Click here for search results

About Data_2009






Country groups 

Income Groups 


Global Development Finance 2009: Summary and Country Tables is part of a two-volume annual publication. Volume I: Review, Analysis, and Outlook contains analysis and commentary on recent developments in international finance for developing countries. Volume II: Summary and Country Tables (GDF) contains statistical tables on the external debt of the 128 countries that report public and publicly guaranteed external debt under the Debtor Reporting System (DRS). It also includes tables of key debt ratios for individual reporting countries and the composition of external debt stocks for individual reporting countries and regional and income groups along with some graphical presentations. It is the culmination of a year-long process that requires extensive cooperation from people and organizations around the globe—national central banks, ministries of finance, major multilateral organizations, and many departments of the World Bank.

The Little Data Book on External Debt 2009 provides a quick reference to the data from the GDF. Global Development Finance 2009 on CD-ROM contains a database of 215 time series indicators, covering the years 1970 to 2007 in most cases, and to 2015 for “pipeline” data. It also contains the full contents of the print version of the GDF. Text providing country notes, definitions, and source notes is linked to each table. The general cutoff date for data is December 2008. Not all data breakdowns are presented in the printed GDF Book but the entire breakdown can be found in the database. This database is also available online (GDF Online) through the website of the World Bank. The database covers external debt stocks and flows, major economic aggregates, and key debt ratios, as well as average terms of new commitments, currency composition of long-term debt, debt restructuring, and scheduled debt service projections for all countries reporting through the DRS.

The economic aggregates presented in the tables are prepared for the convenience of users. Although debt ratios can give useful information about developments in a debt-servicing capacity, conclusions drawn from them will not be valid unless accompanied by careful economic evaluation.

The macroeconomic data provided are from standard sources, but many of them are subject to considerable margins of error. The usual care must be taken in interpreting the ratios, particularly for the most recent year or two, since figures are preliminary and subject to revision.

Shaida Badiee
Development Data Group

 back to top tool-arrow.gif


The World Bank is the sole repository for statistics on the external debt of developing countries on a loan-by-loan basis. The Debtor Reporting System (DRS), set up in 1951 to monitor these statistics, is maintained by the staff of the Financial Data Team (FIN), part of the Development Data Group of Development Economics.

Methodology for aggregating data

The DRS data are used in combination with information obtained from creditors through the debt data collection systems of other agencies. The staff of the Financial Data Team calculates the external indebtedness of developing countries. The data are also supplemented by market sources and estimates made by the World Bank staff. The current account balance data are taken from the Balance of Payments (BOP) database of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), which is the standard presentation of the BOP yearbook and may produce regional and other aggregates that are different from those presented in GDF, volume I.

Converting to a common currency

Since debt data are normally reported to the World Bank in the currency of repayment, they have to be converted into a common currency (usually U.S. dollars) to produce the tables. Because flow data are converted at annual average exchange rates and stock data at year-end exchange rates, year-to-year changes in debt outstanding and disbursed are sometimes not equal to net flows (disbursements less principal repayments); similarly, changes in debt outstanding (including undisbursed debt) differ from commitments less repayments. Discrepancies are particularly significant when exchange rates have moved sharply during the year; cancellations and rescheduling of other liabilities into long-term public and publicly guaranteed external debt also contribute to the differences.

Exchange rates

Data received by the World Bank from its members and major multilateral agencies are expressed in the currencies in which the debts are repayable or in which the transactions took place. For aggregation, the Bank converts these amounts to U.S. dollars using the IMF par values or central rates, or the current market rates where appropriate. Service payments, commitments, and disbursements (flows) are converted to U.S. dollars at the average rate for the year. Debt outstanding and disbursed at the end of a given year (a stock) is converted at the rate in effect at the end of that year. Projected debt service, however, is converted to U.S. dollars at rates in effect at end-December 2007. Debt repayable in multiple currencies, goods, or services, and debt with a provision for maintenance of value of the currency of repayment are shown at book value.

Beginning with 1991, all ruble debt owed to the former Soviet Union is converted at a rate of US$1 = 0.6 ruble, except in cases where a bilateral agreement specifying a different conversion rate is in place. This valuation method does not constitute an endorsement by World Bank staff of the appropriateness or validity of this method or the exchange rate used. The appropriate valuation is a matter to be resolved bilaterally between the Russian Federation and its debtor countries.

back to top tool-arrow.gif


Year-to-year changes in debt outstanding and disbursed are sometimes not equal to net flows; similarly, changes in debt outstanding, including undisbursed, differ from commitments less repayments. The reasons for these differences are cancellations, adjustments caused by the use of different exchange rates, and the rescheduling of other liabilities into long-term public and publicly guaranteed external debt.

Public and publicly guaranteed debt

All data related to public and publicly guaranteed external debt are provided on a loan-by-loan basis by debtors, except for lending by some multilateral agencies, in which case data are taken from the creditors’ records. These creditors include the African Development Bank, the Asian Development Bank, the Inter-American Development Bank, and the Inter-national Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) and the International Development Association (IDA). (The IBRD and IDA are the institutions of the World Bank.) Reports contain annual stocks and flows information as well as terms and conditions of individual loans contracted.

Starting with the 1988–89 edition of World Debt Tables (the previous title of this book), all data pertaining to World Bank loans from 1985 onward are recorded at their current market value. Starting with the 1991–92 editions, all data pertaining to Asian Development Bank loans from 1989 onward are recorded at their current market value. Starting with the 1998 edition, all data pertaining to African Development Bank and African Development Fund loans from 1997 onward are recorded at their current market value as well.

