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International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
IMF Managing Director Horst Köhler has recommended for Executive Board approval a transitional program for Argentina. The IMF said that while providing no net new financing, the arrangement would provide financial support and an extension of payment expectations to the IMF through August 2003. The Executive Board is expected to review the transitional program in the coming days.
International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
George T. Abed, a Palestinian and a Jordanian national, took over this summer as Director of the IMF’s Middle Eastern Department. In his distinguished 20-year career at the IMF, he has worked on the Middle East and on fiscal policy issues worldwide. Outside the IMF, he taught at the University of California, Berkeley, and managed a development assistance foundation in Geneva, Switzerland. Laura Wallace spoke with him about the region’s prospects amid political tensions and difficult economic challenges. Besides modernizing the state and liberalizing the region’s economy, he stressed the paramount importance of democracy, human development, and attention to social needs.
Mr. Christopher J. Jarvis, Mr. Balázs Horváth, and Mr. Michael G. Kuhn

Abstract

This study discusses the importance of export credits, their recent growth, and the trend toward more extensive reliance by official bilateral creditors on export credits as an instrument of financial support, and raises a number of issues regarding the role and limitations of export credit financing, espeically for economies in transition.

Hollis B. Chenery

An understanding of the relationship between overall growth and structural change is central to any choice of priorities in development policy. The author summarizes results from several econometric studies of structural change and the source of economic growth, and identifies the principal strategies that have led to successful development in the past 20 years.

Mr. Christopher J. Jarvis, Mr. Balázs Horváth, and Mr. Michael G. Kuhn

Abstract

Export credit agencies play a critical role in financing for developing countries. Their primary objective is the promotion of national exports through insurance or direct extension of export credits, but their support for exporters also gives importers in developing countries access to finance in situations and on terms that are not available from private markets.

Mr. Christopher J. Jarvis, Mr. Balázs Horváth, and Mr. Michael G. Kuhn

Abstract

This chapter examines recent trends and developments in officially supported export credits. The basic features of official support for export credits and the institutional arrangements for providing official export credit support, which differ widely from country to country, are summarized in Boxes 1 and 2.2 Box 1 also contains background material on the basic principles underlying officially supported export credits, explanations of some of the key concepts used in the paper, and a description of the main instruments used by export credit agencies.

Mr. Christopher J. Jarvis, Mr. Balázs Horváth, and Mr. Michael G. Kuhn

Abstract

Export credit agencies are in the business of export promotion through the provision or coverage of export credits, often on terms better than those available in the market. But this involves taking risks.9 This means that financial results hinge crucially on two factors: realistic pricing and diversification of risks. Agencies thus face a dilemma between assuming risks that threaten their financial positions and eschewing such risks at the cost of a loss of business for exporters. Their experiences over the past decade and, in particular, their continued weak financial performance, have heightened this dilemma.

Mr. Christopher J. Jarvis, Mr. Balázs Horváth, and Mr. Michael G. Kuhn

Abstract

Agencies observed that their most important decision resulting from the risk assessment process was whether to provide export credit cover to a country or not. Every agency was off cover altogether for some countries where the stance of policies, the track record, and the external environment appeared to offer little prospect that the country would be in a position to service new loans on commercial terms. However, almost every agency covered in this study was on cover for political reasons for some countries for which cover would not be made available if the outcome of the risk assessment process had been the only determinant of cover policy.