Abstract

I would like today to discuss selected issues in the design and implementation of trade reforms based on our experience with adjustment programs supported by the use of Fund resources. It would be useful at the outset to examine the recent record on adoption of trade reform measures in developing countries and in economies in transition. We surveyed 78 Fund-supported programs with 59 countries approved in 1990–93 under Stand-By Arrangements, the Extended Fund Facility (EFF), the Structural Adjustment Facility (SAF), and the Enhanced Structural Adjustment Facility (ESAF).1 Measuring trade regimes, especially quantitative restrictions (QRs), across such a large group of countries is rather difficult. The assessment of QRs was based on the import and export coverage and the intensity of the respective QRs. The tariff regime was specified in terms of average tariff levels inclusive of various other duties and charges that add to the cost of imports. The tariff and QR regime was combined to provide an indication of the overall trade policy stance. Countries were ranked in terms of whether their trade regimes were relatively open, moderately restricted, or very restricted.