Glossary


A-CD-FG-JK-MN-PQ-ST-VW-Z
3GThird generation of cellular network technology
4GFourth generation of cellular network technology
Ad-valorem equivalentA tariff that is not a percentage of the price of the product (e.g. dollars per ton) can be estimated as a percentage of the price — the ad valorem equivalent. (WTO, 2019b).
Advanced reporting requirementAdvanced reporting requirement represents a set of reporting elements, beyond the minimum reporting requirement, which demand additional information from companies in their sustainability reports for the purpose of measuring SDG indicator 12.6.1 (UNCTAD, 2017).
AfCFTAAfrican Continental Free Trade Agreement
Aid for TradeMeasures aimed at assisting developing countries to increase exports of goods and services, to integrate into the multilateral trading system, and to benefit from liberalized trade and increased market access. It is considered as part of ODA. Effective Aid for Trade will enhance growth prospects and reduce poverty in developing countries, as well as complement multilateral trade reforms and distribute the global benefits more equitably across and within developing countries (WTO, 2006). It is measured as gross disbursements and commitments of total ODA from all donors for Aid for Trade (United Nations, 2020).
Aid for Trade commitmentsAid for Trade commitment is a firm obligation, expressed in writing and backed by the necessary funds, undertaken by an official donor to provide specified assistance to a recipient country or a multilateral organisation (OECD, 2020a) (AidFlows, 2020).
Aid for Trade disbursementsAid for Trade disbursements refer to the release of funds to or the purchase of goods or services for a recipient; by extension, the amount thus spent. Disbursements record the actual international transfer of financial resources, or of goods or services valued at the cost to the donor (OECD, 2020a) (AidFlows, 2020).
ALDCDivision for Africa, Least Developed Countries and Special Programmes
ASYCUDAAutomated System for Customs Data
AsymptomaticWhen a condition produces no symptoms, or a person shows no symptoms.
AUAfrican Union
B2BBusiness to Business
B2CBusiness to Consumer
Basic foodBasic food refers in this publication to a category of food products that excludes beverages and tobacco, tropical beverages (such as coffee and tea) and spices. When SITC codes are used, the included codes are 0 - Food and live animals, 22 - Oil seeds and oleaginous fruits, 4 - Animal and vegetable oils, fats and waxes with the exclusion of 07 - Coffee, tea, cocoa, spices, and manufactures thereof. When HS codes are used, basic food refers to chapter 1-24 excluding 05 - Products of animal origin, not elsewhere specified or included, 06 - Live trees and other plants; bulbs, roots and the like; cut flowers and ornamental foliage, 09 - Coffee, tea, mate and spices, 13 - Lac; gums, resins and other vegetable saps and extracts, 14 - Vegetable plaiting materials; vegetable products not elsewhere specified or included, 22 - Beverages, spirits and vinegar, and 24 - Tobacco and manufactured tobacco substitute.
BEPSBase erosion and profit shifting
BITBilateral Investment Treaty (BIT) is a type of international investment agreement (IIA) made between two countries regarding promotion and protection of investments made by investors from one country in the other country’s territory, which commits the host country government to grant certain standards of treatment and protection to foreign investors (nationals and companies of the other country) and their investments (UNCTAD, 2020a).
BoPBalance of payments
BroadbandA general term meaning a telecommunications signal or device of greater bandwidth, in some sense, than another standard or usual signal or device. In data communications, this refers to a data transmission rate of at least 256 kbit/s. In the context of Internet, this can be delivered via fixed (wired) or mobile networks (ITU, 2014).
CAPI Computer assisted personal interview
Carbon intensityCarbon intensity is the amount of emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) released per unit of another variable such as gross domestic product (GDP), output energy use or transport (IPCC, 2014).
Carbon priceCarbon price is the price per unit of avoided or released carbon dioxide (CO2) emission, or its CO2 equivalent (IPCC, 2014).
Carbon taxCarbon tax is a levy on the carbon content of fossil fuels (IPCC, 2014).
CATIComputer assisted telephone interview
CCCTCommonwealth Caribbean Countries Tariff (CCCT) is a Preferential Trade Arrangements (PTAs) categorized as other type of PTAs. The provider of CCCT is Canada. CCCT entered into force on the 15th of June 1986 (WTO, 2020b).
