Front Matter

Front Matter

International Monetary Fund
Published Date:
January 1988
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© 1988 International Monetary Fund

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

Dillion, K. Burke.

Officially supported export credits: developments and prospects / K. Burke Dillon and Luis Duran-Downing with Miranda Xafa.

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

“February 1988.”

ISBN 1-55775-006-8

1. Export credit. I. Duran-Downing, Luis. II. Xafa, Miranda. III. International Monetary Fund. IV. Title. V. Series.

HG3753.D55 1988

382’.63–dc19 87-35493


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The following symbols have been used throughout this paper:

  • … 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 (e.g., 1984–85 or January–June) to indicate the years or months covered, including the beginning and ending years or months;

  • / between years (e.g., 1985/86) to indicate a crop or fiscal (financial) year.

“Billion” means a thousand million.

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


This study is based on discussions of Fund staff with export credit agencies and government authorities of the ten major industrial countries plus Spain during April and May 1987. The discussions were attended variously by one or more of the authors, who are all staff members of the Fund’s Exchange and Trade Relations Department. Jorge Marquez-Ruarte of the Asian Department participated in the meetings in Japan.

Developments in officially supported export credits have been the subject of two earlier papers prepared by Fund staff. The first staff report on this subject, “Export Credit Cover Policies and Payments Difficulties,” was published as Occasional Paper No. 37 in August 1985. The second report, “Export Credits: Developments and Prospects,” was published in the World Economic and Financial Surveys series in July 1986. These papers were prepared on the basis of staff visits to Group of Ten governments and their export credit agencies in the spring of 1984 and the fall of 1985.

The agencies participating in the present review were the Export-Import Bank of the United States (Eximbank); Export Credits Guarantee Department (ECGD), United Kingdom; Compañia Española de Seguros de Crédito a la Exportación S.A. (CESCE), Spain; Compagnie Française d’Assurance pour le Commerce Extérieur (COFACE), France; Hermes Kreditversicherungs—Aktiengesellschaft (Hermes), Federal Republic of Germany; Export-Import Insurance Division, International Trade Policy Bureau, Ministry of International Trade and Industry (EID/MITI), Japan; Export Import Bank (JEXIM), Japan; Export Development Corporation (EDC), Canada; Exportkreditnamnden (EKN), Sweden; Neder-landsche Credietverzekering Maatschappij, N.V. (NCM), the Netherlands; Sezione Speciale per l’Assicurazione del Credito all’Esportazione (SACE), Italy; and Office National du Ducroire (OND), Belgium. The staff also had discussions with the secretariat of the International Union of Credit and Investment Insurers (Berne Union) and with staff of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

The paper has benefited from comments by the export credit agencies and the national authorities of the 11 countries visited, as well as by Executive Directors of the Fund. The descriptions of policies and practices and the discussion of issues reflect the views of the staff and should not be attributed to any individual agency or national government nor to the management and Executive Directors of the Fund.

The paper is organized as follows: Section I provides an overview of the role of export credits in the debt situation. Section II describes the general stance of export credit and cover policies at present and reviews recent developments in export credit policies and programs. Section III opens with a discussion of certain properties of available export credit statistics which preclude a reliable estimate of export credit flows, but then goes on to assess, on the basis of information gathered during the staff visits, trends in export credit and cover commitments, developments in the financial situation of agencies, and prospects for export credit flows. Section IV discusses certain issues that arise regarding the impact of export credit flows on the development process, particularly with respect to the quality of projects financed and the availability of export credits and cover to support private investment. In Section V the staff sets forth certain concluding observations in view of the findings of the study.

Appendix I reviews the evolution of export credit and cover policies toward 14 developing countries. Appendix II describes certain shortcomings of the statistics available on export credits and outlines the approach adopted in this paper to make very rough adjustments for the impact of exchange rate movements on the reported statistics. Appendix III outlines the main provisions of the OECD Arrangement on Guidelines for Officially Supported Export Credits. Appendix IV provides a glossary of terms commonly used in the area of export credits.

Research assistance was provided by Amelia Wu and Hassanin Ali Ismeail of the Exchange and Trade Relations Department. The authors would like to acknowledge the methodological contributions of David Lipton of the Asian Department in the area of exchange rate adjustments. They wish also to thank the editor, Jennie Lee Carter, of the External Relations Department.

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