ISTIA International Services Trade Information Agency, Geneva, Switzerland. Forwarding Services Trade Statistics Capacity Building in the post-Bali trade negotiation environment.  Servicestrade Services Trade


ISTIA Corporate Flyer 1    

ISTIA Corporate Flyer 2















ISTIA attends expert groups of the OECD related to services trade statistics.  ISTIA also cooperates in specific projects with the OECD Statistical Directorate, to help stakeholders to participate in meetings on Measuring Globalization, Measuring Societies.


ISTIA and United Nations

  ISTIA in the UN Civil Society Network

Civil Society Network, comprising United Nations entities and Civil Society and NGOs working towards United Nations development agenda goals.

ISTIA is an NGO functioning in an intergovernmental capacity providing services trade statistics capacity building.


ISTIA among International Statistical Bodies

ISTIA listed by International Statistical Institute (ISI)

ISTIA has been listed by the International Statistical Institute (ISI) in the ISI Directory of Official Statistical Organizations, in light of the importance of ISTIA work to capacity building of official statistical measurement by governments of trade-in-services.











ISTIA and the World Bank
 ISTIA at "Managing for Development Results" meeting

December 2006 - Beijing, China

ISTIA as a new organization was invited, and present at the World Bank's Managing for Development Results meeting, Beijing, China.






ISTIA work seeks to increase transparency of services trade-related information for all WTO Member economies, especially developing country and least-developed (LDC) economies.  At present, such level-of-detail is only possible between the U.S. and selected countries; the U.S. government, through the Bureau of Economic Analysis is presently collects the most detailed level of service-related trade information, using statuatory business reporting modalities modeled on best-practices of OECD as a part of their Balance of Payments/National Accounts information surveys submitted to the International Monetary Fund (IMF).


ISTIA seeks to cooperate in the most full manner possible with other international agencies, and national government agencies.  The goal is to capitalize on synergies, to build on work which currently exists, and to maximize efficiency of project work and training.  Relevant international agencies include the United Nations



case postale 628
CH-1214 Vernier Geneva, Switzerland
+41 594 8688





























































ISTIA is honored to represent as a delegation to the

Meeting of the Group of Experts on National Accounts

UN Palais des Nations, Geneva, Salle XI, 17-20 May 2016


UN Economic Commission for Europe

Special Session for Eastern Europe, Caucasus and Central Asia, South East Europe and other interested countries

Expert Group on National Accounts

Country experience with surveys, data collection and compilation techniques, Global Production Research Agenda, Exchange of economic data and data sharing, Global accounts and analytical use of SUT, Use of Statistical Units in National Accounts

Link to the meeting can be found here:  Meeting of the Group of Experts on National Accounts


ISTIA looks forward to the 10th WTO Ministerial in Nairobi, Kenya



ISTIA appreciated the ICTSD-World Trade Institute

New Horizons in Services Trade Governance.

25 November 2014 to 26 November 2014. World Trade Organisation, Room S1. 0. 6

This conference addressed several issues currently at the forefront of the rapidly evolving role that services are playing in the 21st century world economy. In various panel discussions, experts presented findings from selected chapters of a forthcoming Research Handbook on Services Trade to be published by Edward Elgar. Organised by ICTSD and WTI.

The ICTSD-WTI Session can be viewed on Youtube.

ISTIA appreciated the ICTSD


TISA: Trade in Services Agreement Public Information Session and Discussion

30 April 2014, Centre Varumbe, CCIG Centre Conference International Geneva, Room A, 18:30 - 20.00

This Public Information Session provides a forum for discussion outside the formal negotiating environment. Speakers will present an overview of the objectives and main elements of the TISA negotiations, the progress that has been made to date as well as perspectives on new approaches to services negotiations. - See more at:
This Public Information Session provides a forum for discussion outside the formal negotiating environment. Speakers will present an overview of the objectives and main elements of the TISA negotiations, the progress that has been made to date as well as perspectives on new approaches to services negotiations. - See more at:

This ICTSD forum provided discussion basis for goverment officials from several TISA government countries, speakers included trade Ambassadors from Colombia, the United States, Australia, Turkey  and the European Union.  Discussions provided an overview of the objectives of the TISA negotiations and described progress made to date, also addressing some new approaches to services negotiations. 

The ICTSD Session can be viewed on Youtube.


Could a lack of services trade statistics be hindering services trade negotiations?

