1. Balance of payments statistics are included in a broad set of economic statistics known as the national accounts. The System of National Accounts 1993 (1993 SNA) presents the conceptual framework for the national accounts, and the fifth edition (1993) of the Balance of Payments Manual (the BPM) presents the conceptual framework and the structure and classification of the balance of payments. The high level of concordance between the 1993 SNA and the BPM is extremely important.1 This first chapter of the Balance of Payments Textbook (the Textbook) presents the balance of payments conceptual framework and certain internationally agreed-upon accounting conventions that have influenced the shape of that framework. These concepts and specific aspects of methodology are elaborated in subsequent Textbook chapters.