Second Meeting of the Technical Committee of Arab Statistics Initiative
Date: 21-22 October 2015
Venue: Abu Dhabi - United Arab Emirates

The Second Meeting of the Technical Committee of the Arab Statistics Initiative “ArabStat” was organized by the Arab Monetary Fund (AMF) on 21-22 October 2015 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates with the participation of the representatives of National Statistical Offices (NSOs), Central Banks (CBs) and Ministries of Finance (MoFs) of Arab states, and international organizations including International Monetary Fund (IMF), Islamic Development Bank (IDB), Statistical Center for the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC- Stat), Statistical Economic and Social Research and Training Center for Islamic Countries (SESRIC), and United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (UNESCWA). Dr. Atilla Karaman, Senior Researcher, Statistics and Information Department, represented the Centre thereat.

Following the welcoming remarks of Dr. Abdulrahman Bin Abdullah Al Hamidy, Director General and Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors of the AMF, the participants were presented the achievements of the “ArabStat” initiative under the work programme for 2013-2014 and findings of the survey that were circulated to the member countries concerning their statistical capacity development needs. The second session of the first day went on with the work programme proposed for the upcoming year and was followed with the IMF’s presentation on their statistical activities. The first day of the Meeting was concluded with the statistical experience sharing of Central Department of Statistics and Information (CDSI) of Saudi Arabia, MoFs of UAE and Egypt.

On the second day of the Meeting, the IMF representative presented the implementation of the Enhanced General Data Dissemination System (e-GDDS). Endorsed broadly at the Ninth Review of the IMF’s Data Standards Initiatives in May 2015 and approved by the IMF Executive Board in July 2015, the e-GDDS is expected to support transparency, encourage statistical development, and help create strong synergies between data dissemination and surveillance. The e-GDDS framework is built around four dimensions; i.e., data characteristics, quality, access, and integrity, and is intended to provide guidance for the overall development of macroeconomic, financial, and socio-demographic data. All the countries that participated in the GDDS automatically participate in the e-GDDS. Participation requires:

  • committing to using the e-GDDS as a framework for statistical development;
  • designating a country coordinator; and
  • preparing metadata that describe
    • current practices in the production and dissemination of official statistics, and
    • plans for short- and longer-term improvements in these practices.

The key modifications of e-GDDS to GDDS are:

  • aligning the e-GDDS data categories with the common indicators used by the Fund for surveillance,
  • improving access to data by incorporation of a National Summary Data Page (NSDP) built on a global standard open format, and
  • setting a path to achieving higher dissemination standards by the introduction of dissemination thresholds.

The second session of the second day of the Meeting went on with the presentations of the CBs of Algeria, Egypt, and Kuwait. The third session considered the prospects for the development of the “ArabStat” initiative. The Meeting was concluded with the draft recommedations for the further work of the initative.

The “ArabStat” Initiative, launched in early 2013, aims to assist Arab countries to strengthen their statistical capacities and to promote the implementation of internationally agreed standards, concepts, methods and frameworks for statistical activities. It also aims at promoting the dissemination of statistical information about the Arab region. To carry out its mission effectively, “ArabStat” has two permanent bodies including the Secretariat, carried out by the AMF, and the Steering Committee, an advisory body, whose representatives are from the NSOs, CBs, and MoFs of Arab countries. The Steering Committee Meetings are also open to the representatives of partner development institutions by invitation.

For more information, please visit:


  • Draft Agenda (Arabic) (English)
  • Background Information on the “ArabStat” Initiative (Arabic) (English)
  • Rules of Procedure of the Technical Committee (Arabic) (English)
  • Final Report and Recommendations of the First Meeting of the Technical Committee of Arab Statistics Initiative (Arabic) (English)

*English translations have been provided by the Publications and IT Department of SESRIC and should not be considered as a definitive or official version.