.org/unsd/tradeserv/TFSITS/default.htm