IN the past year, further steps have been taken toward the goal of a multilateral world payments system free from exchange restrictions, which is envisaged in the Fund Agreement. Also, and equally important, moves made in this direction in previous years have been consolidated and strengthened. These culminated, early in 1961, as noted in Chapter 2, in the formal acceptance of the obligations of Article VIII by 11 further countries. The currencies of all these countries had in fact been externally convertible for some time prior to their taking this step; the European countries had established de facto external convertibility at the end of 1958.1 Practically all of the currencies used to finance international trade and payments are now convertible under Article VIII of the Fund Agreement.