Services trade statistics capacity building: A need, a focus, a plan of action

ISTIA's presentation on services trade statistics capacity building can be viewed here

ISTIA is honored to be welcome at the

Multi-year Expert Meeting on Trade, Services and Development, second session,

UN Palais des Nations, Geneva, Room XXV, 15-17 April 2014


UN Conference on Trade and Development

Integrating the Trade Dimension into United Nations Development Assistance Frameworks

The objective of the expert meeting is to identify best-fit practices at the levels of policymaking, regulations, institutions and trade negotiations that link services, development and trade in a balanced manner, including a strengthening of national services regulation

Link to the meeting can be found here:  UNCTAD Expert Meeting on Trade, Services and Development

ISTIA is proud to attend the the

Discussion Forum: "Why Trade Matters in Development Strategies"

UN Palais des Nations, Geneva, Room XXV, 27-29 November 2013


UN Conference on Trade and Development

Part of a series on

Integrating the Trade Dimension into United Nations Development Assistance Frameworks

Special keynote address by Amina J. Mohamed, the UN Secretary-General's Special Advisor on Post-2015 Planning

ISTIA was proud to be invited to the

 Civil Society Meeting with the UNCTAD Secretary-General in Geneva



On 3 October 2013, Dr. Mukhisa Kituyi, the new Secretary-General of UNCTAD, welcomed over 30 civil society leaders to UNCTAD Geneva.  ISTIA was pleased to have been invited to the first meeting between Dr. Kituyi and civil society representatives since he took office in September.  This was an opportunity for all civil society leaders to exchange views with the Secretary General at the very start of his term.  At the commencement of the meeting, Dr. Kituyi praised the role played by civil society organizations in promoting socially just economic development, and said that he wanted to see civil society organizations contributing to UNCTAD meetings at the highest level. 


In his opening speech at the meeting, Dr. Mukhisa Kituyi highlighted the "phenomenal" expertise - particularly in global trade and development within Geneva-based international and civil society organizations.   Dr. Mukhisa Kituyi recalled that as Minister of Trade of Kenya, he formalized the role of civil society representatives in the country's trade delegation, so that involving civil society in government trade and development affairs was "a duty and not a favour". 


At the opening session of this year's Trade and Development Board he said: "Civil society's hands-on experience of development on the ground, their effective policy advocacy, and their ability to galvanize action, make them natural partners of UNCTAD."


Read the full address here

ISTIA is proud to have observer-status at the

61st Plenary Session of the Conference of European  Statisticians

UN Economic Commission for Europe, 10-12 June 2013


Economic and Social Council

Including Work of the High-level Group on the Modernization of Statistical Production and Services

ISTIA and UN Expert Meetings


UN Multi-Year Expert Meeting on Services, Development and Trade

(3rd Session)
The Regulatory and Institutional Dimension
   Geneva, 17-19 March 2010


ISTIA is the the only international agency working in the area of  WTO-related Services Trade Statistics Capacity BuildingIn March 2010,  ISTIA was honored to be invited to participate to attend the 3rd Session of the UN Multi-Year Expert Group on Services, Development and Trade, held in the UN Palais des Nations, Geneva, Switzerland.  The principal meeting focus concerned  services-related egulatory and institutional frameworks of developing country governments, especially African countries, least developed countries (LDCs)  and countries with special needs, such as economies-in-transition. Discussions focused on strengthening domestic services capacity,  increasing services efficiency and enhancing competitiveness; also strengthening export capacity.  A special focus was placed on the Accra Accord.

 Key Issues | Notification | Agenda | Programme | Documents | Summary| Participant list
Report of the Meeting | OverviewProgramme Timetable | UNCTAD documents
Presentations [Audio] | Presentations [Text] |Contributions [Text]



7th WTO Ministerial meeting in Geneva, 30 November - 2 December 2009


The Seventh Session of the WTO Ministerial Conference will be held in Geneva, Switzerland, from 30 November to 2 December 2009. The general theme for discussion shall be The WTO, the Multilateral Trading System and the Current Global Economic Environment .

ISTIA WTO Meeting Session

ISTIA and United Nations

  ISTIA Seeks UN-ECOSOC Consultative Status 



ISTIA has made application to retain presence at United Nations meetings as a resident non-governmental observer, under protocols of the UN Economic and Social Commission (ECOSOC).

