News Brief: China Formally Begins Participation in the IMF's General Data Dissemination System
April 19, 2002
China has begun participating in the International Monetary Fund's General Data Dissemination System (GDDS), marking a major step forward in the development of the country's statistical systems. At a meeting today with Governor Dai Xianglong of the People's Bank of China, IMF Managing Director Horst Köhler congratulated China on making this important move to further improve its statistical systems and enhance the transparency of its statistical practices. In an earlier remark in Beijing, Zhu Zhixin, the Commissioner of China's National Bureau of Statistics, likened China's participation in the GDDS in the area of statistics to accession to the WTO in the wider realm.
The GDDS, established by the IMF in 1997, provides a framework to assist Fund member countries to develop their statistical systems with the objective of producing comprehensive and accurate statistics for policy-making and analysis. It addresses three key areas—the quality of data; development plans for statistical systems; and the dissemination of data. Countries that participate in the GDDS commit themselves to use the GDDS framework for the development of their statistical systems and for the production and dissemination of economic, financial, and socio-demographic data. They are also required to prepare and make publicly available on the IMF's Dissemination Standards Bulletin Board (http://dsbb.imf.org/Applications/web/gdds/gddshome/) their current statistical production and dissemination practices, as well as their plans for improvements and their technical assistance needs. At present, 42 countries are participating in the GDDS.
In recent years, China has been working closely with the IMF and the international community to bring its official statistics in line with international standards. Following Governor Dai's letter to the Managing Director dated on January 1, 2002, which formally informed of China's decision to participate in the GDDS, an IMF mission led by Mrs. Carol Carson, Director of the Statistics Department, and joined by staff from the World Bank and the OECD, visited Beijing in March. The mission assisted the Chinese agencies in the preparation of descriptions of compilation and dissemination practices and of plans for improvement for economic, financial, and socio-demographic data.
With China's participation in the GDDS, the IMF's Dissemination Standards Bulletin Board now provides, in one place for the first time, the most comprehensive documentation on China's statistical practices in English. The plans for improvement and technical assistance needs that are included in the documentation also provide the international community with a useful framework to develop and coordinate their technical cooperation projects in China.