Chapter

Chapter 6 Economic Developments in the Primary Producing Countries

Author(s):
International Monetary Fund
Published Date:
September 1964
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Prices of Primary Products

FOR the primary producing countries, the most important economic development in 1963 and the first part of 1964 was the marked upturn in the prices of primary products (see Chart 16). On the average, these prices (excluding that of petroleum, which was unchanged) were approximately 10 per cent higher in 1963 than in 1962. Roughly half of this rise reflects the upsurge of the “world” price of sugar, which nearly trebled between 1962 and 1963; the average gain excluding sugar amounted to not more than 5 per cent. Prices of foodstuffs (excluding sugar) exceeded the 1962 level by some 6 per cent, while those of raw materials, which had been much better maintained in preceding years, showed a smaller rise.

Chart 16.Primary Producing Countries: Prices of Commodities Exported (Excluding Petroleum), 1957–63

(1957=100)

As prices tended to turn upward during the year, particularly in the last quarter, the general level of primary product prices at the end of 1963 exceeded that at the end of 1962 by nearly 15 per cent, or, if sugar is excluded, by about 9 per cent. This upward movement continued into 1964 and, early in that year, the over-all price level (including or excluding sugar) had reached that prevailing in 1957, i.e., prior to the most recent general downturn of primary product prices.

In assessing the significance of the price increases in 1963 for export receipts in that year, it is important to remember that changes in prices on world markets are as a rule reflected only partly in average prices received by primary producing countries. Though prices had risen by nearly 10 per cent between 1962 and 1963, preliminary data on export receipts indicate that average unit values of primary producing countries (excluding Canada and major petroleum exporters) rose by less than 4 per cent.

To some extent, this considerable difference is explained by the fact that most of the price increases in 1963 occurred toward the end of the year and, in view of the time lag between sales and actual shipment, were not yet reflected in unit values. Moreover, exports of the primary producing countries include certain goods, e.g., some manufactures, whose prices are more stable than those covered by over-all price indices. Furthermore, many agricultural products are customarily sold in the early part, or even in advance, of the crop season, at or close to the prices prevailing at that time; subsequent price changes have little, if any, effect on prices received by exporters. Thus the greater part of the West African cocoa crop exported in the course of 1963 had been sold by the end of January, prior to the considerable rise in prices. Consequently, average unit values for these exports were only about 7 per cent higher than in 1962, while average market prices showed an increase of well over 20 per cent. Again, the first steep advance of sugar quotations occurred in May 1963, when practically no sugar was available in major exporting countries. Moreover, more than half of the sugar trade moves under contract prices, which rose much less than market quotations. Though the latter nearly trebled between 1962 and 1963, increases in the unit value of exports of major exporters ranged from 120 per cent for the Republic of China to some 12 per cent for the Philippines. In contrast, the timing of the rise in wool prices, and the marketing system prevalent in Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa (the three largest suppliers), resulted in a rise in unit values almost equal to the rise in prices.

These increases in export prices, while import prices changed very little, resulted in an improvement of approximately 3 per cent in the terms of trade of the primary producing countries (again excluding Canada and petroleum exporters) in 1963. This was the first gain in the terms of trade of these countries since 1954. Consequently, the importing power of their exports, which for many years has tended to rise less than the export volume, advanced, between 1962 and 1963, by about 8 per cent, against a volume increase of roughly 5 per cent.

The extent of price changes for major export products between 1962 and 1963, as well as between 1961 and 1962, may be gauged from Chart 17. The commodities shown there represent some 45 per cent of the value of aggregate exports from primary producing countries (excluding Canada and the major petroleum exporters), including their exports of manufactured goods. As indicated in the chart, 13 of these 20 commodities rose in price between 1962 and 1963, more than half by over 10 per cent. This compares with price increases for only 6 of these products in 1962.

Chart 17.Selected Primary Products: Changes in Average Prices from 1961 to 1962 and 1962 to 1963

(In per cent)

1 Weighted average of “world,” U.S., and Commonwealth prices.

Trade of Primary Producing Countries

The upward movement of prices, in conjunction with a considerable expansion in the volume of exports, exerted a rather pervasive stimulus on a great number of primary producing countries. The generally favorable development does not imply that all the primary producing countries gained equally from the increase in export prices or from the expansion in the volume of exports that occurred during the year. The exports of most of these countries are concentrated on a few products, and as Chart 17 indicates, there was considerable variation in the movements of individual prices. However, as shown in Table 10, in general most of the groups of primary producing countries experienced either a larger percentage expansion in export earnings in 1963 than in 1962 or an expansion in 1963 compared with a contraction in 1962. The exceptions to this pattern are provided by the petroleum exporting countries, where the rate of expansion was definitely smaller than during the previous year, and by the miscellaneous group of “all other countries,” where expansion was at a slightly smaller rate in 1963 than in 1962.

