Front Matter

Front Matter

Robert Sharer, and Piritta Sorsa
Published Date:
February 1998
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    © 1998 International Monetary Fund

    Cataloging-in-Publication Data

    Trade liberalization in IMF-supported programs / prepared by a staff team led by Rober Sharer with Piritta Sorsa … [et al.]. — Washington, DC: International Monetary Fund

    p. cm. — (World economic and financial surveys, ISSN 0258-7440)

    Includes bibliographical references.

    ISBN 9781557757074

    1. Commercial policy. 2. Free trade. 3. International Monetary Fund. I. Sharer, Rober L. II. Sorsa, Piritta, 1955-III Series. HF1411.T73 1998

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    The following symbols have been used throughout this volume:

    • … to indicate that data are not available;

    • — to indicate that the figure is zero or less than half the final digit shown, or that the item does not exist;

    • - between years or months (for example, 1995-96 or January-June) to indicate the years or months covered, including the beginning and ending years or months;

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    “Billion” means a thousand million; “trillion” means a thousand billion.

    “Basis points” refer to hundredths of 1 percentage point (for example, 25 basis points are equivalent to ¼ of 1 percentage point).

    “n.a.” means not applicable.

    Minor discrepancies between constituent figures and totals are due to rounding.

    As used in this volume the term “country” does not in all cases refer to a territorial entity that is a state as understood by international law and practice. As used here, the term also covers some territorial entities that are not states but for which statistical data are maintained on a separate and independent basis.


    This study assesses trade liberalization in programs supported by the International Monetary Fund based on a review of multiyear arrangements in the 1990s and on six detailed case studies. The review compares the initial degree of restrictiveness of each country’s trade regime, each program’s trade liberalization objectives, and the degree of trade restrictiveness at the end of the program. It then discusses the main economic factors affecting trade policy targets, including in particular the impact of fiscal considerations. The case studies extend this effort to program design and negotiation, and the key factors relevant to implementation.

    The study was prepared in the Trade Policy Division of the Policy Development and Review Department (PDR) of the Fund. The principal authors of the study are Robert Sharer, Division Chief; Piritta Sorsa, Deputy Division Chief; Nur Calika, Paul Ross, and Clinton Shiells, Senior Economists; and Thomas Dorsey, Economist. Valuable inputs were provided for the study by Kamau Thugge, Senior Economist; Inutu Lukonga, Bradley McDonald, Leslie Teo, Nicholas Tsaveas, and Ricardo Velloso, all Economists; and Dustin Smith, Research Assistant.

    The authors are indebted to Jack Boorman, Director, and Oleh Havrylyshyn, at the time Assistant Director (PDR), for their guidance in preparation of the study. Acknowledgment is due to numerous colleagues in the Fund for their willingness to exchange views and provide information, and to Professor Anne Krueger for helpful comments. The authors are grateful to Juanita Roushdy of the External Affairs Department for editing the manuscript and coordinating production of the publication and to Mary Joanne Marquez and Shirley Davies for expert word-processing assistance. The authors alone are responsible for the study; any opinions expressed are theirs and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Fund.

    List of Abbreviations


    Cross-Border Initiative


    Central European Free Trade Agreement


    Council for Mutual Economic Assistance


    Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa


    Extended Fund Facility


    Export retention scheme


    Enhanced Structural Adjustment Facility


    European Union


    Free trade area


    General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade


    Gross domestic product


    International Monetary Fund


    Industrial sector adjustment credit


    Most favored nation


    Nontariff barrier


    Open general import license


    Quantitative restriction


    Rights Accumulation Program


    Regional trading arrangement


    Structural Adjustment Facility


    Structural Adjustment Loan


    United Nations Conference on Trade and Development


    Uruguay Round


    Value-added tax


    World Trade Organization

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