ESCWA convened the first Technical Advisory Group on Economic Statistics (TAGES) for the Arab Region on 9 and 10 November 2016, in Cairo.
The meeting was attended by 21 participants representing 10 countries and 8 regional and international organizations. Palestine was elected as chair of the group and Morocco as co-chair, while ESCWA acted as secretariat. The ESCWA Statistical Committee recommended the establishment of this technical advisory group during its eleventh session in 2015.
Members of the committee from Egypt, Bahrain Palestine, Kuwait, presented the national Strategy for the development of Statistics, the implementation of related international standards and methodologies in relation to 2008 System of National Accounts (SNA), and the preparation of economic census. Regional guidelines and related best practices produced by ESCWA were shared, such as supply and use tables in the Arab countries, short-term economic indicators for the Arab region, statistical business registers, and the framework for environmental economic accounting in the ESCWA Region. The pilot work of ESCWA on the International Comparison Program (ICP) and consumer price index (CPI) integration and on Harmonized CPI for the region was presented as a success story.
ESCWA, the UN Statistics Division, the International Monetary Fund, the Middle East Regional Technical Assistance Center (METAC), the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), the Statistical Centre for the Cooperation Council for the Arab Countries of the Gulf (GCC-Stat) and the League of Arab States (LAS) briefed the meeting on the priorities of their organizations and the synergies with ESCWA on Economic Statistics on National Accounts. They also identified capacity building areas and combining resources at regional and international level.
The committee identified partnerships with participating agencies to conduct joint regional workshops on national accounts, supply and use and related software for production and dissemination. The committee also discussed the follow-up for defining priorities in a matrix prepared by ESCWA with contribution from the members of the TAGES to the Statistical Committee with papers and case studies, and the adoption of a core list of economic indicators and related economic Sustainable Development Goals (SDG)-related indicators.
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