Table 10.Primary Producing Countries: Trade in 1962 and 19631(Value figures in millions of U.S. dollars)
Exports f.o.b.Imports c.i.f.
Percentage

change
Percentage

change
196219631961-621962-63196219631961-621962-63
Countries exporting mainly
Coffee
Brazil1,214(1,406)–13161,475(1,487)11
Colombia4634466–4540467–3–14
Others8921,0308159091,014912
2,5692,882–4122,9242,96832
Other tropical foods
Ceylon3803634–4349315–3–10
Nigeria472507–37568579–92
Philippines5567271131692729–45
Others1,2581,4007111,544(1,700)110
2,6662,9975123,1533,323–35
Other agricultural products
Australia2,3452,7891192,5512,77579
Argentina1,2161,36526121,357981–7–28
New Zealand798910114753903–1620
Thailand458469–32546595139
United Arab Republic414522–1626759908820
Others2,5692,765884,0354,458910
7,8008,82051310,00110,62046
Metals and rubber
Chile53054252518637–1123
Indonesia682(696)–142647(460)–17–29
Malaya8588843800828104
Rhodesia and Nyasaland58762516451425–8–6
Others(464)(480)–143(603)(640)–126
3,1213,227–533,0192,990–3–1
Petroleum
Kuwait1,1301,190125285(290)142
Saudi Arabia1,0701,15097(290)(300)53
Venezuela2,5942,632811,096983–10
Others3,509(3,770)772,710(2,690)–2–1
8,3038,742854,3814,263–1–3
Other major exporters
Canada6,2316,779296,3676,61834
Finland1,1041,149541,2281,2087–2
Hong Kong76887412141,1651,2971111
India1,4091,6472172,3552,3562
Mexico9309711241,1431,2408
Morocco348384110434443–42
Peru5385409534556154
Singapore1,1161,137321,3181,39826
South Africa1,3591,43151,5801,852217
Spain73673641,5701,9564425
Yugoslavia69079021148881,057–219
15,22916,4384818,58219,98168
All other countries4,000(4,565)9146,720(7,195)–57
Grand Total43,690 247,67024948,78051,34025
Source: Based on data from International Monetary Fund, International Financial Statistics.

Data in parentheses are partly estimated.

This total differs slightly from that for the two groups of Primary Producing Countries shown in Table 13, principally owing to adjustments for internal transport charges in the figures shown for certain countries in this table.

Source: Based on data from International Monetary Fund, International Financial Statistics.

Data in parentheses are partly estimated.

This total differs slightly from that for the two groups of Primary Producing Countries shown in Table 13, principally owing to adjustments for internal transport charges in the figures shown for certain countries in this table.

Table 11.Selected Less Industrialized Countries: Percentage Changes in Money Supply, 1956–63, and Factors Affecting Changes in Money Supply, 1962 and 1963
Percentage Change in

Money Supply 1
Annual

average

1956-61

(1)
1962

(2)
1963

(3)
Change in Net

Foreign Assets 2
Change in

Domestic Assets 3
Net Govt.

