ISTIA International Services Trade Information Agency, Geneva, Switzerland. Forwarding Services Trade Statistics Capacity Building in the post-Bali trade negotiation environment.  Servicestrade Services Trade



ISTIA Corporate Flyer 1    

ISTIA Corporate Flyer 2













  ISTIA in the UN Civil Society Network

Civil Society Network, comprising United Nations entities and Civil Society and NGOs working towards United Nations development agenda goals.

ISTIA is an NGO functioning in an intergovernmental capacity providing services trade statistics capacity building.


ISTIA among International Statistical Bodies

ISTIA listed by International Statistical Institute (ISI)

ISTIA has been listed by the International Statistical Institute (ISI) in the ISI Directory of Official Statistical Organizations, in light of the importance of ISTIA work to capacity building of official statistical measurement by governments of trade-in-services.















ISTIA work seeks to increase transparency of services trade-related information for all WTO Member economies, especially developing country and least-developed (LDC) economies.  At present, such level-of-detail is only possible between the U.S. and selected countries; the U.S. government, through the Bureau of Economic Analysis is presently collects the most detailed level of service-related trade information, using statuatory business reporting modalities modeled on best-practices of OECD as a part of their Balance of Payments/National Accounts information surveys submitted to the International Monetary Fund (IMF).


case postale 628
CH-1214 Vernier Geneva, Switzerland
+41 594 8688





























































ISTIA is accredited to the 11th WTO Ministerial in Buenos Aires, Argentina, 10-13 December 2017

ISTIA is an NGO in consultative status to the World Trade Organisation, since 2016


Statement of the Ambassador Julian Braithwaite (UK), WTO Chair for Council on Trade in Services

"Without good data, the task in front of us becomes exponentially harder."


"Conventional trade data (including in the UK’s Office of National Statistics’ services exports data) underestimates the importance of services because it only captures the first two Modes of Supply (cross-border supply and consumption abroad) but does not include Modes 3 and 4.


 We also face the issue of services being embedded in goods for example the design and engineering components of technology, the marketing of a product or even the after-sale maintenance which are rarely captured.


This is a fundamental problem if we are to work towards achieving the SDGs as good policymaking is dependent on being able to fully understand the challenges facing us. Without good data, the task in front of us becomes exponentially harder."

UNCTAD Logo Part of the opening session-statement delivered by Ambassador Julian Braithwaite, Chair of the WTO Council on Trade in Services, at the UNCTAD Multi-Year Expert Meeting on Trade, Services and Development on 18 July 2017.

ISTIA's participation at the

UNCTAD Multi-Year Expert Meeting on Services, Development and Trade, (5th Session)
The Regulatory and Institutional Dimension
18-20 July 2017


Between 18-20 July 2017, the Multi-year Expert Meeting on Trade, Services and Development was held in accordance with the decision of the Trade and Development Board taken at its thirty-first special session, held on 5 April 2017. The objective of the multi-year expert meeting was to provide enhanced understanding on the potential of the services economy and trade, particularly infrastructure services, for economic transformation, growth, poverty eradication and job creation, and on the multidimensional importance of these linkages as levers for achieving inclusive and sustainable development. It aimed to provide tools for participants to identify best-fit, coherent and comprehensive services policy, regulatory and institutional approaches to facilitate engagement in trade negotiations and international cooperation at the multilateral and regional levels so as to maximize the development potential of services in national economies.

Participant List  Programme


ISTIA and the WTO

 ISTIA is Accredited to the World Trade Organization

On 19 July 2017, ISTIA was re-accredited to the WTO.  ISTIA's first application for Accreditation to the World Trade Organization was accepted on 17 July 2016.  This accreditation was requested in light of Art. V.2 of the Marrakesh Agreement establishing the World Trade Organization, whereby it was stated that “The General Council may make appropriate arrangements for consultation and cooperation with non-governmental organizations concerned with matters related to those of the WTO.” ISTIA further noted that in 2015, the General Council recognized that Members recognized “the role NGOs can play to increase the awareness of the public in respect of WTO activities” by creating a framework for cooperation which would “improve transparency and develop communication with NGOs”. Relations between the WTO and Civil Society were further clarified in a Decision adopted by the General Council on 18 July 1996.  ISTIA looks forward to providing services statistics capacity building to WTO Members, especially to developing country Members , LDC (least developed country) Members and LLDC (land locked developing country) Members.


