Definition: Foreign AffiliaTes Statistics
Balance of payments
Foreign AffiliaTes Statistics (FATS) describe the overall activity of foreign affiliates. FATS measure the commercial presence, as defined by GATS, through affiliates in foreign markets.
Source: Recommendations Manual on the Production of Foreign AffiliaTes Statistics (FATS), 2007
Foreign AffiliaTes Statistics (FATS) define the activities of foreign affiliates and consists of inward and outward FATS statistics. While the former measures the presence of foreign-controlled affiliates in the compiling country, the latter focuses on affiliates abroad controlled by entities that are based in the compiling country.
A foreign affiliate is defined in the context of outward FATS as an enterprise not resident in the compiling country over which an institutional unit resident in the compiling country has control. FATS focuses on affiliates that are majority-owned, i.e. more than 50% of ordinary shares or voting power are controlled by a foreign entity.
Control is determined at the end of the reference period. However, there can be special cases, such as multiple minority ownership and joint ventures, where the definition of control is more complex. Furthermore, control over an enterprise can be exercised directly or indirectly through one or more intermediate units. Indirect control should also be considered when providing data. If indirectly controlled foreign affiliates are not considered, it can lead to huge underestimation in the collection of the FATS data, since many enterprises might have indirect ownership links to foreign affiliates.
Source: Eurostat, Statistics in Focus, No. 21/2009, Office for Official Publications of the European Communities, Luxembourg, 2009
Eurostat, "Recommendations Manual on the Production of Foreign AffiliaTes Statistics (FATS)", Methodologies and Working papers, 2007 Edition