Borrowing from

Banking System 4
Bank Credits to

Private Sector &

Official Entities
Change in

Quasi-Money 5
Change in

Other

Liabilities 6
As percentage of money supply at beginning of year
1962

(4)
1963

(5)
1962

(6)
1963

(7)
1962

(8)
1963

(9)
1962

(10)
1963

(11)
1962

(12)
1963

(13)
1962

(14)
1963

(15)
Argentina28329–1292138112491541513
Bolivia20120–1015413–246912–87
Brazil31646422737626324744121112
Burma310431615–726–9342–82–3–31
Ceylon10512–7–414181410..845–2–3
Chile 7272934–14–196978253844411812813
China, Republic of18828–11564825–7654192536317
Colombia 7162112–2–3322115117203561
Costa Rica4141213–1157321–18
Dominican Republic514154211515–44319–2841218
Ecuador 8691010824–1–23671–51
El Salvador–3..208171206..–5191518–6–1
Ethiopia58781112–687421–25
Ghana12–57–3–3921278–18134586
Greece161518482542..926332930–152
Guatemala2411–101220129–3111579–13
Haiti–147–18–9151313924..1–7–4
Honduras–11411..–4212411141010108–32
Iceland1522..46133428–9–114340523963
India51014–2119181111765222
Indonesia 8399988–10–1100111777023411..–1021
Iran..89842127–4..2527181637
Iraq 88128–83021–2018–183–22..–12
Israel 71430283718828–18826202412–96
Jamaica628–1234624–1333–3–9–10192815
Jordan8161023–20–240–1028814105–45
Korea2286–18–11691635–2341923420–5
Libya..131443322513–101015102132
Malaya1578..5131646366..
Mexico91316191612–211181371–2
Morocco168–6–720151311731–1–21
Nicaragua12913131224112–6127..18–1
Nigeria46–12–222336–12223134542
Pakistan6515..21222110111288..1
Panama51023592339–21253815263–1
Paraguay12–211–432234–1823268131313
Peru1349571827–5223252024–11
Philippines813185..24451223432319–88
Saudi Arabia122124119..–85–9–819–4221011
Somalia1118–6–92826662220229–3
Sudan71612–9–263550172318283776
Syria101433–9161668109..–155
Thailand8..711131111..11110151166
Tunisia1326–19–7364328238202427
United Arab Republic3–316–11..2936242947131079
Uruguay 7.826–521–26466–7311235814..37
Venezuela7–28–113–57–11–168511–81
Viet-Nam61314–59101931673..6–88
Source: Based on data from International Monetary Fund, International Financial Statistics.

Net foreign assets plus domestic assets minus quasi-money minus other liabilities.

Foreign assets are reported in gross terms for a few countries. For most of these, foreign liabilities are unimportant and do not change markedly in the short run. Hence, changes in gross foreign assets may be taken as an approximate reflection of changes in net foreign assets.

The sum of net government borrowing from the banking system and bank credit to the private sector and official entities.

Official entities are excluded from government and included in the private sector wherever possible.

Includes time and savings deposits. Foreign currency deposits, where they exist, are excluded from quasi-money and included in other liabilities.

Includes changes in foreign currency deposits, advance deposits on imports, counterpart funds, exchange profits, capital, and unclassified liabilities.

Data have been adjusted to eliminate the effect of revaluation of foreign assets and liabilities.

Data for 1963 cover the 12-month period ended October 1963 for Ecuador, ended June 1963 for Indonesia, ended November 1963 for Iraq, and ended September 1963 for Uruguay.

Source: Based on data from International Monetary Fund, International Financial Statistics.

Net foreign assets plus domestic assets minus quasi-money minus other liabilities.

Foreign assets are reported in gross terms for a few countries. For most of these, foreign liabilities are unimportant and do not change markedly in the short run. Hence, changes in gross foreign assets may be taken as an approximate reflection of changes in net foreign assets.

The sum of net government borrowing from the banking system and bank credit to the private sector and official entities.

Official entities are excluded from government and included in the private sector wherever possible.

Includes time and savings deposits. Foreign currency deposits, where they exist, are excluded from quasi-money and included in other liabilities.

Includes changes in foreign currency deposits, advance deposits on imports, counterpart funds, exchange profits, capital, and unclassified liabilities.

Data have been adjusted to eliminate the effect of revaluation of foreign assets and liabilities.

Data for 1963 cover the 12-month period ended October 1963 for Ecuador, ended June 1963 for Indonesia, ended November 1963 for Iraq, and ended September 1963 for Uruguay.

Particularly large gains were made in Brazil, the Philippines, Australia, New Zealand, the United Arab Republic, Hong Kong, India, and the Republic of China. The experience of India is of special interest because its export earnings rose rather sharply in 1963 after many years of very low rates of growth, even though the commodities constituting the major portion of its exports did not share in the general upward movement of primary product prices. The increase in the United Arab Republic’s exports reflected some recovery from the decline experienced in 1962 and a growth in its exports of rice; while its cotton exports, totaling $256 million for the 1962/63 crop season, were $50 million higher than in the 1961/62 season, they were almost $100 million below 1960/61. In Argentina, Chile, Finland, Mexico, Peru, Spain, and Yugoslavia, exports expanded at a slower rate in 1963 than in 1962. Two countries, Colombia and Ceylon, actually showed a contraction in export earnings during 1963, whereas they had been able to expand earnings in 1962.

