Lao P.D.R.: Assessing the Quality of Trade Statistics

27 Pages Posted: 1 Feb 2018

See all articles by Geoffrey J. Bannister

Geoffrey J. Bannister

International Monetary Fund

Manuk Ghazanchyan

International Monetary Fund (IMF)

Theodore Bikoi

International Monetary Fund (IMF)

Date Written: November 2017

Abstract

This paper assesses external trade statistics in Lao PDR by looking at mirror statistics, and with reference to international experience in compilation and dissemination of external trade data. We find that exports could be underreported by 8 to 50 percent, while imports could be underreported by 30 to 70 percent, and the trade deficit could be 20 percent to 280 percent higher. Underreporting is concentrated in trade with major partners, including Thailand (17 percent of total trade), China (10 percent of total trade) and Vietnam (3 percent of total trade). On the export side, underreporting is concentrated in wood and wood products, while for imports it is concentrated in a much wider variety of products, including food, fuel, vehicles, machinery, chemical products, plastics and rubber, and construction materials. Possible sources and implications of these discrepancies are discussed.

Keywords: External trade, Statistics, Trade partners, Imports, Exports, Thailand, China, Vietnam, External trade statictics, bilateral assymetries, trade partner data, imports and exports, customs data, General, Country and Industry Studies of Trade, Asia including Middle East, Factor and Product Markets, Renewable Resources and Conservation: Issues in International Trade

JEL Classification: B20, F14, L50, L81, N75, P23, Q27

Suggested Citation

Bannister, Geoffrey J. and Ghazanchyan, Manuk and Bikoi, Theodore, Lao P.D.R.: Assessing the Quality of Trade Statistics (November 2017). IMF Working Paper No. 17/251, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3116208

Geoffrey J. Bannister (Contact Author)

International Monetary Fund ( email )

700 19th St. NW
Washington, DC 20431
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202-623-9421 (Phone)
202-623-4237 (Fax)

Manuk Ghazanchyan

International Monetary Fund (IMF) ( email )

700 19th Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20431
United States

Theodore Bikoi

International Monetary Fund (IMF) ( email )

700 19th Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20431
United States

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