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

Author/Editor:

Geoffrey J Bannister ; Manuk Ghazanchyan ; Theodore Pierre Bikoi

Publication Date:

November 16, 2017

Electronic Access:

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Disclaimer: IMF Working Papers describe research in progress by the author(s) and are published to elicit comments and to encourage debate. The views expressed in IMF Working Papers are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the views of the IMF, its Executive Board, or IMF management.

Summary:

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.

Series:

Working Paper No. 17/251

Subject:

English

Publication Date:

November 16, 2017

ISBN/ISSN:

9781484325742/1018-5941

Stock No:

WPIEA2017251

Format:

Paper

Pages:

26

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