This paper discusses developments and issues concerning export credits from the perspective of the economic adjustment process of indebted developing countries. This emphasis is consistent with the principle that officially supported export credit—whether it takes the form of direct official credits or insurance and guarantees on privately funded credits—is an instrument of commercial financing for exports and not a means of aid finance. All creditor governments have a broad range of objectives in using the economic instruments at their disposal to help overcome the adjustment problems of heavily indebted countries, with which important bilateral trade relations are being maintained. In support of an expansion in world trade and notwithstanding the competitive element, export credit insurance and guarantees may have a special role in helping to catalyze private credit flows, especially since such a role coincides with the interest of private lenders to shift away from general purpose balance of payments finance to trade and project finance.
This paper describes developments in multilateral official debt renegotiations over the 18 months up to the end of June 1986. To facilitate the return to normal market access for countries considered to have made substantial progress in their adjustment efforts, official creditors recently concluded multiyear rescheduling agreements (MYRAs) with both Ecuador and Cote d'Ivoire. Official creditors have also indicated that they were prepared to grant an extended consolidation period for Yugoslavia, although in this case a further meeting would be necessary to agree on the terms for the second stage of the rescheduling. The tendency toward increased differentiation in terms according to the circumstances of the debtor country, already apparent in 1983–1984, has been carried further during the last 18 months. Indeed, the rescheduling agreements concluded during this recent period tend to fall fairly clearly into two very different groups. Official multilateral debt renegotiations deal with the rescheduling of debt service payments on loans extended by, or guaranteed by, the governments or the official agencies of the participating creditor countries.