CCSACommittee for the Coordination of Statistical Activities
CH4Methane
CO2Carbon dioxide (CO2) is a colourless, odourless and non-poisonous gas formed by combustion of carbon and in the respiration of living organisms (OECD, 2020).
CO2eCarbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) is a measure used to compare the emissions from various greenhouse gases based upon their global warming potential. It represents the quantity of carbon dioxide that has equal global warming potential as the given quantity of a greenhouse gas (OECD, 2020).
Comply-or-explain approachComply-or-explain approach is a reporting practice under which companies are invited to explain the reasons for not providing all requested information in their sustainability reports or for not publishing a sustainability report at all (UNCTAD, 2013).
Concessional loansLoans that are extended on terms substantially more generous than market loans. The concessionality is achieved either through interest rates below those available on the market or by grace periods, or a combination of these (OECD, 2020c).
Containerised transportFreight transport using intermodal containers of standard dimensions, i.e. containers that can be moved seamlessly between ships, trucks, trains and other modes of transport as well as storage. The two most used are the 20-foot and the 40-foot containers. They form the basis of the main units of measure currently applied in transport: the twenty-foot equivalent Unit (TEU) and the forty-foot equivalent unit (FEU). (World Shipping Council, 2020)
CoPCommunication on Progress (CoP) is a voluntary, public report through which a company informs stakeholders about its efforts to implement the principles of the United Nations Global Compact (United Nations Global Compact, 2013).
COVID-19Infectious disease caused by the strain of coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 discovered in December 2019. Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses which may cause illness in animals or humans. In humans, several coronaviruses are known to cause respiratory infections ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). The most recently discovered coronavirus causes coronavirus disease COVID-19 (WHO, 2020).
COVID-19 deathDefined for surveillance purposes as a death resulting from a clinically compatible illness in a probable or confirmed COVID-19 case, unless there is a clear alternative cause of death that cannot be related to COVID-19 disease (e.g. trauma). There should be no period of complete recovery between the illness and death. Further guidance for certification and classification (coding) of COVID-19 as cause of death is available in WHO (2020e).
CSTDUnited Nations Commission on Science and Technology for Development
CTSConsolidated Tariff Schedules
DACDevelopment Assistance Committee
Data revolutionData revolution refers to the transformative actions needed to respond to the demands of a complex development agenda, improvements in how data is produced and used; closing data gaps to prevent discrimination; building capacity and data literacy in “small data” and big data analytics; modernizing systems of data collection; liberating data to promote transparency and accountability; and developing new targets and indicators (see http://www.undatarevolution.org/data-revolution/).
DDADoha Development Agenda (DDA) refers to the latest Doha Round of world trade negotiations among the WTO memberships. The round is also known semi-officially as the Doha Development Agenda and was launched in November 2001. Its aim is to achieve major reform of the international trading system through the introduction of lower trade barriers and revised trade rules. The fundamental objective of DDA is to further liberalising trade in order to improve the trading prospects of developing countries. The main issues at stake are: Reforming agricultural subsidies; Ensuring that new liberalisation in the global economy respects the need for sustainable economic growth in developing countries; Improving developing countries' access to global markets for their exports (WTO, 2020).
Debt servicePayments made to satisfy a debt obligation, including principal, interest and any late payment fees (IMF, 2014).
Debt sustainabilityA country’s capacity to finance its policy objectives through debt instruments and service the ensuing debt (IMF, 2014).
DFQFDuty-free and quota free
DGDSDivision on Globalization and Development Strategies
DIAEDivision on Investment and Enterprise
DITCDivision on International Trade and Commodities, UNCTAD
DMFASDebt Management and Financial Analysis System Programme
DTLDivision on Technology, Innovation and Trade Logistics
Duty-freeNot subject to import tariffs.
E-commerceSale or purchase of goods or services, conducted over computer networks by methods specifically designed for the purpose of receiving or placing of orders; it can involve business-to-business (B2B) or a business-to-consumer (B2C) transactions (OECD, 2020).
EBAEverything But Arms (EBA) is a European Commission’s ‘zero’ tariff initiative for LDCs covering all products except the arms trade.
ECLACUnited Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean
EmissionEmission is the discharge of pollutants into the atmosphere from stationary sources such as smokestacks, other vents, surface areas of commercial or industrial facilities and mobile sources, for example, motor vehicles, locomotives and aircraft (OECD, 2020).