ISTIA is honored to have represented at the

Preparatory meeting for UNCTAD XIV, Salle XXVI, 26 May 2016


ISTIA intervention to UNCTAD 2nd Meeting on Civil Society:  describes the how ISTIA Work addresses Sustainable Development Goal no. 17: “Revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development”.  As ISTIA addresses services trade statistical capacity building, ISTIA addresses SDG 17 "subgoal" 17.9: Capacity building: Enhance international support for implementing effective and targeted capacity-building in developing countries to support national plans to implement all the sustainable development goals, including through North-South, South-South and triangular cooperation, SDG 17 "subgoal" 17.10: Trade: Promote a universal, rules-based, open, non-discriminatory and equitable multilateral trading system under the World Trade Organization, including through the conclusion of negotiations under its Doha Development Agenda, and SDG 17 "subgoal" 17.9: Data, monitoring and accountability as a systemic issue: By 2030,  build on existing initiatives to develop measurements of progress on sustainable development that complement gross domestic product, and support statistical capacity-building in developing countries.


ISTIA was honored to be accredited to the UNCTAD XVI Ministerial in Nairobi, Kenya


ISTIA is accredited to attend UNCTAD 14 in Nairobi, to discuss the contributions of ISTIA work to Sustainable Development Goal 17, to Revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development”.  ISTIA seeks to show support for Agenda 2030's United Nations Global Goals for Sustainable Development which are to launch "FROM DECISION TO ACTION".


UNCTAD 14 Programme | UNCTAD 14 Documents  | UNCTAD 14 Blog (EN) | UNCTAD 14 Blog (ES) | UNCTAD 14 Blog (FR)


ISTIA and the United Nations

 ISTIA Seeks UN-ECOSOC General Consultative Status 

On 1 June 2016, ISTIA made application for Consultative Status to the UN Economic and Social Commission (ECOSOC). Formal relations with ECOSOC are based on Article 71 of the UN Charter and governed by ECOSOC resolution 1996/31, which outlines the eligibility requirements for consultative status, rights and obligations of NGOs in consultative status.  The resolution also specifies the role and functions of the ECOSOC Committee on NGOs and the responsibilities of the UN Secretariat in supporting the consultative relationship. Since the first NGOs were granted consultative status in 1946, the participation of NGOs in intergovernmental bodies has increased significantly. Today, more than 3,400 NGOs have consultative status with ECOSOC, and over 1,500 NGOs are associated with the UN Department of Press and Information (DPI). In the Millennium Declaration, world leaders resolved to give greater opportunities to the private sector, non-governmental organizations and civil society, in general, to contribute to the realization of the Organization’s goals and programmes.  In 2002, the Secretary General's report, "Strengthening the United Nations: an agenda for further change" (A/57/387) reflected on this growing importance of NGOs to the work of the United Nations.

NGOs in consultative status by category (table) | NGOs in consultative status by category (chart) | NGOs in consultative status by region



ISTIA is honored to represent as a delegation to the

Meeting of the Group of Experts on National Accounts

UN Palais des Nations, Geneva, Salle XI, 17-20 May 2016


UN Economic Commission for Europe

Special Session for Eastern Europe, Caucasus and Central Asia, South East Europe and other interested countries

Expert Group on National Accounts

Country experience with surveys, data collection and compilation techniques, Global Production Research Agenda, Exchange of economic data and data sharing, Global accounts and analytical use of SUT, Use of Statistical Units in National Accounts

Link to the meeting can be found here:  Meeting of the Group of Experts on National Accounts




