In the Doha Round, negotiators are discussing the elimination or continuation of the special agricultural safeguards introduced by the Uruguay Round as well as the creation of special safeguard mechanism for use by developing countries. This paper argues that, in violation of the spirit of the WTO Agreement in Agriculture, the special agricultural safeguards have often been used as a prolonged protectionist device. It then draws lessons for the design of the special safeguard mechanism.
In recent years, the IMF has released a growing number of reports and other documents covering economic and financial developments and trends in member countries. Each report, prepared by a staff team after discussions with government officials, is published at the option of the member country.
The sensitivity of secondary sovereign loan market returns to three classes of economic news is estimated in the arbitrage pricing theory framework. Returns are characterized by a limited response to unexpected changes in procyclical U.S. aggregates. Shocks to country-specific balance of payment indicators do not impact debt prices. Announcements of policy changes by creditors and third parties that presage changes in future lending induce large debt price changes. The failure of the data to meet the empirical arbitrage pricing theory restrictions and the large proportion of return variance unexplained by macroeconomic fundamentals highlight the differences between corporate and sovereign securities.
The proposal to set up an international debt facility to buy the debt of developing countries at a discount and then mark down its contractual value is analyzed. The paper considers the central question of how the debtor countries, creditor banks, and owners of the facility would be affected; in particular, what redistribution of gains and losses there would be among them. The “market price effect” and the “ceiling effect” are distinguished. A crucial consideration is whether debt retained by banks is subordinated to debt bought by the facility.
International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
This paper highlights that since its inception in 1956, the International Finance Corporation (IFC) has invested more than US$1.7 billion in nearly 300 enterprises in 62 developing countries in total projects costing about US$9 billion. The IFC is the affiliate of the World Bank, which has been given the specific task of furthering economic development by encouraging the growth of productive private enterprise in developing countries. The paper underscores that IFC plays an essentially catalytic role in generating investment funds from local and foreign sources.