Employed in R&D in FTEEmployed in R&D in FTE is the ratio of working hours spent on R&D during a specific reference period (usually a calendar year) divided by the total number of hours conventionally worked in the same period by an individual or by a group (OECD, 2015).
Energy intensityEnergy intensity is the ratio between gross inland energy consumption and GDP. It measures how much energy is required to generate one unit of GDP.
ESCAPEconomic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific
EUEuropean Union
Excess mortalityTerm used in epidemiology and public health to define the number of deaths which occurred in a given crisis above and beyond what we would have expected to see under ‘normal’ conditions. The WHO define ‘excess mortality’ as “mortality above what would be expected based on the non-crisis mortality rate in the population of interest. Excess mortality is thus mortality that is attributable to the crisis conditions. It can be expressed as a rate (the difference between observed and non-crisis mortality rates), or as a total number of excess deaths.” To calculate ‘excess mortality’ in a given period, the number of people who had died over this period is compared with the number expected to have died (WHO, 2008).
Export concentration indexThis index measures, for each product, the degree of export market concentration by country of origin. It tells us if a large share of commodity exports is accounted for by a small number of countries or, on the contrary, if exports are well distributed among many countries. The index ranges from 0 to 1 with higher values indicating more market concentration (UNCTAD, 2018).
Export restrictivenessThe average level of tariff restrictions imposed on a country’s exports as measured by the MA-TTRI.
Export subsidiesExport subsidies refer to the granting of support by governments to some beneficiary entity or entities to achieve export objectives. Export subsidies may involve direct payments to a firm, industry, producers of a certain agricultural product etc. to achieve some type of export performance. In addition, export subsidies may include low cost export loans, rebates on imported raw materials and tax benefits such as duty-free imports of raw material. They can also take the form of government financed marketing. Most subsidies have existed in agriculture. (United Nations, 2020b).
External debtOutstanding amount of those actual current, and not contingent, liabilities that require payment(s) of principal and/or interest by the debtor at some point(s) in the future and that are owed to nonresidents by residents of an economy (IMF, 2014).
F-gasesFluorinated gases
FAOFood and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
FDIForeign Direct Investment (FDI) is an investment involving a long-term relationship and reflecting a lasting interest and control by a resident entity in one economy (foreign direct investor or parent enterprise) in an enterprise resident in an economy other than that of the foreign direct investor (FDI enterprise or affiliate enterprise or foreign affiliate) (UNCTAD, 2016).
Food price anomaliesFood price anomalies refer to abnormally high or low market prices for food commodities. The indicator relies on a weighted compound growth rate that accounts for both within-year and across-year price growth. The indicator directly evaluates growth in prices over a particular month over many years, taking into account seasonality in agricultural markets and inflation, allowing to answer the question of whether or not a change in price is abnormal for any particular period. It is measured by SDG indicator 2.c.1 (United Nations, 2020b).
FTEFull Time Equivalent (FTE) unit of labour is the hours worked by one employee on a full-time basis. The concept is used to convert the hours worked by several part-time employees into the hours worked by an equivalent full-time employee (ideally the comparison is standardized for gender and industry sector).
GATTThe General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) is a multilateral agreement, originally negotiated in 1947 in Geneva among 23 countries, to reduce tariffs and other trade barriers. It provides a framework for periodic multilateral negotiations on trade liberalisation (WTO, 1986).
GATT-94The GATT 1994 is contained in Annex 1A of the WTO Agreement. It incorporates by reference the provisions of the GATT 1947, a legally distinct international treaty applied provisionally from 1948 to 1995 (WTO, 2020a).
GDPGross domestic product
GERDGross domestic expenditure on research and development
GHSGlobal Health Security
GLIGrubel-Lloyd Index (GLI) is calculated on products categorized as manufacturing intermediate inputs (e.g. parts and components), computed at the industry level (as defined by the 4 digit Harmonized System classification) and then aggregated at the sectoral level using bilateral trade shares. (UNCTAD, 2020)
GNIGross national income
GNPGross national product
Goods loadedMerchandise destined for export, also referred to as “outbound trade volumes”. (UNCTAD, 2019a)
Goods unloadedMerchandise destined for import, also referred to as “inbound trade volumes”. (UNCTAD, 2019a)
GPTGeneralized preferential tariff
Greenhouse gasesGreenhouse gases are gases that cause the 'greenhouse effect' by letting solar radiation reach the Earth's surface and absorbing infrared energy emitted by the Earth. The concentration of some greenhouse gases in the atmosphere is rising as a result of human activities, leading to an increase of the Earth's average temperature. The most important of these gases comprise: carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O) and fluorinated gases (F-gases), such as hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) and hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) (WMO, 2019).
