Welcome to the fourth edition of SDG Pulse – UNCTAD’s annual statistical publication reporting on developments relating to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development -—
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and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The purpose of this report is to: provide an update on the evolution of a selection of official SDG indicators and complementary data and statistics; provide an update on progress in the development of new concepts and methodologies for SDG indicators for which UNCTAD is a global custodian agency; and to showcase how UNCTAD is supporting member States in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda. The report also investigates thematic issues of relevance to the 2030 Agenda – this year, the report discusses, as In-Focus topic, the issue of inclusive growth with particular emphasis on gender equality and environmental sustainability, assessing progress and challenges in these areas. Over the last decades, rising inequality as well as climate change have indeed questioned the ability of economic growth to continue to play its historical role as the driver of development. To support the SDGs, growth needs to be inclusive and sustainable.

The report is arranged in a way that it can be read by theme, and by goal and indicator.


In the theme view, the indicators are browsable by the three themes to which UNCTADs work contributes: multilateralism for trade & development; productive growth; and structural transformation. Through this thematic lens, progress towards a wide range of SDG indicators is discussed, including recent trends in trade, including barriers to trade, and policies to promote trade; financial resource mobilization, investment, debt sustainability, transport infrastructure and ICT for sustainable development; as well as industrial development, manufacturing value-added, technological upgrade, environmental sustainability and the fostering of productive capacities.

Goals and indicators

In the goals-and-indicators view, the content is presented by SDG indicators and their related goals. The goals and indicators selected reflect UNCTAD’s broad mandate in trade and development, investment, finance, and technology. The SDG indicators are supplemented with other data and official statistics to complement the picture. The SDG indicators presented in this report are:

Goal 2Goal 8Goal 9Goal 10Goal 12Goal 16Goal 17

Goal 2: Zero hunger

  • Indicator 2.a.2: Total official international support to agriculture
  • Indicator 2.b.1: Agricultural export subsidies
  • Indicator 2.c.1: Indicator of food price anomalies

Goal 8: Decent work and economic growth

  • Indicator 8.a.1: Aid for Trade commitments and disbursements

Goal 9: Industry, innovation and infrastructure

  • Indicator 9.1.2: Passenger and freight volumes, by mode of transport
  • Indicator 9.2.1: Manufacturing value added
  • Indicator 9.2.2: Manufacturing employment
  • Indicator 9.4.1: CO2 emission per unit of value added
  • Indicator 9.5.1: Research and development expenditure
  • Indicator 9.5.2: Researchers relative to population
  • Indicator 9.a.1: Total official international support to infrastructure
  • Indicator 9.b.1: Proportion of medium and high-tech industry value added
  • Indicator 9.c.1: Proportion of population covered by a mobile network

Goal 10: Reduce inequality

  • Indicator 10.a.1: Proportion of tariff lines with zero-tariff*
  • Indicator 10.b.1: Total resource flows for development

Goal 12: Responsible consumption & production

  • Indicator 12.6.1: Number of companies publishing sustainability reports*

Goal 16: Peace, justice and strong institutions

  • Indicator 16.4.1: Total value of inward and outward illicit financial flows*

Goal 17: Partnership for the goals

  • Indicator 17.2.1: Net official development assistance, total and to LDCs
  • Indicator 17.3.1: Additional financial resources mobilized for developing countries from multiple sources*
  • Indicator 17.4.1: Debt service as a share of exports of goods and services
  • Indicator 17.5.1: Implement investment promotion regimes for LDCs*
  • Indicator 17.6.2: Fixed Internet broadband subscriptions
  • Indicator 17.8.1: Proportion of individuals using the Internet
  • Indicator 17.10.1: Worldwide weighted tariff-average*
  • Indicator 17.11.1 Developing countries and LDCs' share of global exports*
  • Indicator 17.12.1: Tariffs faced by developing countries, LDCs and SIDS*

This includes all the indicators for which UNCTAD is a custodian or co-custodian. These indicators fall under goals 10, 12, 16 and 17, covering topics related to trade, tariffs, development finance, debt, investment, illicit finance, and enterprise sustainability.

