Qatar Formally Begins Participation in the IMF's General Data Dissemination System

Press Release No. 06/04
January 5, 2006

Qatar began participating in the International Monetary Fund's General Data Dissemination System (GDDS) on December 30, 2005, marking a major step forward in the development of the country's statistical system. Comprehensive information on its statistical production and dissemination practices now appears on the IMF's Dissemination Standards Bulletin Board (DSBB) (http://dsbb.imf.org/Applications/web/gdds/gddshome/).

His Excellency Sheikh Hamad bin Jabor bin Jassim Al Thani, Secretary General of the Planning Council, stated: "Qatar recognizes that improving the quality of economic and social statistics is essential for economic and social policy and for the monitoring and assessment of its development programs. In this connection, the statistical requirements of the Human Development Report, the Millennium Development Goals, and other international initiatives, which reflect the importance of relevant, accurate, and reliable statistics, have been recognized and serious efforts made to meet them. In cooperation with the Ministry of Finance, Qatar Central Bank, Doha Securities Market, and the Statistics Department, and in collaboration with international statistical agencies, chief among them the IMF, efforts are being made to develop and improve economic and financial statistics by improving consistency, proper coverage, and adherence to international standards and transparency. Relations between users and producers of statistics have been greatly improved and communications developed. The additional benefits that could accrue from Qatar's participating in the GDDS are immense and should ultimately lead us to a strengthened system of official statistics."

Mr. Robert Edwards, Director of the IMF Statistics Department (STA), welcomed Qatar's GDDS participation and observed: "Qatar's participation in the GDDS is a major milestone in the country's statistical development. I am confident that Qatar will greatly benefit from using the GDDS as a framework for further development of its statistical system. Qatar is the third Gulf Cooperation Council country to participate in the GDDS (the other two are Kuwait and Oman). Qatar is the first country to have its metadata (information on its statistical practices) organized in the IMF Data Quality Assessment Framework, as endorsed by the IMF Executive Board."

To date, 88 countries have participated in the GDDS and five have graduated to become subscribers to the IMF Special Data Dissemination Standard. At present, all 83 GDDS participants disseminate their metadata, plans for improvement for their statistics, and related information on their technical assistance needs on the DSBB. The GDDS, established by the IMF in 1997, provides a framework to assist IMF member countries to develop their statistical systems with the objective of producing comprehensive and accurate statistics for policymaking and analysis.



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