GRIGlobal Reporting Initiative
GSPGeneralized System of Preferences
GtGigaton
GTAGlobal Trade Alert
GVCGlobal value chain
GWPGlobal Warming Potential (GWP) is an index measuring the radiative forcing following an emission of a unit mass of a given substance, accumulated over a chosen time horizon, relative to that of the reference substance, CO2. The GWPthus represents the combined effect of the differing times these substances remain in the atmosphere and their effectiveness in causing radiative forcing (IPCC, 2014).
HDIHuman development index
HSThe Harmonized System (HS) is an international nomenclature developed by the World Customs Organization, which is arranged in six-digit codes allowing all participating countries to classify traded goods on a common basis. Beyond the six-digit level, countries are free to introduce national distinctions for tariffs and many other purposes.
IAEG-SDGInter-Agency and Expert Group on Sustainable Development Goals indicators
ICCSInternational Classification of Crime for Statistical Purposes
ICDInternational Classification of Diseases
ICTInformation and communications technology (ICT) is a diverse set of technological tools and resources used to transmit, store, create, share or exchange information. These resources include computers, the Internet, live broadcasting technologies, recorded broadcasting technologies and telephony (UNESCO Institute for Statistics, 2020).
IDAInternational Development Association
IDBIntegrated Data Base
IEAInternational Energy Agency
IFFIllicit financial flow
IIAInternational Investment Agreement (IIA) are treaties with investment provisions (e.g. a free trade agreement with an investment chapter) between two or more countries include commitments regarding cross-border investments (foreign investment or FDI), typically for the purpose of protection and promotion of such investments. They include two types of agreements: (1) bilateral investment treaties and (2) treaties with investment provisions (UNCTAD, 2020a)
IIPIndex of Industrial Production (IIP) is a measure of the change in the volume of goods or services produced over time. Its main purpose is to provide a measure of the short-term changes in value added over a given reference period, usually a month or a quarter. The index covers the industrial sector, including mining, manufacturing, electricity and gas, and water and waste (United Nations, 2010).
IIRCInternational Integrated Reporting Council
Illegal economic activityIllegal production comprises (1) the production of goods or services whose sale, distribution or possession is forbidden by law; (2) production activities which are usually legal but which become illegal when carried out by unauthorised producers, e.g., unlicensed medical practitioners; (3) production which does not comply with certain safety, health or other standards could be defined as illegal; and (4) the scope of illegal production in individual countries depends upon the laws in place, e.g. prostitution (United Nations et al., 2009).
ILOInternational Labour Organization
IMFInternational Monetary Fund
Import restrictivenessThe average level of tariff restrictions on imports as measured by the TTRI.
IMTSInternational Merchandise Trade Statistics
INDICOIntegrated Digital Conferencing (INDICO) is a web-based conference and management system used in more than 90 instances all over the world. In this publication, Indico refers to the web-based conference storage and management system managed by the United Nations Office at Geneva instance (Indico-unog) (UNOG-Indico, 2020).
Informal economyThe informal economy comprises (i) the production of goods and market services of households; and (ii) the activities of corporations (illegal, underground) that may not be covered in the regular data collection framework for compiling macroeconomic statistics. This scope of the informal economy considers not only the domestic activities, but also the cross-border transactions of resident units (IMF, 2019).
Investment guaranteeAn insurance, offered by governments or other institutions, to investors to protect against certain political risks in host countries, such as the risk of discrimination, expropriation, transfer restrictions or breach of contract (UNCTAD, 2015). (UNCTAD, 2019a)
IPAInvestment Promotion Agency
IPCCIntergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
ISARInternational Standards of Accounting and Reporting
ITCInternational Trade Centre
ITUInternational Telecommunications Union
Laboratory-confirmed casesCases where there has been detection of SARS-CoV-2 nucleic acid in a clinical specimen.
Land-use changeLand-use change refers to a change in the use or management of land by humans, which may lead to a change in land cover (IPCC, 2014).