Per founding statute, ISTIA is an NGO functioning in an intergovernmental and neutral capacity, with a view towards providing services trade statistics capacity building, principally to WTO Member governments.  The ISTIA Board of Directors comprises a founding team of Ambassadors, Trade diplomats, and international organization officials (UN, WTO).  ISTIA was accorded Swiss legal personality in 2006.

ISTIA in the Gulf



ISTIA-GOIC Alliance aimed at Building Capacity on Trade, FDI & Globalization Measurement for GCC - March 6, 2007
(Press release)
(Gulf Times Article) (AmeInfo Article)


A Memorandum of Understanding has been signed on Tuesday 6th of March 2007, in Doha Qatar, between Gulf Organization for Industrial Consulting (GOIC) and the Geneva-based agency International Services Trade Information Agency (ISTIA). Signing the MOU, was H.E. Dr. Ahmed Khalil Al Mutawa, GOIC Secretary General, and Ms. Jennifer M. Powell, ISTIA Executive Director.

This is a strategic partnership between GOIC and ISTIA. It is aimed at assisting the GCC countries towards building capacity to measure globalization data such as trade-in-services crucial information for World Trade Organization (WTO) negotiations as well as foreign direct investment (FDI), operations of FDI-related enterprises, cross-border joint-ventures (JV), and transfers of technology via FDI or strategic alliances. In the context of a more global and integrated world economy, such information is crucial for both GCC governments, as well as the private sector.


Developing the capacity to gather such information at the national level will give the GCC countries the tools necessary to successfully measure, understand and plan strategically for requirements of a more global and integrated world economy. GCC governments require  training so as to better-collect data so that negotiators are best-prepared to negotiate in the WTO under the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS), as well as in other bilateral trade and investment negotiations.  In addition to training governments how to collect data, trade-negotiators, diplomats and other high-level government officials could benefit from training so as to 'bridge the gap' between the new globalization data framework and their decision-making activities.


In the new millennium, services are instrumental components of industrial activities; previously, services and industrial business activities were viewed as distinct and separate. The modern global economy views services and industrial activity as symbiotic and integrated for two principal reasons. Firstly, because businesses require efficient services sectors such as transportation and communications for domestic or import/export commercial operations. Secondly, modern business models no longer view companies as strictly services-only or industrial-only. In the 21st century, many companies which used to be famous for only selling goods, now also sell services as separate products; one example of this is Hewlett Packard, a former hardware-only firm which now sells consulting, business integration and other services as stand-alone products. Services also make up a significant share of the GDP for all countries in the world; developed country GDP is usually 70-85% services-driven, while developing country GDP figures are generally 35-70% services-based.


Foreign direct investment (FDI) is a part of the WTO GATS agreement, and in this light, measurement of FDI on a basis which allows sectoral and partner country identification is of crucial importance. Successful ISTIA collaboration seeks to facilitate the public and private sectors of GCC countries to operate in a manner most proactive and strategic in relation to globalization affairs.


ISTIA and the OECD

 ISTIA at the OECD-WTO "Aid for Trade" Mini-Ministerial

 6-7 November 2006 - Doha, Qatar


DIALOGUE ON AID FOR TRADE: From Policy to Practice

Conference attendees comprised senior policy makers from developing and developed countries, aid practitioners from the headquarters and field level, and stakeholders from the private sector, academia and civil society from the Middle East, Africa, Asia and Latin America.  Discussions addressed Aid for Trade agenda and key challenges for economic, political and implementation.  Donors and partner countries presented experences on Aid for Trade.
 Overview |   Sessions |   Agenda |   WTO statement|   Participant list

Programme Day 1 |   Programme Day 2|   Press
ISTIA presentation to Ministers     (pdf)

ISTIA Technical Assistance

 ISTIA Capacity Building for Government of Vietnam

On the eve of the accession of Vietnam as the 150th WTO Member, ISTIA provided an intensive week-long course on Services trade policy and Services trade statistics to officials of the Government of Vietnam.  The course, which took place the first week of October, introduced the use of services trade statistics, foreign direct investment (FDI) statistics and foreign affiliate trade statistics.  The course also addressed the country's new legal framework for investment. Course summary here.


