CEPII, Recherche et Expertise sur l'economie mondiale


CHELEM (Comptes Harmonisés sur les Echanges et L’Economie Mondiale) entails 3 bases linked by a common worldwide geographical classification organized in 95 elementary zones and aggregates:
CHELEM – TRADE gives data on bilateral flows on all traded goods, in 3 classifications (71 CHELEM categories, 43 GTAP categories or 147 4-digit ISIC categories), since 2000 ;
CHELEM – GDP on populations, Growth Domestic Products (in value, in volume and in PPP volume) and exchange rates, so as GDP in value and in PPP volume per capita, for about 200 countries, since 1960 ;
CHELEM – BOP on balances of payments, for about 200 countries, since 1967.

CHELEM-BOP-INDIC and CHELEM-TRADE-INDIC display 7 indicators (coverage rate; openness degree; position by market; exports, imports and balances reported to GDP; comparative avdantages), respectively on current balance items and on products and services).
Please read the CEPII working paper. If you do not find answers to your questions, contact-us.

Reference document to cite: de Saint Vaulry, A. (2008), “Base de données CHELEM - Commerce international du CEPII”, Document de travail du CEPII, N°2008-09  BibTeX

Person in charge & contact: Pierre Cotterlaz, chelemcepii.fr


The most recent version of CHELEM is available online with DBnomics.

The July 2022 version is available below:


The CHELEM – International Trade (TRADE) database:
de Saint Vaulry, A. (2013), “CHELEM - TRADE – Building method of the CEPII database”, Mimeo, November.
The CHELEM – International Trade database contains the bilateral flows of all traded goods expressed in millions of current US$ since 1967. The sectoral classification has been chosen to provide the optimal fit with international trade and production classifications. The data from the different sources are harmonised and rendered consistent in a framework spanning the entire world and all goods. For each year and product category, trade between the 95 geographical zones (countries or group of countries) is therefore represented by a unique and harmonised matrix. In particular, freight and insurance costs, as well as re-exports and re-imports, are removed.
The flows of goods are detailed in either 71 TRADE-CHELEM product categories, 43 TRADE-GTAP categories or 147 TRADE-ISIC categories, to which are added the non-allocated product category and the total products. Product categories may be aggregated by industries, by stages in the production process, by intermediate sections, by sectors or by technological levels. Geographical aggregates are also available.

The CHELEM – GDP database:
The CHELEM – Gross Domestic Product database consists of seven series among which three are estimations of Gross Domestic Products: GDP in value (current prices and millions of dollars); GDP in volume (constant, 2017 prices and millions of dollars); GDP based on Purchasing Power Parity (PPP, constant, 2017 prices and international millions of dollars). The series of total population (millions of inhabitants at mid-year) and nominal exchange rate complete the database, as well as two indicators: GDP in value per capita (in current dollars) and PPP GDP per capita (in 2017 PPP dollars).
The CHELEM – GDP series begin in 1960. The data posterior to the last available year in CHELEM - International Trade and Balance of payments databases are based on estimations of the IMF (World Economic Outlook). As the two other CHELEM databases, it covers the whole world at the level of the common classification of 95 elementary zones, but also presents a more detailed level with 201 countries or individualised statistical territories. Some small countries, as Porto Rico and the US Virgin Islands in North America, Andorra and others in Europe and South Sudan in Africa, are added to the aggregates.
The CHELEM – GDP database is mainly based on the WDI databases of the World Bank (World Development Indicators) for Populations, the OECD (National Accounts), the World Bank (WDI) and the IMF (World Economic Outlook database) for GDP, but also on national sources and the CIA (Factbook). The population and GDP series are extrapolated to 2026 in the primary sources and available in CHELEM.
Nominal exchange rates make it possible to express in a single currency unit (US dollar) the GDP supplied in national currency by the national statistical institutes. But in order to be comparable, GDP still has to be valued in the same price system, since the purchasing power of a dollar can be very different from one country to another. Thus, the size of the market and the standard of living of the population of advanced economies, where price levels are higher, tend to be overestimated when GDP is converted at current exchange rates, while conversely, those of emerging and developing economies tend to be underestimated. The International Comparison Project (ICP), launched in the late 1960s under the aegis of the United Nations Statistical Commission and coordinated by the World Bank, aims to make these comparisons on the basis of standardized surveys which make it possible to estimate, in each country, the price of the same basket of goods and services. A country’s Purchasing Power Parity (PPP) exchange rate is the rate at which its basket could be exchanged for the one of the reference country. The PPP GDPs are estimated in 2017 prices, results of a new round of comparisons for year 2017 published by the ICP in May 2020.
To construct the series of GDP in PPP from 1960 to the last available year, the GDP in PPP of the year 2017 are extrapolated forward and backward with the evolution indices of GDP in volume (series GDP-VO of CHELEM). For some countries, the conversion rates for the previous base year (usually 2011) have been used.

The CHELEM - Balance of Payments (BOP) database:
The CHELEM – GDP database contains information on the flows of the Balance of Payments since 1967. The main source of data is the IMF Balance of payments in its different historical versions.The IMF data are completed, if needed, by national data (Taiwan for example) and extrapolated backwards. This data covers the entire world, about 200 countries, as well as the 95 elementary zones identified by the common classification to all Chelem databases. They are displayed in a classification aggregated in 29 credit accounts, 29 debit accounts, 36 balance accounts and 7 specific balance accounts, presenting the main headings of the classification recommended by the International Monetary Fund in the sixth manual of the Balance of Payments (2008). Since trade is not broken down by partners in this database, flows are not harmonised. At the world level, exports (credits) therefore differ from imports (debits), unlike the harmonised flows of the CHELEM – International Trade, BACI and WTFC databases.
The data are expressed in millions of current dollars.