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Includes guidance to help complete your response and explains the Trade Survey for Wales.

First published:
18 November 2019
Last updated:

1. What is the Trade Survey for Wales?

The Trade Survey for Wales is a new survey conducted by the Welsh Government. Entering into the second year of the survey, we are looking to build on last year’s data and capture an accurate picture of Welsh trade in 2019 to improve our understanding of trade flows into and out of businesses located in Wales. This includes goods and services that move within the UK as well as internationally. This will continue to strengthen our knowledge of the impact of trade barriers (both tariff and non-tariff barriers) on specific industries or areas of Wales. Your participation is valuable and will enable us to build a better picture as a basis for improving Welsh Government business support and other interventions around trade.

2. Why is my data important?

The results of the Trade Survey for Wales will be analysed to enable the Welsh Government to build a better understanding of the volume of trade that comes into and out of Wales. Other trade data sources are aggregated into broad categories, and much data is apportioned based on the number of an organisation’s employees in Wales, which may not accurately reflect the activity of the businesses. Your participation could influence decisions that affect key aspects of your business, industry and the entire Welsh economy.

In the previous Trade Survey for Wales, we were able to capture Wales-specific trade data for 2017 and 2018. The data you give in the 2019 Trade Survey for Wales will inform how this picture has changed. We feel this data is of particular importance as we prepare for a future outside of the European Union, as well as the uncertainty facing Welsh businesses due to COVID-19.

3. How is the data used?

The information you provide will be used by Government Statistical Service analysts for statistical and research purposes only. The analysis from the information you provide will allow us to estimate how much Welsh businesses trade with the rest of the world and with other parts of the UK. No information that allows individual businesses to be identified will be made public. The estimates will be published on the statistics and research area of the Welsh Government website in 2020.

Anonymised survey data will be made available via the UK Data Service as a restricted dataset. This anonymised survey data is held securely and is only ever used for non-commercial research purposes, for example by accredited researchers such as academics, once the relevant Data Access Committee has approved their data usage. Data stored in this way may be linked to other relevant datasets in the future. We do not share or use your information for commercial or marketing purposes.

Accredited researchers, such as academics, and other public sector bodies in Wales may also request access to data not available through the UK Data Service. These requests are scrutinised by the Welsh Government’s Chief Statistician and, if approved, are governed by Data Access Agreements issued by the Welsh Government. These formal agreements set out strict requirements for the processing and safekeeping of personal data.

Where the Welsh Government undertakes further analysis or follow up research in support of the purposes outlined above, this work may be carried out by an accredited third party (for example a research organisation or a consultancy company). Any such work will only be undertaken under contract. Welsh Government’s standard terms and conditions for such contracts set out strict requirements for the processing and safekeeping of personal data.

4. How does the Trade Survey for Wales 2019 differ from last year’s survey?

The main difference in this year’s survey is that it asks businesses about their trade activity for a single calendar year (from 1 January 2019 to 31 December 2019). By contrast, the 2018 survey asked businesses to provide their trade data for both 2018 and 2017. Some questions in the purchases section have also been removed. As such it should be quicker and simpler for most respondents to complete the survey. Beyond this, the 2019 survey follows a broadly similar path to the 2018 survey, but with less detail asked of respondents on their export and import products (please see the survey flow path diagram attached to the invitation letter for further detail on this).

The 2019 Trade Survey for Wales is being conducted in a markedly different context to last year’s survey. The past year has been a challenging period for Welsh business, as lockdown and adapting to the ‘new normal’ of a post COVID-19 economy have massively disrupted the way many businesses operate. It is therefore vital that the Welsh Government has access to a wide range of data to understand how businesses can thrive in this new environment. The 2019 Trade Survey for Wales is vital to building a clear picture of the needs of Welsh businesses and how the Welsh Government can support these moving forward.

5. Who are IFF Research?

IFF Research is an independent market research company commissioned by Welsh Government to conduct the Trade Survey for Wales. IFF Research operate under the strict guidelines of the Market Research Society’s code of conduct. If you would like to confirm IFF’s authority to host this survey, please email Welsh Government Trade Analysts on stats.trade@gov.wales. Alternatively, you can contact the Trade Survey for Wales support team at IFF Research on 0300 0259 000 or email tradesurveyforwales@iffresearch.com. These contacts are available Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm.