LDCLeast developed country
LHSLeft Hand Side
Living wageLiving wage is defined by the Global Living Wage Coalition to mean the remuneration received for a standard workweek by a worker in a particular place sufficient to afford a decent standard of living for the worker and her or his family. Elements of a decent standard of living include food, water, housing, education, health care, transportation, clothing, and other essential needs including provision for unexpected events.
LLDCLandlocked developing country
MA-TTRIAn index measuring the average level of tariff restrictions imposed on exports.
Main bulksThis category includes iron ore, grain, coal, bauxite/alumina and phosphate. Starting on 2006, the category was restricted to iron ore, grain and coal only, while bauxite/alumina and phosphate were moved to the category “other dry cargo”. (UNCTAD, 2019a).
Medium and high-tech industryMedium and high-tech industry is an industry in which producers of goods incur relatively high expenditure on research and development (R&D) per unit of output. The distinction between low, medium, and high-tech industries is based on R&D intensity, i.e. the ratio of R&D expenditure to an output measure, usually gross value added. For a list of the particular economic activities, considered to be medium and high-tech (UNIDO, 2017).
MFNmost-favoured-nation
MFN tariffsMost Favoured Nation (MFN) tariffs are a tariff level that a member of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade of the WTO charges on a good to other members, i.e. a country with a most favoured nation status (See UNCTAD (2018)) It applies to imports from trading partners-members of the World Trade Organization (WTO), unless the country has a preferential trade agreement. It is the lowest possible tariff a country can assess on another country.
Minimum reporting requirementMinimum reporting requirement refers to a core set of economic, environmental, social and governance elements of sustainability information requested from companies in their sustainability reports for the purpose of measuring SDG indicator 12.6.1. Only reports including this information are counted towards the indicator (UNCTAD, 2017).
MNCMultinational corporation
MNEMultinational enterprise
Mobile moneyA service in which the mobile phone is used to access financial products and services (GSMA, 2010).
MVAManufacturing value added (MVA) is the net-output of all resident manufacturing activity units. It is obtained by adding up their outputs and subtracting intermediate inputs (United Nations, 2020). Manufacturing can broadly be understood as "the physical or chemical transformation of materials, substances, or components into new products" (United Nations, 2008), consisting of sector C in the International Standard Industrial Classification of all Economic Activities (ISIC) revision 4 (United Nations, 2020).
N2ONitrous oxide
NAFTANorth American Free Trade Agreement
Net-exporter of CO2Net-exporter of CO2 is a country in which more emissions are generated by the production of goods it exports to other countries than by the production goods it imports from other countries.
NO2Nitrogen dioxide (NO2) is a product of combustion, for instance emitted by road transport, and is generally found in the atmosphere in close association with other primary pollutants. Nitrogen dioxide is toxic, and its concentrations are also often strongly correlated with those of other toxic pollutants. As it is easier to measure, it is often used as a proxy for them. There is growing concern about rising levels of NO2 in fast-growing cities with large numbers of vehicles (WHO, 2006).
Non-observed economyAccording to the OECD, the groups of activities most likely to be non-observed are those that are underground, illegal, informal sector, or undertaken by households for their own final use. Activities may also be missed because of deficiencies in the basic statistical data collection programme (OECD, 2012).
NSONational statistical office
NTBsNon-tariff Barriers
NTFCNational Trade Facilitation Committee
NTMsNon-tariff measures (NTMs) are policy measures other than ordinary customs tariffs that can potentially have an economic effect on international trade in goods, changing quantities traded, or prices or both such as technical barriers to trade, price-control measures, etc. UNCTAD (2019)
ODAOfficial Development Assistance (ODA) are resource flows to countries and territories which are: (a) undertaken by the official sector; (b) with promotion of economic development and welfare as the main objective; (c) at concessional financial terms (implying a minimum grant element depending on the recipient country and the type of loan). In addition to financial flows, technical co-operation is also included (OECD, 2020c).
OECDOrganization for Economic Cooperation and Development
Official international supportFor the purpose of the SDGs, official international support refers to assistance in the form of official development assistance and other official flows (United Nations, 2020).
OIEWorld Organisation for Animal Health
ONSOffice for National Statistics of the United Kingdom
OOFOther official flows (OOF) are transactions by the official sector with countries and territories which do not meet the conditions for eligibility as ODA, either because they are not primarily aimed at development or because they do not meet the minimum grant element requirement (OECD, 2020c).