ISTIA was honored to be accredited to the 10th WTO Ministerial in Nairobi, Kenya


ISTIA is honored to be accredited to the


UN Palais des Nations Room XXV Geneva, 14-25 September 2015


UN Conference on Trade and Development

Integrating the Trade Dimension into United Nations Development Assistance Frameworks

High-level segment: Development strategies in a globalized world Multilateral processes for managing sovereign external debt, Role of women as catalyst for trade and development, Interdependence: Financialization and macroeconomic fragility in the global economy, Contribution of UNCTAD to the implementation of the Programme of Action for the Least Developed Countries for the Decade 2011–2020: Fourth progress report, Economic development in Africa: Unlocking the potential of Africa's services trade for growth and development Evolution of the international trading system and its trends from a development perspective - The role of small holder farmers in sustainable commodities production and trade Investment for development: Reforming the international investment regime Preparatory process for the fourteenth session of the Conference: Establishment of the Preparatory Committee Approval of the provisional agenda of the Conference UNCTAD contributions to the implementation of and follow-up to the outcomes of the major United Nations conferences and summits in the economic and social fields Technical cooperation activities Review of the technical cooperation activities of UNCTAD Report on UNCTAD assistance to the Palestinian people Report of the Seventh United Nations Conference to Review All Aspects of the Set of Multilaterally Agreed Equitable Principles and Rules for the Control of Restrictive Business Practices Follow-up to the Joint Inspection Unit report and the agreed conclusions of the twenty-sixth special session of the Trade and Development Board.    UNCTAD Meeting page

Programme of Meetings

14 September | 15 September  | 16 September  | 17 September  | 18 September  | 21 September  |

 22 September  | 24 September  | 25 September  |Summary Presentations from the Meeting.  | Participant list


ISTIA appreciated the ICTSD-World Trade Institute

New Horizons in Services Trade Governance.

25 November 2014 to 26 November 2014. World Trade Organisation, Room S1. 0. 6

This conference addressed several issues currently at the forefront of the rapidly evolving role that services are playing in the 21st century world economy. In various panel discussions, experts presented findings from selected chapters of a forthcoming Research Handbook on Services Trade to be published by Edward Elgar. Organised by ICTSD and WTI.

The ICTSD-WTI Session can be viewed on Youtube.


ISTIA appreciated the ICTSD


TISA: Trade in Services Agreement Public Information Session and Discussion

30 April 2014, Centre Varumbe, CCIG Centre Conference International Geneva, Room A, 18:30 - 20.00

This Public Information Session provides a forum for discussion outside the formal negotiating environment. Speakers will present an overview of the objectives and main elements of the TISA negotiations, the progress that has been made to date as well as perspectives on new approaches to services negotiations. - See more at:
This Public Information Session provides a forum for discussion outside the formal negotiating environment. Speakers will present an overview of the objectives and main elements of the TISA negotiations, the progress that has been made to date as well as perspectives on new approaches to services negotiations. - See more at:

This ICTSD forum provided discussion basis for goverment officials from several TISA government countries, speakers included trade Ambassadors from Colombia, the United States, Australia, Turkey  and the European Union.  Discussions provided an overview of the objectives of the TISA negotiations and described progress made to date, also addressing some new approaches to services negotiations. 

The ICTSD Session can be viewed on Youtube.



Could a lack of services trade statistics be hindering services trade negotiations?