The increased level of activity in most primary producing countries, largely induced by greater export earnings, resulted in imports rising moderately in 1963. The expansion was quite substantial in New Zealand, Thailand, the United Arab Republic, Chile, South Africa, Spain, and Yugoslavia. These increases corresponded in most cases to large increases in export earnings. In some countries, however, imports contracted even when exports expanded. This happened for instance in Argentina, where a considerable expansion of exports was accompanied by an even larger contraction of imports. Elsewhere, the contraction of imports accompanied a negligible expansion of exports (e.g., in Indonesia and Venezuela), or an actual falling off of exports (e.g., in Colombia and Ceylon).

Causes of Price Movements

A number of factors were responsible for the price movements in 1963. For raw materials, the recovery in prices coincided with accelerated expansion of activity in the industrial countries. However, industrial activity had been expanding quite rapidly for the last few years, but raw material prices had continued to decline. The weakness prior to 1963 was most pronounced for agricultural materials, including textile fibers, rubber, and fats and oils. The decline and subsequent recovery of fiber prices has been in line with developments in textile manufacturing, which had not shared in the general prosperity in the preceding years but revived in 1963. Rubber and, to a lesser extent, fats and oils have been increasingly affected by the rapidly rising use of synthetic substitutes; rubber was indeed the main product for which the price decline continued through 1963. The strengthening of rubber prices in the early months of 1964 mainly reflected rising political tension in the Far East. Prices of metals and minerals, which have to some extent been the subject of support operations of various kinds, moved in a narrower range than those of agricultural products. For some of these products, notably copper, both mining and smelting capacity had been greatly expanded in the late 1950’s and output has tended to outpace consumption. Thus, in the last few years production has been restricted and, in addition, producers have supported the price by purchasing copper on the market. Late in 1963, however, rising demand prompted producers to relax restrictions. Supply adjustments also had cushioned the price decline of lead; demand for this metal, as well as for zinc, gained strength in 1963 and caused prices to recover. Stagnation in the production of tin in recent years has caused temporary shortages in spite of periodic releases from U.S. stocks; as a result tin prices have been subject to wide gyrations. The sharp advance in the early months of 1964 was a further reflection of political conditions in the Far East.

Prices of foodstuffs are not perceptibly affected by business cycles in industrial countries so long as the latter do not cause major changes in personal income. Their widespread recovery in 1963 stems from conditions in particular markets, which happened to work generally in the same direction. The rise in coffee prices has been largely the result of anticipated shortages of desirable grades and qualities because of expected severe crop failures in Brazil. The ‘strength of cacao prices has been due to anticipation of some reduction in output combined with a considerable increase in consumption in recent years. For sugar, which showed the greatest price increase, the main factor was a reduction in the exportable supply in the 1962/63 season and anticipations of another short crop in the Caribbean in 1963/64. Consumption has been rising in recent years and current import demand continues strong, while production in Europe remained below expectations. Grain prices have gained through the unprecedentedly large purchases by the Soviet countries and Mainland China, where reduced domestic output is being supplemented by purchases abroad. Import demand was also strong from Europe.

The great variety of factors responsible for price increases in 1963 makes it difficult to gauge developments in the near future. However, price movements in the early part of 1964 and the lag in their effect on export unit values permit at least a partial, though tentative, appraisal of what the latter might be in 1964. Prices of sugar remained high through the first four months of 1964 and the greater part of the 1963/64 crop had been sold prior to the downturn in May, which was based on anticipated increases in production mainly in the United States and Europe. Similarly, well over half of the West African main cocoa crop was sold before prices weakened early in 1964. Prices of coffee may be expected to remain well above the 1963 average, though perhaps not at the height of recent months. Thus, prices received and earnings for exports of these three commodities in 1964 should be well in excess of their 1963 levels.

As far as raw materials are concerned, much will depend on the development of business activity in industrial countries. There is no reason to believe, however, that further expansion will lead to sharp price increases, since output of most materials could be raised to meet demand, from capacity either already in existence or in the course of being set up. In any case, the price increases that occurred during 1963 and early in 1964 should help to raise the 1964 export earnings of most primary producing countries above 1963.

