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Use cases

A diverse group of companies and individuals rely on the International Trade Service for their research and project needs. The following section includes some examples to illustrate how the EasyData International Trade Service can make a valuable impact.

Example 1: A gravity model of trade

The requirement

A consulting firm is tasked with building a gravity model[1] to advise the government on future trade policy formulation.

The gravity model will help predict trade flows between the country and its trade partners based on the size of their respective economies and the distances between them. Typical data series that are used include total and sectoral exports between countries, exchange rates, distances between trade partners and respective gross domestic products. Once the gravity model is run, model predictions can then be compared to actual trade flows in order to highlight underperforming sectors that require policy support.

The problem

Shortcomings to finding accurate and reliable trade data include commodity classification systems that are not uniform across sources, an abundance of sources providing current trade figures but few sources providing historical trade data as well as aggregated data that does not allow for sectoral specific analysis.

The solution

Access to the International Trade Service, via our EasyData service, simplifies the collection of trade data considerably. The service includes a comprehensive set of trade data between South Africa and its trade partners. The data is available from a single location and can be downloaded collectively in Excel and CSV formats.



The gravity model of trade in international economics, similar to other gravity models in social science, predicts bilateral trade flows based on the economic sizes of (often using GDP measurements) and distance between two units.