Services trade statistics capacity building: A need, a focus, a plan of action

ISTIA's presentation on services trade statistics capacity building can be viewed here


ISTIA is proud to attend the the

Discussion Forum: "Why Trade Matters in Development Strategies"

UN Palais des Nations, Geneva, Room XXV, 27-29 November 2013


UN Conference on Trade and Development

Part of a series on

Integrating the Trade Dimension into United Nations Development Assistance Frameworks

Special keynote address by Amina J. Mohamed, the UN Secretary-General's Special Advisor on Post-2015 Planning


ISTIA was proud to be invited to the

 Civil Society Meeting with the UNCTAD Secretary-General in Geneva



On 3 October 2013, Dr. Mukhisa Kituyi, the new Secretary-General of UNCTAD, welcomed over 30 civil society leaders to UNCTAD Geneva.  ISTIA was pleased to have been invited to the first meeting between Dr. Kituyi and civil society representatives since he took office in September.  This was an opportunity for all civil society leaders to exchange views with the Secretary General at the very start of his term.  At the commencement of the meeting, Dr. Kituyi praised the role played by civil society organizations in promoting socially just economic development, and said that he wanted to see civil society organizations contributing to UNCTAD meetings at the highest level. 


In his opening speech at the meeting, Dr. Mukhisa Kituyi highlighted the "phenomenal" expertise - particularly in global trade and development within Geneva-based international and civil society organizations.  Dr. Mukhisa Kituyi recalled that as Minister of Trade of Kenya, he formalized the role of civil society representatives in the country's trade delegation, so that involving civil society in governmental trade and development affairs was a "duty and not a favor".


ISTIA is proud to have observer-status at the

61st Plenary Session of the Conference of European  Statisticians

UN Economic Commission for Europe, 10-12 June 2013


Economic and Social Council

Including Work of the High-level Group on the Modernization of Statistical Production and Services

Proposals for 2014 Seminars

Progress of the Task Force for Climate Change

Participant List for 61st Plenary CES Meeting


ISTIA participation at 8th WTO Ministerial

8th WTO Ministerial meeting in Geneva, 30 November - 2 December 2011


The Seventh Session of the WTO Ministerial Conference will be held in Geneva, Switzerland, from 30 November to 2 December 2009. The general theme for discussion shall be The WTO, the Multilateral Trading System and the Current Global Economic Environment .

ISTIA Accreditation to the 8th WTO Ministerial Meeting


ISTIA is proud to have observer-status at the

UNCTAD Multi-Year Expert Meeting on Services, Development and Trade, (3rd Session)
The Regulatory and Institutional Dimension
   Geneva, 17-19 March 2010


ISTIA is the the only international agency working in the area of  WTO-related Services Trade Statistics Capacity BuildingIn March 2010,  ISTIA was honored to be invited to participate to attend the 3rd Session of the UN Multi-Year Expert Group on Services, Development and Trade, held in the UN Palais des Nations, Geneva, Switzerland.  The principal meeting focus concerned  services-related egulatory and institutional frameworks of developing country governments, especially African countries, least developed countries (LDCs)  and countries with special needs, such as economies-in-transition. Discussions focused on strengthening domestic services capacity,  increasing services efficiency and enhancing competitiveness; also strengthening export capacity.  A special focus was placed on the Accra Accord.

 Key Issues | Notification | Agenda | Programme | Documents | Summary| Participant list
Report of the Meeting | OverviewProgramme Timetable | UNCTAD documents
Presentations [Audio] | Presentations [Text] |Contributions [Text]


ISTIA participation at WTO Ministerial

7th WTO Ministerial meeting in Geneva, 30 November - 2 December 2009


The Seventh Session of the WTO Ministerial Conference will be held in Geneva, Switzerland, from 30 November to 2 December 2009. The general theme for discussion shall be The WTO, the Multilateral Trading System and the Current Global Economic Environment .

ISTIA in the MC-7 Programme

ISTIA Accreditation to 7th WTO Ministerial Meeting


ISTIA in the Gulf



ISTIA-GOIC Alliance aimed at Building Capacity on Trade, FDI & Globalization Measurement for GCC - March 6, 2007
(Press release) (Gulf Times Article) (AmeInfo Article)


A Memorandum of Understanding has been signed on Tuesday 6th of March 2007, in Doha Qatar, between Gulf Organization for Industrial Consulting (GOIC) and the Geneva-based agency International Services Trade Information Agency (ISTIA). Signing the MOU, was H.E. Dr. Ahmed Khalil Al Mutawa, GOIC Secretary General, and Ms. Jennifer M. Powell, ISTIA Executive Director.

