UNCTAD released Handbook of Statistics 2015


Who: Handbook of Statistics 2015
What: Released by UNCTAD
When: 8 December 2015

The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) on 8 December 2015 released Handbook of Statistics 2015. The annual publication provided a collection of statistics and indicators relevant to the analysis of international trade, investment and development for 2014.

As per the handbook, the total global exports for 2014 were valued at 24 trillion US dollars, up by 1.2 per cent compared with 2013.

And, India’s total merchandise export for 2014 was valued at 321 billion US dollars against 314 billion US dollars in 2013.

Highlights of Handbook of Statistics 2015

Total exports from developed economies accounted for 55 per cent (13.2 trillion US dollars) of total global trade.
• Developing economies accounted for 41 per cent (10 trillion US dollars) of total exports with transition economies accounting for the residual 890 million US dollars, or 4 per cent, of exports.
Service Exports: International trade in services was main driver behind 1.2 percent growth in global trade in 2014.
• International service exports accounted for 21 per cent of total global exports (valued at just over 5 trillion US dollars) in 2014, a growth of almost 5 per cent compared with 2013.
• From both developed and developing economies, they grew strongly in 2014, at 5.3 per cent and 4.8 per cent respectively.
• Services exports from the transition economies of South-East Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), as well as Georgia, declined sharply in 2014, falling by almost 10 billion US dollars or 7 per cent compared with 2013.
Merchandise Exports: They were valued at 19 trillion US dollars and increased by only 0.3 per cent in 2014 as measured in current prices.
• While growth in merchandise trade was significantly weaker, a similar pattern was evident – merchandise exports for developed economies grew by 0.4 per cent and by 0.6 per cent for developing economies year-on-year.
• In both developed and developing economies across Africa, Asia and the Americas, exports of food, agricultural raw materials and manufactured goods grew.
Minerals, fuels, etc: The value of exports of minerals, ores, metals and fuels fell sharply across countries in all regions irrespective of development status.
• The most significant declines were in the value of fuel exports from Africa (down by 13 per cent) and minerals, ores and metals (including gold) from Asia (down by almost 11 per cent).
Foreign Direct Investment: Total foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows, valued at 1.2 trillion US dollars, fell by 16 per cent in 2014 compared with 2013.
• Declines in FDI flows into transition economies more than halved (down by 52 per cent) but also fell markedly in developed economies (down by 28 per cent).


• It is the United Nations body responsible for dealing with development issues, particularly international trade – the main driver of development.
• It is governed by its 194 member States and headquartered inGeneva, Switzerland.
• As per UNCTAD, its work can be summed up in three words: think, debate, and deliver as it acts as a forum where representatives of all countries can freely engage in dialogue and discuss ways to establish a better balance in the global economy.
• It offers direct technical assistance to developing countries and countries with economies in transition, helping them to build the capacities they need to become equitably integrated into the global economy and improve the well-being of their populations.
• Every two years, UNCTAD organizes the World Investment Forum, which brings together major players from the international investment community to discuss challenges and opportunities for sustainable development and equitable growth.