Skip to main content

High Level Seminar on the Future of Economic Statistics for the Arab region

Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
Event Type: 

The High-Level Seminar is co-organized by the Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) and United Nations Statistics Division (UNSD) and hosted by the General Authority of Statistics in Saudi Arabia. It will seek a collaborative regional response to the need for economic statistics that support evidence‐based policymaking within the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. This response may call for a step‐change in the update of the conceptual framework of the system of economic statistics combining measures of economic activity on trends in technological breakthroughs, demographic, environmental and social change, urbanization, globalization and digitalization dynamics with broader measures on equitable and sustainable economic performance. 
It is expected that the update of the system of economic statistics informs policy actions that foster economic growth, well‐being, inclusive societies, and sustainable use of the environment as set out by the sustainable development agenda. To debate the broader purpose of economic statistics in the future, we need to assess the main users’ demands, as well as the capacity of our statistical systems to provide the required data and statistics services. 
To achieve this response, national statistics agencies will need an institutional transformation of the system of economic statistics from producers of statistics to stewards of data standards and recommendations. Elements of this transformation include the use of new data sources and methods (such as big data, administrative data. and micro-data linking); secure data sharing arrangement between statistical agencies and with data owners in the public and private sector; and the broadening of services to provide access to micro-data, including longitudinal data.  
Recognizing these challenges facing national statistics agencies, the 50th Session of UN Statistical Commission (held in March 2019) established a Friends of the Chair Group on Economic Statistics, consisting of both economists and statisticians, to consider the effectiveness and responsiveness of system of economic statistics. The Friends of the Chair Group has a 2-year mandate and will report to the Statistical Commission in 2020 and 2021.
This Seminar will be part of a series of regional consultation organized by the Friends of the Chair Group. As such, it provides an opportunity for the region to share regional concerns and priorities and to influence, and inform, the global design of the system of economic statistics.

Concept note
Info note
Final report


Day 1:

Day 2:


Folder Resources:

Links to Meetings related to Future of Economic Statistics