Over the last two decades, international organisations such as the OECD, International Monetary Fund (IMF), International Labour Organisation (ILO), United Nations Statistical Division (UNSD) and the Statistical Office of the European Communities (Eurostat), in collaboration with national statistical agencies, have developed a comprehensive set of international statistical guidelines and recommendations covering almost all statistical domains1. This work continues as new areas of statistical need arise (ecommerce, biotechnology, etc) and old standards require revision. The primary aims of these statistical standards are promotion of best practice and use of common concepts in the statistics compiled by national agencies and international organisations alike. Both are prerequisites for the compilation of statistics that can be readily used in international comparisons.

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