ISTIA gratefully acknowledges funding support from the

Government of France, Ministry of Finance Employment and Industry (MINEFI), ADETEF

ISTIA-FRANCE (ADETEF) Memorandum of Understanding (MOU)

ISTIA and Inter-agency Task Force on Standards for


 International Trade in Services

ISTIA participated in the Inter-Agency Task Force on Standards for Statistics on International Trade in Services, held in Paris 11-15 September 2006.  Details on this meeting can be found here.

Conference on Globalisation and the Knowledge Economy

ISTIA participated in the Conference on Globalisation and the Knowledge Economy on 9 October 2006.  The conference convened experts to discuss links between innovation, structural change and productivity growth on the one hand, and the intensification of cross-border economic linkages, drivers and scope for public policy in implementing a national innovation and growth strategy in the global economy.

Organised jointly by the OECD Directorate for Science, Technology and Industry (DSTI) and the French Ministry of Economy, Finance and Industry

ISTIA at WTO Ministerial
2005 WTO Hong Kong Ministerial Conference

ISTIA High-Level Expert-group Meeting

13-18 December 2005


ICTSD Trade & Development Symposium - WTO Ministerial Meeting side event
Hong Kong Exhibition Centre

December 15 2005
Session Agenda and Panel Members
WTO Ministerial ICTSD Schedule


ISTIA Seminars

ISTIA Presentation to Government of Afghanistan



Presented at the Permanent Mission of Afghanistan to the United Nations and WTO, Geneva, Switzerland, October 2005


ISTIA and Switzerland

2006 ISTIA Legal Foundation

26 July 2006


ISTIA Associated as a Legal Entity in the Republic and Canton of Geneva

Geneva, 28 June 2006 - As WTO trade negotiators work to complete the Doha Round of WTO negotiations, a new international agency arrives with the objective of empowering developing countries in services trade negotiations with better information through statistical capacity building and negotiator training.                      
ISTIA registration, Canton-State of Geneva


ISTIA Foundation

ISTIA "Launch" as New International Agency

June 2006

ISTIA Press Release

As from the end of June 2006, ISTIA, the International Services Trade Information Agency has come into being in Geneva, Switzerland.  ISTIA will function as an international agency, assisting developing country governments with the improvement of national accounts and other information necessary for developing country governments to better negotiate in the World Trade Organization (WTO) services negotiations, known as GATS (the General Agreement on Trade in Services).  ISTIA was founded in response to official requests made by developing country governments, in the WTO and during pre-WTO trade negotiations, for help in this area, for the past 20 years.  At present, developing country WTO trade negotiators do not have useful information which helps them to assess the value of services trade commitments under WTO-GATS, a fact which has hindered WTO-GATS negotiations for all WTO Members.  ISTIA seeks to change this situation for the better.      

I.ISTIA Statutes              II. ISTIA Mandate               III. ISTIA Taxonomy


ISTIA and International Statistics Bodies
ISTIA Pariticipates in IARIW Conference, Joensuu, Finland
August 2006

ISTIA participated in the International Association for Research on Income and Wealth in Joensuu, Finland.  Conferences of special interest concerned FDI and the relationship of national accounts

ISTIA and International Statistics Bodies
ISTIA and Voorburg Group
August 2006

ISTIA was invited to the 2006 Voorburg Group in October 2006.  The Voorburg is the consortia of national statistical agencies and experts involved in setting services statistics standards.  The Voorburg Group is responsible for having drafted the Central Product Classification (CPC) system, which is the standard used by the United Nations Statistical Division; the CPC is the model upon which the WTO GATS 120 list is based;  this is the list of services sectoral definitions used in WTO services trade negotiations. Link to more info


ISTIA cancels IRS exempt application
ISTIA Withdrawal of U.S. Treasury Exempt Application
14 December 2008

ISTIA CANCELLATION. With a view towards retention of neutrality, ISTIA has cancelled the IRS-Treasury application for recognition as a foreign-based association, rendered in February 2007, to the IRS Exempt office in Cincinnati/Kentucky.  This application was a good-faith, non-required application. ISTIA, being  Swiss non-governmental organization operating in an inter-governmental capacity - such as was defined in ISTIA Articles of Association - strives to retain an neutral position, in work, which principally involves government training.  Application was made with a view toward opening an ISTIA office in Washington, D.C., an interest which has also been cancelled.  For further information, persons are welcome to contact ISTIA directly.

 Contact details:


case postale 628, CH-1214 Vernier-Geneva, Switzerland
Tel / Fax: 
+41 22 594 8688