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FATS Statistics:Producing Statistics for Broadly-Defined Trade in Services *1

July 2005
Eika Yamaguchi*2

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  • *1 Special thanks to Professor Fukunari Kimura (Keio University) for his valuable comments, and Tetsuya Matsunaga (International Department, Bank of Japan), Hidetoshi Takeda (IMF) and Satoru Hagino (International Department, Bank of Japan) for guidance received in the writing of this paper. I received useful comments from Maiko Wada (International Department, Bank of Japan), Toru Ohmori (Research and Statistics Department, Bank of Japan) and other staff members of the International Department. I appreciate assistance of Michael Mann and Maria Borga (Bureau of Economic Analysis, International Investment Division, U.S. Department of Commerce) and Akira Ichikawa (Research and Statistics Department, Economic and Industrial Policy Bureau, Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry) in confirmation of facts. Needless to say, I am responsible for any errors that may remain in this paper. The views expressed herein are those of the author and do not reflect those of the Bank of Japan or International Department.
  • *2 Bank of Japan International Department (E-mail: eika.yamguchi@boj.or.jp)

Summary

  • FATS (Foreign Affiliates Trade in Services) statistics illuminate the activities of the overseas affiliates of multinational corporations. FATS statistics are drawing attention as a supplement to balance of payments statistics, which reflect only resident-to-nonresident transactions. While many companies provide services in other economies through overseas branches or affiliates, such services are excluded from balance of payments statistics because branches and affiliates are considered to be the residents of the "economy in which they are located." The United States has been compiling data similar to FATS statistics since the 1950s. Eurostat has been compiling FATS statistics for the EU since the second half of the 1990s using a uniform survey format.
  • Japan has various micro-economic surveys that are extremely similar to FATS. However, by international comparison, Japan's FATS statistics are not necessarily well developed.
  • FATS statistics are useful in gauging the influence of foreign direct investment and the impact of entry barriers levied on foreign companies.
  • For the development of FATS statistics, it is desirable to establish a consultation for discussion involving both compilers and users of these statistics.