The IMF Working Papers series is designed to make IMF staff research available to a wide audience. Almost 300 Working Papers are released each year, covering a wide range of theoretical and analytical topics, including balance of payments, monetary and fiscal issues, global liquidity, and national and international economic developments.
This paper looks at the causes of the reduction in trade finance in South East Asian countries post-1997, with a particular focus on the role of export credit agencies. It concludes that while such agencies did not cause or prolong the problem, they did not contribute significantly to a solution. The paper also suggests some implications from events in South East Asia for both traditional debt-relief mechanisms and for the architecture of the international financial system.