P&CPrinciples & Criteria
PandemicCommonly described by the WHO as ‘the worldwide spread of a new disease’, no strict definition is provided. In 2009, they set out the basic requirements for a pandemic:
  1. New virus emerges in humans
  2. Minimal or no population immunity
  3. Causes serious illness; high morbidity/mortality
  4. Spreads easily from person to person
  5. Global outbreak of disease.
The US Centre for Disease Control uses a similar approach, but with a reduced set of criteria. It is very difficult to gauge whether the spread of a disease should be termed an outbreak, epidemic or pandemic. In other words, when to declare a pandemic isn’t a black and white decision (Doshi, 2011).
Paris Climate AgreementThe Paris Agreement is an agreement within the UNFCCC aiming is to strengthen the global response to the threat of climate change by keeping a global temperature rise this century well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase even further, to 1.5°C. It aims to strengthen countries’ ability to deal with the impacts of climate change. To reach these ambitious goals, appropriate financial flows, a new technology framework and an enhanced capacity building framework are intended to support developing countries, in line with their national objectives (UNFCCC, 2016).
PBLPlanbureau voor de Leefomgeving
PHEICPublic health emergency of international concern (PHEIC): Serious public health events that endanger international public health. This term is defined in as “an extraordinary event which is determined [...]:
  • to constitute a public health risk to other States through the international spread of disease; and
  • to potentially require a coordinated international response”.
This definition implies a situation that: is serious, unusual or unexpected; carries implications for public health beyond the affected State’s national border; and may require immediate international action. The responsibility of determining whether an event is within this category lies with the WHO Director-General and requires the convening of a committee of experts, the IHR Emergency Committee. This committee advises the Director-General on the recommended measures to be promulgated on an emergency basis, known as temporary recommendations. Temporary recommendations include health measures to be implemented by the State Party experiencing the PHEIC, or by other States Parties, to prevent or reduce the international spread of disease and avoid unnecessary interference with international traffic WHO (2005).
PMIPurchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) is a monthly indicator of expected economic activity, collected by surveying senior executives at private sector companies. The PMI is a weighted average of five sub-indices measuring new orders, output, employment, suppliers’ delivery times and stocks of purchases. It is calculated for the total economy as well as for specific sectors, such as manufacturing, construction, services, etc. A figure of 50 indicates that no change in economic production is expected; a value above 50 means that the economy is expected to grow, a value below 50 that it is expected to contract (Refinitiv, 2020).
PMIPurchasing managers’ index
PNGPublicly Non-Guaranteed debt (PNG) is an external debt of the private sector that is not contractually guaranteed by a public sector unit resident in the same economy (IMF, 2014). Unless otherwise indicated, only long-term debt (maturity of more than one year) is included.
PPGPublicly guaranteed debt (PPG) is an external debt liabilities of the private sector, the servicing of which is contractually guaranteed by a public unit resident in the same economy as the debtor (IMF, 2014). Unless otherwise indicated, only long-term debt (maturity of more than one year) is included.
PPIPrivate Participation in Infrastructure
PPPPurchasing power parity
Private flowsPrivate flows consist of flows at market terms financed out of private sector resources and private grants. They include FDI, private export credits, securities of multilateral agencies and bilateral portfolio investment. Private flows other than FDI are restricted to credits with a maturity of greater than one year (OECD, 2020b).
Productive capacity buildingStrengthening economic sectors – from improved testing laboratories to better supply chains – to increase competitiveness in export markets (Negin, 2014).
PTAsPreferential Trade Arrangements (PTAs) can be established under paragraphs 4 to 10 of Article XXIV of GATT (WTO, 2019a) between parties through which one party can grant more favourable trade conditions to other parties of the arrangement and not to other WTO members.
Public bond debtPublic debt in the form of sovereign international bonds traded in international capital markets (UNCTAD, 2017).
Public sector debtAll debt liabilities of resident public sector units to other residents and nonresidents (IMF, 2014).
QUADQUAD countries refers to Canada, EU, Japan and the United States.
R&DResearch and development (R&D) comprise creative and systematic work undertaken in order to increase the stock of knowledge – including knowledge of humankind, culture and society – and to devise new applications of available knowledge (OECD, 2015) (see also (United Nations et al., 2009), para 10.103).
R&D intensityR&D intensity is defined as the ratio of gross domestic expenditure on research and development (GERD) to GDP (OECD, 2015).
