How the World Integrated Trade Solution (WITS) is helping understand global commerce

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This blog is part of a series about WITS, the World Integrated Trade Solution, a collaborative trade data platform developed by the World Bank and other institutions.


Trade has played a significant role in fostering economic prosperity and has been a key marker of human civilization for millennia. Today, in an increasingly interconnected world, international trade continues to play a pivotal role in driving economic growth, fostering global relationships, and enhancing the quality of life for billions of people.

As nations continue to engage in cross-border transactions, the need for streamlined and efficient trade processes becomes clearer than ever. The World Integrated Trade Solution (WITS) has emerged as a valuable resource for millions of yearly users looking to analyze and understand international trade data. 

WITS—a collaborative effort by the World Bank’s Development Data Group, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), the World Trade Organization, the UN Statistics Division, and the International Trade Centre – allows users worldwide to access an array of data on international trade and trade protection, and provides users tools to analyze the data for better understanding of complex trade data, regulations, tariffs, and market trends. 

 

What does WITS offer? 

WITS offers four key features and benefits: 

  • Understanding trade flows: At the heart of WITS lies a comprehensive data repository, aggregating trade, and trade protection data from multiple international agencies into a single platform. It not only allows users to query the underlying data but also to perform aggregations to understand flows of individual and grouped products between countries or group of countries.  

    For example, users can tally up the total trade of BRICS countries as a group, derive percentage share in the group, and find major partners. Similarly, products can be analyzed individually like rice exports and imports, or collectively as food grains exports and imports. 
     

    Figure 1: Food product export by country in 2021 

 
 

  • Tariff analysis to understand impact of trade policies: WITS users can explore tariff data and perform custom tariff simulations to gauge the potential impact of tariff cuts or free-trade agreements trade flows, revenues, and increases in people’s living standards. This empowers governments to make informed decisions on trade policies and strategies.
     

    Figure 2: Weighted Average tariff from 2017 to 2021

  • Trade competitiveness insights: WITS offers tools to measure a country's trade competitiveness, allowing policymakers to find areas for improvement and implement targeted interventions to boost exports. 
     

    Figure 3: Export, import, and trade balance

  

 

 

 

  • Trade insights for all: For general users who would like to look up often sought-after trade data, WITS supplies pre-aggregated trade data that users can access easily. This includes information such as the total exports or imports of a country, who its major trading partners are, and what products are exported and imported. 

    A vast array of trade data visualization is also made available. These range from simple tree maps of  export and import of products by country to partners all the way to global network chart to understand the interplay of trade between countries.  
     

    Figure 4: Australia exports by country in 2021 
     

    australia export partners

 

 

A collaborative effort for maximum impact 

The World Integrated Trade Solution embodies the strengths of each international agency that constitutes its partnership in one easy-to-use platform. Through strategic collaboration, the partners ensure minimal duplication of efforts, maximizing efficiency and resource use. This collaborative approach has resulted in an exceptionally large repository of trade and tariff data, along with powerful analytical tools, all made available to the public in a user-friendly and cost-effective manner. 

 

Get your trade wits with WITS 

WITS is freely accessible to all. Embark on your journey of trade exploration by visiting the WITS website and immersing yourself in the world of international trade. (For trade practitioners seeking advanced features, free registration and login are recommended.) If you do not know where to begin or need a refresher about how WITS works, check out our free video tutorials and online course

Join the community of WITS users and get your trade wits with WITS. If you have a trade-related question, cannot find the data you are looking for, or have suggestions for us, please feel free to get in touch via wits@worldbank.org
 



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Sourish Dutta
February 23, 2024

Excellent service! Keep it up! All the very best!