This is a strategic partnership between GOIC and ISTIA. It is aimed at assisting the GCC countries towards building capacity to measure globalization data such as trade-in-services crucial information for World Trade Organization (WTO) negotiations as well as foreign direct investment (FDI), operations of FDI-related enterprises, cross-border joint-ventures (JV), and transfers of technology via FDI or strategic alliances. In the context of a more global and integrated world economy, such information is crucial for both GCC governments, as well as the private sector.


Developing the capacity to gather such information at the national level will give the GCC countries the tools necessary to successfully measure, understand and plan strategically for requirements of a more global and integrated world economy. GCC governments require  training so as to better-collect data so that negotiators are best-prepared to negotiate in the WTO under the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS), as well as in other bilateral trade and investment negotiations.  In addition to training governments how to collect data, trade-negotiators, diplomats and other high-level government officials could benefit from training so as to 'bridge the gap' between the new globalization data framework and their decision-making activities.


In the new millennium, services are instrumental components of industrial activities; previously, services and industrial business activities were viewed as distinct and separate. The modern global economy views services and industrial activity as symbiotic and integrated for two principal reasons. Firstly, because businesses require efficient services sectors such as transportation and communications for domestic or import/export commercial operations. Secondly, modern business models no longer view companies as strictly services-only or industrial-only. In the 21st century, many companies which used to be famous for only selling goods, now also sell services as separate products; one example of this is Hewlett Packard, a former hardware-only firm which now sells consulting, business integration and other services as stand-alone products. Services also make up a significant share of the GDP for all countries in the world; developed country GDP is usually 70-85% services-driven, while developing country GDP figures are generally 35-70% services-based.


Foreign direct investment (FDI) is a part of the WTO GATS agreement, and in this light, measurement of FDI on a basis which allows sectoral and partner country identification is of crucial importance. Successful ISTIA collaboration seeks to facilitate the public and private sectors of GCC countries to operate in a manner most proactive and strategic in relation to globalization affairs.


ISTIA and the OECD

 ISTIA at the OECD-WTO "Aid for Trade" Mini-Ministerial

 6-7 November 2006 - Doha, Qatar


DIALOGUE ON AID FOR TRADE: From Policy to Practice

Conference attendees comprised senior policy makers from developing and developed countries, aid practitioners from the headquarters and field level, and stakeholders from the private sector, academia and civil society from the Middle East, Africa, Asia and Latin America.  Discussions addressed Aid for Trade agenda and key challenges for economic, political and implementation.  Donors and partner countries presented experences on Aid for Trade.
 Overview |   Sessions |   Agenda |   WTO statement|   Participant list

Programme Day 1 |   Programme Day 2|   Press   

ISTIA presentation to Ministers     (pdf)


 ISTIA Technical Assistance

 ISTIA Capacity Building for Government of Vietnam


On the eve of the accession of Vietnam as the 150th WTO Member, ISTIA provided an intensive week-long course on Services trade policy and Services trade statistics to officials of the Government of Vietnam.  The course, which took place the first week of October, introduced the use of services trade statistics, foreign direct investment (FDI) statistics and foreign affiliate trade statistics.  The course also addressed the country's new legal framework for investment. Course summary here.


ISTIA gratefully acknowledges funding support from the

Government of France, Ministry of Finance Employment and Industry (MINEFI), ADETEF

ISTIA-FRANCE (ADETEF) Memorandum of Understanding (MOU)


ISTIA at OECD-EUROSTAT meeting on Trade in Services Statistics

ISTIA participated in the OECD-EUROSTAT meeting on Trade in Services and the 7th Meeting on International Trade Statistics, held in Paris 11-15 September 2006.   Participant list here

Summary record of the meeting:

Participants list


Conference on Globalisation and the Knowledge Economy


ISTIA participated in the Conference on Globalisation and the Knowledge Economy on 9 October 2006.  The conference convened experts to discuss links between innovation, structural change and productivity growth on the one hand, and the intensification of cross-border economic linkages, drivers and scope for public policy in implementing a national innovation and growth strategy in the global economy.

