The world economy is in an active phase of globalisation under the joint influence of three factors:
Official statisticians see their role changing rapidly:
Official statistics in the European Union provide a live illustration of theses changes. Strictly comparable statistics in a growing number are required to support EU policy making and monitoring, making the EU the most active producer of statistical standards at the end of this century.
Eurostat is in charge of leading this production of statistical standards. We make sure that this production also contributes fully to the required development of the World Statistical System by adequate and continuous consultations at the early stages of this production.
The UN Conference of European Statisticians is playing a key role in this consultation and co-ordination process.
Official statistical systems have to respond to these radical changes under severe resource constraints. We have learnt that it requires strong improvements in their efficiency and productivity, leading in some cases to the use of Total Quality Management methods, in other cases to out-sourcing parts of their operation processes to the private sector.
A closer and more systematic collaboration between official statisticians, academic statisticians and the private sector is essential in the shift from survey launching to data mining, which is gradually happening.
I think ISI should be an active institution to promote this type of collaboration or joint ventures.