R&D servicesR&D services cover services associated with basic and applied research and experimental development, including activities in the physical and social sciences and the humanities (OECD, 2015), section 11.5). The definition used for international trade includes also testing and product development that may give rise to patents (United Nations et al., 2012).
RemittancesThe term remittances can refer to three concepts, each encompassing the previous one. “Personal remittances” are defined as current and capital transfers in cash or in kind between resident households and non-resident households, plus net compensation of employees working abroad. “Total remittances” include personal remittances plus social benefits from abroad, such as benefits payable under social security or pension funds. “Total remittances and transfers to non-profit institutions serving households (NPISHs)” includes all cross-borders transfers benefiting household directly (total remittances) or indirectly (through NPISHs) (IMF, 2009).
Revealed comparative advantage in exportsRevealed comparative advantage in exports is the proportion of a country group’s exports by service category divided by the proportion of world exports in the corresponding category.
RHSRight Hand Side
RTARegional trade agreement
Sanitary and phytosanitary measuresAny measure applied: (a) to protect animal or plant life or health within the territory of the trade partner from risks arising from the entry, establishment or spread of pests, diseases, disease-carrying organisms or disease-causing organisms; (b) to protect human or animal life or health within the territory of the trade partner from risks arising from additives, contaminants, toxins or diseases causing organisms in foods, beverages or feedstuffs; (c) to protect human life or health within the territory of the trade partner from risks arising from diseases carried by animals, plants or products thereof, or from the entry, establishment or spread of pests; or (d) to prevent or limit other damage within the territory of the trade partner from the entry, establishment or spread of pests (UNCTAD, 2003).
SASBSustainability Accounting Standards Board
SDGSustainable Development Goal
Serological testsTests that do not detect the virus itself but instead detect antibodies produced in response to an infection.
SeroprevalenceLevel of a pathogen in a population, as measured in blood serum.
SGSecretary General
Shadow economyThe shadow economy includes all economic activities which are hidden from official authorities for monetary, regulatory, and institutional reasons (Medina and Schneider, 2018).
Short-term debtDebt liabilities having a maturity of one year or less; maturity can be defined on an original or reminaing basis (IMF, 2014). Interests in arrears on long-term debt are included within short-term debt.
SIDSSmall Island Developing State
SITCStandard International Trade Classification
SITSStatistics of International Trade in Services
SMESmall- and medium-sized enterprise
SNASystem of national accounts
Soft infrastructureIdeas and conceptual frameworks that give shape and direction to what is eventually physically manifest (FutureStructure, 2013).
South-South CooperationBroad framework of collaboration among countries of the Global South in the political, economic, social, cultural, environmental and technical domains. It includes trade, FDI, regional integration efforts, technology transfers, sharing of solutions and experts, and other forms. Involving two or more developing countries, it can take place on a bilateral, regional, intraregional or interregional basis (UNOSSC, 2020).
SPSSanitary and phytosanitary
Stocks-to-use ratioA convenient measure of supply and demand interrelationships of commodities. This ratio indicates the level of carryover stock for any given commodity as a percentage of the total use of the commodity (Womach, 2005).
Sustainability reportSustainability report is a document published by an entity describing the economic, social, environmental impacts caused by its activities; it is composed of a certain number of disclosures along the main pillars of sustainable development (GRI, 2019).
Tanker tradeThis category includes trade in crude oil, refined petroleum products, gas and chemicals. (UNCTAD, 2019a)
Tariff lineA single item in a country’s tariff schedule. A single item in a country’s tariff schedule. (see SDG metadata). (United Nations, 2020a)
Tariff peakA single tariff or a small group of tariffs that is/are particularly high.
TariffsTariffs “are customs duties on merchandise imports, levied either on an ad valorem basis (percentage of value) or on a specific basis (e.g. $7 per 100 kg). Tariffs can be used to create a price advantage for similar locally produced goods and for raising government revenues. Trade remedy measures and taxes are not considered to be tariffs.” (United Nations, 2020a)
TBTTechnical barriers to trade (TBT) are measures referring to technical regulations, and procedures for assessment of conformity with technical regulations and standards.
