Front Matter

Front Matter

Author(s):
International Monetary Fund
Published Date:
March 1990
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    World Economic and Financial Surveys

    January 1988International Capital Markets: Developments and Prospects, by Maxwell Watson, Donald Mathieson, Russell Kincaid, David Folkerts-Landau, Klaus Regling, and Caroline Atkinson.
    February 1988Officially Supported Export Credits: Developments and Prospects, by K. Burke Dillon and Luis Duran-Downing, with Miranda Xafa.
    April 1988World Economic Outlook: A Survey by the Staff of the International Monetary Fund.
    May 1988Multilateral Official Debt Rescheduling: Recent Experience, by Peter M. Keller, with Nissanke E. Weerasinghe.
    May 1988Primary Commodities: Market Developments and Outlook, by the Commodities Division of the Research Department.
    July 1988Staff Studies for the World Economic Outlook, by the Research Department of the International Monetary Fund.
    October 1988World Economic Outlook: Revised Projections, by the Staff of the International Monetary Fund.
    April 1989World Economic Outlook: A Survey by the Staff of the International Monetary Fund.
    April 1989International Capital Markets: Developments and Prospects, by a Staff Team from the Exchange and Trade Relations and Research Departments.
    July 1989Primary Commodities: Market Developments and Outlook, by the Commodities Division of the Research Department.
    August 1989Staff Studies for the World Economic Outlook, by the Research Department of the International Monetary Fund.
    September 1989Developments in International Exchange and Trade Systems, by a Staff Team from the Exchange and Trade Relations Department.
    October 1989World Economic Outlook: A Survey by the Staff of the International Monetary Fund.
    April 1990International Capital Markets: Developments and Prospects, by a Staff Team from the Exchange and Trade Relations and Research Departments.
    May 1990Officially Supported Export Credits: Developments and Prospects, by G.G. Johnson, Matthew Fisher, and Elliott Harris.

    © 1990 International Monetary Fund

    Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

    Johnson, G. G.

    Officially supported export credits—developments and prospects.

    (World economic and financial surveys, ISSN 0258-7440)

    1. Export credit. I. Fisher, Matthew. II. Harris, Elliott (Elliott C.) III. Title. IV. Series.

    HG3753.J64 1990

    382’.63 90-4577

    ISBN 1-55775-139-0

    Price: US$15.00

    (US$10.00 university libraries, faculty, and students)

    Address orders to:

    External Relations Department, Publication Services

    International Monetary Fund, Washington, D.C. 20431

    Contents

    The following symbols have been used throughout this book:

    • … to indicate that data are not available;

    • — to indicate that the figure is zero or less than half the digit shown, or that the item does not exist;

      – between years or months (e.g., 1988–89 or January–June) to indicate the years or months covered, including the beginning and ending years or months;

      / between years (e.g., 1988/89) to indicate a crop or fiscal (financial) year.

    “Billion” means a thousand million.

    Details may not add to totals shown because of rounding.

    Preface

    This study is based on discussions of Fund staff with export credit agencies and government authorities of the ten major industrial countries plus Spain during May–July 1989. The discussions were attended by two or more of the authors, all of whom were staff members of the Fund’s Exchange and Trade Relations Department.

    Developments in officially supported export credits have been the subject of three earlier papers prepared by Fund staff. The first, Export Credit Cover Policies and Payments Difficulties, was published as Occasional Paper No. 37 in August 1985. The second and third reports were published in the World Economic and Financial Survey series in July 1986 and February 1988, respectively. The first two papers were prepared on the basis of staff visits to the Group of Ten governments and their export credit agencies in the spring of 1984 and the fall of 1985. For the third paper discussions were held in the spring of 1987, and the coverage was extended to include the Government and export credit agency of Spain.

    The agencies participating in the present review were the Export-Import Bank (Eximbank), United States; Export Credits Guarantee Department (ECGD), United Kingdom; Compañia Española de Seguros de Crédito a la Exportación S.A. (CESCE), Spain; Compagnie Française d’Assurance pour le Commerce Extérieur (COFACE), France; Hermes Kreditversicherungs-A.G. (Hermes), Federal Republic of Germany; Export-Import Insurance Division, International Trade Policy Bureau, Ministry of International Trade and Industry (EID/MITI), Japan; Export-Import Bank of Japan (EXIM Japan); Export Development Corporation (EDC), Canada; Exportkreditnamnden (EKN), Sweden; Nederlandsche Credietverzekering Maatschappij, N.V. (NCM), the Netherlands; Sezione Speciale per l’Assicurazione del Credito all’Esportazione (SACE), Italy; and Office National du Ducroire (OND), Belgium. The staff also held discussions with the secretariat of the International Union of Credit and Investment Insurers (Berne Union) in London, with the staff of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) in Paris, with the staff of the Commission of the European Communities in Brussels, and with World Bank staff.

    The paper has benefited from comments by the export credit agencies and the national authorities of the 11 countries visited, as well as by Executive Directors of the Fund. The descriptions of policies and practices and the discussion of issues reflect the views of the staff and should not be attributed to any individual agency or national government nor to the management and Executive Directors of the Fund.

    The paper is organized as follows: Section I provides a brief summary. Section II discusses trends and prospects for the volume of export credits and reviews recent developments in export credit policies and programs. Section III discusses the debt strategy followed by official creditors, and the policy of export credit agencies in dealing with countries rescheduling debts owed to Paris Club creditors. It then goes on to describe methods that have been adopted to improve the overall quality of export credits, and includes discussions on recent developments in project finance and the use of escrow accounts. Finally, Section IV discusses the financial strains and structural changes in official support for export credits. After reviewing recent developments in the OECD Arrangement on Guidelines for Officially Supported Export Credits (the Consensus), the paper discusses the impact of competition from private insurers and the possible consequences of the introduction of the Single European Market for officially supported export credits.

    Appendix I reviews the evolution of cover policy toward 14 developing countries. Appendix II describes the available statistics on officially supported export credits, and discusses the major shortcomings of these series. Appendix III discusses the financial position of agencies, and recent changes in their accounting practices. Appendix IV describes developments in, and the operations of, the OECD Consensus. Appendix V provides a glossary of terms commonly used in the area of export credits.

    Secretarial assistance during the staff visits was ably provided by Judith Kooleshevich; and research assistance was provided by Christine Hörbinger and Hassanin Ismeail, all of the Exchange and Trade Relations Department. The paper was typed by Nadia Khattak and Sulochana Kamaldinni. The authors would also like to thank the editor, Sheila Meehan, of the External Relations Department.

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