Custodian agencies of SDG indicators, including UNCTAD, are responsible for developing international standards and recommending methodologies for monitoring SDG indicators. They are also tasked with compiling and verifying country data and metadata, and for submitting the data, along with regional and global aggregates, to the global SDG report and database updated by the United Nations Statistics Division. SDG Pulse covers the following UNCTAD’s custodian indicators, but also many other SDG indicators to describe sustainable development comprehensively.

To see UNCTAD custodian indicators and find related SDG Pulse sections, click on the graph.

UNCTAD in Action

UNCTAD runs a wide-ranging capacity development programme to support progress towards the 2030 Agenda. This report presents some case studies from UNCTAD’s development programme from a statistical perspective – presenting UNCTAD’s activities and successes in hard numbers. These case studies are important as they also illustrate the Results Based Management approach adopted by UNCTAD – helping us to improve our responsiveness and accountability to member states. In 2022, new chapters showcase statistics reflecting UNCTAD’s activities in supporting member States to measure illicit financial flows (SDG 16.4.1), enhance productive capacities, and mobilize financial resources for development in the time of COVID-19.

In Focus

Every year, the SDG Pulse will highlight a specific aspect of the 2030 Agenda and discuss this issue from the slant or perspective of statistics. This year’s theme addresses inclusive growth with a new UNCTAD Inclusive Growth Index that puts people and the planet at the centre of attention. In-Focus analyses countries’ ability to achieve inclusive growth with a particular lens on gender equality and environmental sustainability. It will help to guide more holistic policies pursuing wellbeing for everyone today and in the future.

Data downloads

All data used in maps and charts can be downloaded by clicking on the top right of each data visualization.


The designations employed and the presentation of material on this web site do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of the Secretariat of the United Nations concerning the legal status of any country, territory, city or area or of its authorities, or concerning the delimitation of its frontiers or boundaries. A dispute exists between the Governments of Argentina and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland concerning sovereignty over the

Falkland Islands (Malvinas). The final boundary between the Republic of Sudan and the Republic of South Sudan has not yet been determined. The final status of the following territories has not yet been agreed or determined: Abyei area, Aksai Chin, Arunachal Pradesh, Bi’r Tawil, Hala’ib Triangle, Ilemi Triangle, Jammu and Kashmir, Kuril Islands, Paracel Islands, Scarborough Shoal, Senkaku Islands, Spratly Islands.

The designations “developing” and “developed” are intended for statistical convenience and do not necessarily express a judgement about the stage reached by a particular country or area in the development process. UNCTAD’s grouping of developing and developed economies is based on the former development status classification of the M49 standard, with some recent updates. For more details, see the UNCTADstat classification page.


SDG Pulse was developed by the UNCTAD Statistics Service, led by Anu Peltola, Acting Director. The following staff of the Service prepared the statistics, analysis and design: Sana Al-Jadir, Nour Barnat, Rachid Bouhia, Sonia Blachier, Sanja Blazevic, Ekaterina Chernova, Yoann Chaine, Richard Chalverat, Flavine Creppy, David Cristallo, Denis Gervalle, Victoria Goudeva, Onno Hoffmeister, Daniel Hopp, Ildephonse Mbabazizimana, Bojan Nastav, Anu Peltola, Vania Robelo, Amandine Rushenguziminega, Benny Salo and Anton Sudzik.

The following UNCTAD experts contributed to the drafting of the report with statistics and analysis across divisions: Regina Asariotis, Hassiba Benamara, Omar Benyamina, Andrzej Bolesta, Sonia Bouali, Hamed El Kady, Pilar Fajarnes Garces, Torbjorn Fredriksson, Yihong Gong, Penelope Hawkins, Jan Hoffmann, Daniel Ker, Tomasz Kulaga, Aurélie Legrand, Daniela Magalhaes Prates, Massimo Meloni, Elena Botvina, Samuel Munyaneza, Robyn Narelle Scherrer-Keen, Ngoc Nguyen, Alessandro Nicita, Anila Premti, Diana Rosert, Hidenobu Tokuda Lorenzo Tosini, Frida Youssef and Marina Zucker Marques. In addition, external experts provided crucial support in drafting the report: Anastasia Maga (ESCAP), Diana Camerini (UNODC) and Steve MacFeely (WHO).


  • * Indicator for which UNCTAD is a custodian or co-custodian agency.


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