6. How can I confirm that this is a genuine Welsh Government survey?

IFF Research is an independent market research company who are hosting the Trade Survey for Wales on behalf of Welsh Government. For more information about the survey, please refer to the Trade Survey for Wales. You can contact the Welsh Government trade analysts by emailing stats.trade@gov.wales. Alternatively, you can contact the Trade Survey for Wales support team at IFF Research on 0300 025 9000 or email tradesurveyforwales@iffresearch.com. These contacts are available Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm.

7. Why have I received a reminder when I have already completed the survey?

It is likely that you completed the survey after the reminder letter left our mailing house. If you have completed the online survey, please accept our apologies and disregard the information in the reminder letter you received.

8. Can I give Welsh Government feedback on the design of its questionnaires?

Yes. We appreciate the time you take to complete our questionnaires. If there is anything which you find confusing or difficult we would like to know. There is a section at the end of the questionnaire where you can let us know your thoughts, otherwise please email stats.trade@gov.wales with any other feedback you may want to provide.

9. How was my business selected?

Your business was selected from a UK business directory derived from administrative sources, including Value Added Tax (VAT) and Pay-As-You-Earn (PAYE) registrations, and updated with data gathered from the Office for National Statistics business surveys. Selection depends on many different factors, including the number of people you employ, how many other businesses operate in your industry and the size of those businesses.

10. How have IFF Research got my personal details?

IFF Research were provided with your personal details by Welsh Government via a secure transfer platform. Your data will be treated in strict confidence in line with the provisions of Section 39 of the Statistics and Registration Services Act 2007 and the Code of Practice for Statistics. It is an offence for the Welsh Government or a third party to disclose any details relating to a business or individual.

11. How long will the questionnaire take me to complete?

The length of time it will take to complete the survey will vary depending on:

  • the number of products you sell within the UK
  • the regions your Welsh-based operations exported to and imported from in 2019
  • how easily accessible information about the business’s sales and purchases is to you during the survey. It will be quicker to complete should you have all information to hand.

Respondents to the last survey on average took 49 minutes to respond, however the 2019 survey is shorter so it should not take more than that for the majority to complete. The 2019 Trade Survey for Wales Survey is only asking businesses about their trade activity for a single calendar year. By contrast, the 2018 survey asked businesses to provide their trade data for both 2018 and 2017. As such it should be quicker and simpler for most respondents to complete the survey.

12. I am experiencing technical issues with the survey

If you are experience any technical issues when accessing or completing the survey, please contact the Trade Survey for Wales support team at IFF Research on 0300 025 9000 or email tradesurveyforwales@iffresearch.com. These contacts are available Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm.

13. What if I don’t have any data to report?

Even if your business didn’t make any sales or purchases between 1 January 2019 and 31 December 2019 please register via the portal and enter this information. Reporting a genuine zero for sales and/or purchases is as valid as any other figure as we are measuring business trends.

14. Will my data be kept confidential?

Yes. Your data will be treated as commercial-in-confidence in line with the provisions of Section 39 of the Statistics and Registration Services Act 2007 and the Code of Practice for Statistics. It is an offence for the Welsh Government to disclose any details relating to a business or individual. Your business data will never be identifiable in any published statistics.

15. My business is in administration or receivership, can I still complete the questionnaire?

Yes. Businesses in administration or receivership can still trade. If you are unable to supply the information it would be helpful if you could inform us of the name and address of the administrator or receiver.

16. Can I provide estimates?

Yes. We allow estimates to lessen the burden placed on businesses. An informed estimate from you is acceptable, if you are unable to provide exact figures from your business accounting system.

17. How to complete the questionnaire

The survey will ask for 2019 data. For this, we would prefer data for the calendar year (1 January 2019 to 31 December 2019) to be reported.

If this information is difficult to access, please provide data for the relevant financial year.

18. I am not primarily based in Wales, can I still complete the survey?

Yes. As long as you have Welsh-based operations then we want to hear from you. You are still eligible for the survey if your headquarters are outside of Wales.

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