TDBUNCTAD Trade and Development Board
TEUTwenty-foot Equivalent Unit
TFAWTO members concluded negotiations at the 2013 Bali Ministerial Conference on the landmark Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA), which entered into force on 22 February 2017 following its ratification by two-thirds of the WTO membership. The TFA contains provisions for expediting the movement, release and clearance of goods, including goods in transit. It also sets out measures for effective cooperation between customs and other appropriate authorities on trade facilitation and customs compliance issues. It further contains provisions for technical assistance and capacity building in this area (WTO, 2019).
Tier 1Tier 1 means that a SDG indicator has been classified by the IAEG-SDG as being conceptually clear, has an internationally established methodology and standards are available, and data are regularly produced by countries for at least 50 per cent of countries and of the population in every region where the indicator is relevant.
Tier II indicatorSDG indicator that is conceptually clear, has an internationally established methodology and standards are available, but data are not regularly produced by countries (United Nations Statistics Division, 2020).
Tier III indicatorSDG indicator for which there is no internationally established methodology or standards yet available, but methodology or standards are being (or will be) developed or tested (United Nations Statistics Division, 2020).
TORsTerms Of References
Total resource flowsIn the context of the IAEG-SDG, these flows quantify the overall expenditures that donors provide to developing countries, including official and private flows, both concessional and non-concessional. Specifically, they include ODA, OOFs and private flows (United Nations, 2020a).
Tourism direct GDPTourism direct GDP measures direct contributions of tourism to the national economy, since tourism does not exist as a separate industry in the standard industrial classification. Instead, it is embedded in various other industries. (no SDG metadata)
Tourism sectorTourism sector is the cluster of production units in different industries that provide consumption goods and services demanded by visitors. Such industries are called tourism industries because visitor acquisition represents such a significant share of their supply that in the absence of visitors, the production of these would cease to exist in meaningful quantities (UNWTO and ILO, 2014).
TRAINSTrade Analysis and Information System
TTRITariff trade restrictiveness index (TTRI) is an index measuring the average level of tariff restrictions imposed on imports.
Underground economyUnderground production consists of activities that are productive in an economic sense and quite legal (provided certain standards or regulations are complied with), but which are deliberately concealed from public authorities for the following reasons: (i) to avoid the payment of income, value added or other taxes; (ii) to avoid payment of social security contributions; (iii) to avoid meeting certain legal standards such as minimum wages, maximum hours, safety or health standards, etc; or (iv) to avoid complying with certain administrative procedures, such as completing statistical questionnaires or other administrative forms (United Nations et al., 2009).
UNDESAUnited Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs
UNECAUnited Nations Economic Commission for Africa
UnemploymentThe unemployed comprise all persons of working age who were: (a) without work during the reference period, i.e. were not in paid employment or self-employment; (b) currently available for work, i.e. were available for paid employment or self-employment during the reference period; and (c) seeking work, i.e. had taken specific steps in a specified recent period to seek paid employment or self-employment. Future starters, that is, persons who did not look for work but have a future labour market stake (made arrangements for a future job start) are also counted as unemployed, as well as participants in skills training or retraining schemes within employment promotion programmes, and persons “not in employment” who carried out activities to migrate abroad in order to work for pay or profit but who were still waiting for the opportunity to leave (ILO, 2020a).
UNEPUnited Nations Environment Programme
UNESCOUnited Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization
UNESCO UISUnited Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization Institute of Statistics
UNFCCCUnited Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change
UNFPAUnited Nations Population Fund
UNGCUnited Nations Global Compact (UNGC) is a voluntary initiative based on company-level commitments to adopt sustainability and socially responsible principles and to take steps to support UN goals (United Nations Global Compact, 2019).
UNODCUnited Nations Office on Drugs and Crime
UNSDUnited Nations Statistics Division
VARVector autoregression
Weighted mean applied tariffThe average of effectively applied rates weighted by the product import shares corresponding to each partner country (World Bank, 2019).
Weighted tariff-averageWeighted average of tariffs applied to imports of goods in HS chapter 01-97. The tariffs are weighted by the value of the imported goods to which they are applied. It is expressed as percentage of the value of goods imported. The average level of customs tariff rates applied worldwide can be used as an indicator of the degree of success achieved by multilateral negotiations and regional trade agreements. See metadata for indicator 17.10.1 (United Nations, 2020a).
WHOWorld Health Organization
WMOWorld Meteorological Organization
WRIWorld Resources Institute
WTOWorld Trade Organization
WTO TFAWorld Trade Organization Agreement on Trade Facilitation

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