Job Opening

Posting Title: Consultant Arab Trade Imbalance Tracker- ATIT
Department/Office: Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia
Duty Station: BEIRUT
Posting Period: 02 March 2023 - 08 March 2023
Job Opening Number: 23-Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia-203450-Consultant
Staffing Exercise N/A
United Nations Core Values: Integrity, Professionalism, Respect for Diversity
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Result of Service

The tracker and the GAMS’s program should include additional features that allow flexible aggregation of both products and countries to match the up-to-date preferential trade arrangements linking all Arab countries with their partners.

The GAMS code should be tested using three databases:
- Aggregate trade imbalances by origin and destination 2010-2022
- Product level imbalance by origin and destination 2010-2022
- Monthly and quarterly trade data (aggregate and product level) data for only 2023

Work Location


Expected duration

4 months

Duties and Responsibilities

Since the full implementation of multiple FTAs in the Arab region, many Arab countries are either initiating safeguard measures or simply freezing specific FTAs’ provisions to reduce their trade imbalances. ESCWA is suggesting a new toolkit to track trade imbalance for its MSs and assist them in timely defining and adopting the most appropriate trade remedies.
The Arab Trade Imbalances Tracker (ATIT) can be used to gauge, through time, the vulnerability of individual Arab countries to the buildup of imbalances in the current account (of which trade deficits or surpluses are the largest component).
The consultant is expected to develop a GAMS’s code specific to the purpose of the Arab Trade Imbalance Tracker (ATIT) and to test the tracker at both aggregate level and product level at HS2 level. Using the tested code, ESCWA will extend its application to more disaggregated levels of product classification including HS4 and HS6 levels.
The code will start by computing key macroeconomic variables on trade imbalances at the aggregate level of trade in goods by year and partner.
The preliminary list of variables includes:
- total trade deficit or surplus per year in USD billions
- total trade deficit or surplus by origin and year
- total trade deficit or surplus as % of GDP
- total trade deficit or surplus as % of total exports of goods
- share of total trade deficit or surplus as % of total current account revenue and current account balance
The above indicators will be estimated per year and placed under a tab on historical macro trade balances.
Then the code will be developed further to allow computing specific indicators at product level:
- trade deficit or surplus at product level and by year
- trade deficit or surplus at product level by origin and year
- share of trade deficit or surplus by product as % of total imbalances by year
- share of trade deficit or surplus by product and origin as % of total imbalances of the same product by year
- Additional indicators may be added during the estimation.

In addition to the historical trend, the ATIT will also track latest changes at monthly and quarterly levels using timely data published by the IMF and ITC’s on their respective trade portals. The ATIT, an early alert toolkit, will be uploaded on ESCWA’s Arab Trade Gateway website as a new tab offering to the officials from member countries a quick assessment of the origins of trade deficits, which will assist them in the design and implementation of appropriate trade remedies.

In addition to develop the GAMS code and test it at aggregate and HS2 levels, the consultant is expected also to provide a technical paper describing the steps in using the track at both levels of aggregation as well as for historical and up to do trade flows.

Qualifications/special skills

A Master’s degree in applied Economics or any other related area is required. A PhD is desirable.

All candidates must submit a copy of the required educational degree. Incomplete applications will not be reviewed.
A minimum of five years of relevant experience in trade analysis using global database such as TradeMap and COMTRADE is required.
Proven intensive experience in mathematical programming using GAMS software is required.


Languages English and French are the working languages of the United Nations Secretariat; and Arabic is a working language of ESCWA.

For this position, fluency in Arabic and English is required.

Note: “Fluency” equals a rating of ‘fluent’ in all four areas (speak, read, write, and understand) and “Knowledge of” equals a rating of ‘confident’ in two of the four areas.

No Fee


Sorry, this job opening is no longer available.
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