Organised jointly by the OECD Directorate for Science, Technology and Industry (DSTI) and the French Ministry of Economy, Finance and Industry


ISTIA at WTO Ministerial
2005 WTO Hong Kong Ministerial Conference

ISTIA High-Level Expert-group Meeting

13-18 December 2005


ICTSD Trade & Development Symposium - WTO Ministerial Meeting side event
Hong Kong Exhibition Centre

December 15 2005
Session Agenda and Panel Members
WTO Ministerial ICTSD Schedule


ISTIA Seminars

ISTIA Presentation to Government of Afghanistan



Presented at the Permanent Mission of Afghanistan to the United Nations and WTO, Geneva, Switzerland, October 2005


ISTIA and Switzerland

2006 ISTIA Legal Foundation

26 July 2006


ISTIA Associated as a Legal Entity in the Republic and Canton of Geneva

Geneva, 28 June 2006 - As WTO trade negotiators work to complete the Doha Round of WTO negotiations, a new international agency arrives with the objective of empowering developing countries in services trade negotiations with better information through statistical capacity building and negotiator training.                      

ISTIA registration, Canton-State of Geneva


ISTIA Foundation

ISTIA "Launch" as New International Agency

June 2006

ISTIA Press Release

As from the end of June 2006, ISTIA, the International Services Trade Information Agency has come into being in Geneva, Switzerland.  ISTIA will function as an international agency, assisting developing country governments with the improvement of national accounts and other information necessary for developing country governments to better negotiate in the World Trade Organization (WTO) services negotiations, known as GATS (the General Agreement on Trade in Services).  ISTIA was founded in response to official requests made by developing country governments, in the WTO and during pre-WTO trade negotiations, for help in this area, for the past 20 years.  At present, developing country WTO trade negotiators do not have useful information which helps them to assess the value of services trade commitments under WTO-GATS, a fact which has hindered WTO-GATS negotiations for all WTO Members.  ISTIA seeks to change this situation for the better.      

I.ISTIA Statutes              II. ISTIA Mandate               III. ISTIA Taxonomy


ISTIA and International Statistics Bodies

ISTIA Pariticipates in IARIW Conference, Joensuu, Finland
August 2006

ISTIA participated in the International Association for Research on Income and Wealth in Joensuu, Finland.  Conferences of special interest concerned FDI and the relationship of national accounts


ISTIA and International Statistics Bodies

ISTIA and Voorburg Group
August 2006

ISTIA was invited to the 2006 Voorburg Group in October 2006.  The Voorburg is the consortia of national statistical agencies and experts involved in setting services statistics standards.  The Voorburg Group is responsible for having drafted the Central Product Classification (CPC) system, which is the standard used by the United Nations Statistical Division; the CPC is the model upon which the WTO GATS 120 list is based;  this is the list of services sectoral definitions used in WTO services trade negotiations. Link to more info


ISTIA cancels IRS exempt application

ISTIA Withdrawal of U.S. Treasury Exempt Application
14 December 2008

ISTIA CANCELLATION. With a view towards retention of neutrality, ISTIA has cancelled the IRS-Treasury application for recognition as a foreign-based association, rendered in February 2007, to the IRS Exempt office in Cincinnati/Kentucky.  This application was a good-faith, non-required application. ISTIA, being  Swiss non-governmental organization operating in an inter-governmental capacity - such as was defined in ISTIA Articles of Association - strives to retain an neutral position, in work, which principally involves government training.  Application was made with a view toward opening an ISTIA office in Washington, D.C., an interest which has also been cancelled.  For further information, persons are welcome to contact ISTIA directly.


Contact ISTIA



case postale 628, CH-1214 Vernier-Geneva, Switzerland
Tel / Fax: 
+41 22 594 8688