Domestic Developments

The full effect of the recent rise in export earnings on domestic developments in the primary producing countries was not felt in 1963. This effect is induced through the rise in the incomes of producers of export goods and subsequently through the ensuing increase in imports and the increased confidence created by improving payments positions. In many of the less developed countries a shortage of foreign exchange is a factor limiting imports of capital equipment and raw materials, and hence industrial production. The increase in the imports of these countries between 1962 and 1963 that was facilitated by the rise in their export earnings should, therefore, have widespread beneficial effects. Preliminary reports from many countries indicate a more rapid rise in domestic output in 1963 than in other recent years, in particular where orderly monetary conditions prevailed in a stable political environment. These preliminary reports do not, however, as yet permit an over-all appraisal of trends in production in the less developed countries as a group or in broader areas. The impact of the rise in exports of these countries on their balance of payments position is analyzed in Chapter 7.

Against the background of generally improving export earnings, the authorities of many of the less developed countries were able to permit a more rapid expansion of money in 1963 than in 1962, without endangering domestic stability. As can be seen from Table 11, increases in official gold and foreign exchange reserves in a number of countries gave an immediate impetus to monetary expansion. Thus, for the first time for several years, an appreciable part of the internal financial expansion in the less developed countries originated from external sources. In several, particularly where domestic pressures for expansion were kept within limits, the expansion associated with this external stimulation tended to be larger than the increase of money. Growing confidence induced the residents of these countries to devote a part of their rising incomes to enlargements of their holdings of savings deposits and other forms of quasi-money. In many countries, this type of saving increased the scope for the financing of capital formation, beyond what had been made possible by the rising foreign receipts.

The monetary expansion associated with increases in foreign earnings is one element in the process discussed above, whereby rising export earnings may be expected to lead to increases in imports with some time lag. Part of the increase in domestic demand arising from an expansion of income and money, stimulated originally by external causes, will be directed toward imports. As a consequence, even if the monetary system does not expand its loans and domestic investments beyond the domestic resources that accrue to it, the reserve accumulation will sooner or later slow down and be brought to a halt. An excessive expansion in domestic credit may hasten this process, and may, if carried too far, bring about a loss of reserves greater than the initial accumulation. Hence, while buoyant foreign receipts may provide a desired stimulus to demand and output, the process needs to be watched to ensure that the monetary expansion is kept within sustainable limits. If demand continues to expand after export receipts have ceased to rise, the maintenance of monetary and exchange stability may sooner or later make it necessary to contract credit or to reduce the rate of credit expansion markedly. If there is a subsequent decline in export receipts, the need for restraining action will be even greater. The volatility of export receipts contributes to the difficulties of monetary management in the less developed countries.

The importance of large external earnings, with a consequent increase in the foreign reserves of the monetary system, was most marked in some of the petroleum exporting countries (e.g., Libya and Saudi Arabia) and in some of the countries, such as those producing coffee and cacao, where exports rose markedly (e.g., Ecuador and Nicaragua). In some other countries, where a rise in exportincome had resulted in an increased demand for bank credit, it was possible for the commercial banks to expand their loans because a balance of payments surplus had led to a rise in their cash reserves. Such factors induced an expansion in credit, for instance, in some of the countries where exports were rising markedly (e.g., El Salvador and Guatemala), and also in some where the improving prospects were not so closely tied to one or a few individual commodities (e.g., Peru). In these and other countries, where financial policy tended to restrain the expansion of credit within sustainable limits, increased holdings of quasi-money facilitated the financing of investment through the monetary system.

While the monetary expansion in 1963 was larger in most countries than in earlier years, there were few in which it appears to have been excessive. However, in some countries, government deficits continued, and there was a more rapid expansion of money in 1963 than in 1962, resulting from the financing of fiscal requirements. This problem arose in some countries which did not share fully in the increase in incomes resulting from rising prices (e.g., Burma and Ceylon), and in some where political instability imposed strains on the government’s finances. In Congo (Leopoldville) these and other difficulties have given rise to complex budgetary and payments problems, which the authorities are making strong efforts, with technical assistance from the Fund, to overcome. In several other countries, where fiscal deficits have been the source of severe inflationary pressures in the past few years (e.g., Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Indonesia, the United Arab Republic, and Uruguay), rather rapid inflation continued to hamper progress. Thus, in Argentina, the gross national product at constant prices in 1963 was 5 per cent smaller than in 1962 and approximately equal to its 1960 level (the comparable decline from 1961 to 1962 was 3 per cent); and in Brazil the per capita national product declined in 1963. In some of these countries, the encouragement of development and the maintenance of balance of payments equilibrium were made more difficult because the flow of savings to quasi-monetary holdings declined. The balance of payments problems arising from excessive monetary expansion were not necessarily associated with rising imports, but were, in some countries, repressed by more stringent foreign exchange restrictions or by countervailing limitations on credit to the nongovernment sectors of the economy, with a consequent distortion of the country’s financial structure.

In those countries where rapid inflation had been a serious problem in 1962, there was little evidence of any improvement in 1963. On the other hand, there were few signs that countries which had managed to maintain monetary stability up to 1962 were changing their financial policies. There is, however, an intermediate group of countries, in which monetary stability has been endangered in recent years by financial policies intended to compensate for unsatisfactory developments in external income. The recent rise in export earnings from primary products should give a number of these countries an opportunity to regain full monetary stability and thus to provide a firmer basis for sustained economic growth.

The Problem of Growth

For the less developed countries as a group, the immediate economic prospects were favorable in the early months of 1964. In particular, it appeared likely that their export earnings would show a further substantial rise from 1963 to 1964. First, higher unit values could be expected, both because the rise in prices during 1963 had not yet been fully reflected in export earnings for that year, and because there was a further rise in prices for primary products in early 1964. In addition, continued prosperity in the industrial countries gave promise of a rising volume of exports to these countries and, in general, firm markets for raw materials. However, while these conditions created a more favorable climate for economic growth under conditions of monetary stability than had existed for many years, the long-term prospects of the less developed countries remained a difficult problem. The recent rise in their export earnings was partly attributable to temporary factors, and there was no assurance that growth would continue at a rate enabling them to increase their imports sufficiently to meet their targets for economic development.

During the last decade the annual rate of growth of output in the less developed countries, as estimated by the United Nations, was slightly higher than in the developed countries, 4.4 per cent against 4 per cent; but because of the much faster rise in population, per capita income rose less in the former than in the latter, 2.2 per cent per annum against 2.7 per cent. There was a slight deterioration within the decade in the estimated growth rates of the less developed countries (the growth rates of the developed countries, however, fell even more). Because of the difficulties of estimating output in many of the less developed countries, it is possible that the underlying statistics for a number of these countries have a bias both toward overstating rates of growth and toward understating the deceleration that occurred within the decade. The investigations of the United Nations also show that among the less developed countries there has been much greater variation in growth rates from country to country than among the developed countries. Thus, per capita income declined in several less developed countries from 1950 to 1960, and in almost one fourth of these countries per capita income either did not rise or rose less than 1 per cent per annum. In contrast, per capita income rose at least 1 per cent per annum in all the developed countries. Within both groups of countries, variations in growth rates are undoubtedly related, inter alia, to export performance. In general, those countries whose exports are rising at the highest rates also show the highest rates of growth.

For the 1960’s, a resolution adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations has suggested as an objective a minimum rate of growth of national income for individual less developed countries of 5 per cent per annum. The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development recognized the wide concern expressed regarding the inadequacy of this target, and acknowledged the need for steps to be taken by both developing and developed countries to mobilize domestic and international resources for accelerated growth in developing countries at rates even higher, where feasible. The attainment of this objective implies a rate of increase in their imports which is likely only to be possible if the long-term rate of growth in their exports is in future considerably greater than in the past. This requires that the less developed countries should diversify, as well as enlarge, their exports; and that the opportunities for selling these exports in the industrial countries be steadily expanded. These and other problems of economic development were discussed in the Fund’s Annual Report for 1963.

A number of constructive proposals for improving the export earnings of the less developed countries and for other measures supporting their development efforts have been considered by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, and further attention to these problems may be anticipated in the appropriate international organizations. The Fund has repeatedly emphasized the need for measures to ensure better access to the markets in the industrialized countries for the products of the less developed countries, and it notes with satisfaction that these and related matters are now being subjected to systematic study with a view to coordinated action at the international level. The Fund is vitally interested in the outcome of the present efforts to improve the economic conditions of the less developed countries, and, as noted in Chapter 1, it is lending its active support to these efforts within the sphere of its own activities.

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