Private nonguaranteed debt

The DRS was expanded in 1970 to incorporate long term private nonguaranteed external debt. Reports, submitted annually, contain aggregate data for disbursed and outstanding debt, disbursements, principal repayments, interest payments, principal and interest rescheduled for the reporting year, and projected payments of principal and interest. Data are usually presented in dollars, and currency conversion is not necessary.

Although the reporting countries fully recognize the importance of collecting data on private nonguaranteed external debt when it constitutes a significant portion of external debt, detailed data are available only in countries that have registration requirements covering private external debt, most commonly in connection with exchange controls. Where formal registration of foreign borrowing is not mandatory, compilers must rely on balance of payments data and financial surveys.

This edition includes data on private non-guaranteed external debt, either as reported or as estimated, for countries for which this type of external debt is known to be significant. For private nonguaranteed debt that is not reported, the standard estimation approach starts from a calculation of the stock of debt outstanding, using data available from creditors.

Amortization is estimated by making an assumption regarding the proportion of debt repaid each year and then applying these ratios to generate a first approximation of annual principal repayments. Disbursements are then estimated as a residual between net flows (equal to the change in the stock of debt, adjusted by the effect of the currency composition of the public debt) and estimated amortization. Interest payments are estimated by applying an assumed average interest rate to the stock of debt outstanding.

Data on the balance of payments flows provide useful guidelines for building a time series, because private nonguaranteed external debt can be treated as a residual between net long-term external borrowing and net long-term borrowing recorded in the DRS for public and publicly guaranteed external debt.

back to top tool-arrow.gif 

Short-term debt

The World Bank regards the individual reporting country as the authoritative source of information on its own external liabilities. But for short-term external debt, defined as external debt with an original maturity of one year or less, accurate information is not widely available from debtors. By its nature, short-term external debt is difficult to monitor; loan-by-loan registration is normally impractical, and most reporting arrangements involve periodic returns to a country’s central bank from its banking sector. Since 1982 the quality of such reporting has improved, but only a few developing countries have figures available for short-term external debt.

Where information from debtors is not available, data from creditors can indicate the magnitude of a country’s short-term external debt. The most important source is the BIS quarterly series showing the maturity distribution of commercial banks’ claims on developing countries. Those data are reported residually. However, an estimate of short-term external liabilities by original maturity can be calculated by deducting from claims due in one year those that had a maturity of between one and two years 12 months earlier.

There are several problems with this method. Valuation adjustments caused by exchange rate movements will affect the calculations, as will prepayment and refinancing of long-term maturities falling due. Moreover, not all countries’ commercial banks report in a way that allows the full maturity distribution to be determined; and the BIS data include liabilities only to banks within the reporting area. Even on this basis, however, the results need to be interpreted with caution. Where short-term external debt has been rescheduled, the effect of lags in reporting and differences in the treatment of the rescheduled external debt by debtors and creditors may result in double counting if short-term external debt derived from creditor sources is added to long-term external debt reported by the country to obtain external liabilities.

Some of the short-term external debt estimates published are drawn from debtor and creditor sources, but most are from creditor sources. Only for a few countries can the data be regarded as authoritative, but they offer a guide to the size of a country’s short-term (and, hence, it’s total) external debt. Interest in arrears on long-term external debt and interest in arrears on the use of IMF credit are added to the short-term external debt.

back to top tool-arrow.gif 

Use of IMF credit

Data related to the operations of the IMF come from the IMF Treasurer’s Department and are converted from special drawing rights (SDRs) into dollars using end-of-period exchange rates for stocks and average over the period exchange rates for converting flows, as described earlier. IMF trust fund (TF) and operations under the enhanced structural adjustment (ESAF renamed in 1999), poverty reduction and growth facility (PRGF), and structural adjustment facility (SAF) are presented together with all of the Fund’s special facilities (buffer stock, extended fund (EFF), supplemental reserve (SRF), compensatory and contingency, oil facilities, and other facilities).

Treatment of arrears

The DRS collects information on arrears in both principal and interest. Principal in arrears is included and identified in the amount of long-term external debt outstanding. Interest in arrears on long-term external debt and interest in arrears on the use of IMF credit are included and identified in the amount of short-term external debt outstanding. If and when interest in arrears is capitalized under a debt reorganization agreement, the amount of interest capitalized will be added to the amount of long-term external debt outstanding and the corresponding deduction made from the amount of short-term external debt outstanding.

Treatment of debt restructurings

The DRS attempts to capture accurately the effects of the different kinds of restructurings on both external debt stocks and external debt flows, consistent with the circumstances under which the restructuring takes place.

In compiling and presenting the external debt data, a distinction is made between cash flows and imputed flows. Based on this criterion, rescheduled service payments and the shift in liabilities from one financial instrument to another as a result of rescheduling are considered to be imputed flows.

The imputed flows are recorded separately in the World Bank External Debt (WBXD) system, but these external debt restructuring transactions are not evident in the main body of the external debt data—only the resulting effect of these transactions is reflected.

Changes in creditor and debtor status that can result from external debt restructuring are also reflected. For example, when insured commercial credits are rescheduled, the creditor classification shifts from private sources to official sources (bilateral). This reflects the assumption of the assets by the official credit insurance agencies of the creditor countries. The external debts to the original creditors are reduced by the amounts rescheduled, and a new obligation to the official creditor agencies is created. This shift also applies to private nonguaranteed external debt that is reduced by the amounts rescheduled, which in turn are included in the public and publicly guaranteed external debt owed to official creditors. On the debtor side, when a government accepts responsibility for the payment of rescheduled external debt previously owed by private enterprises, the DRS registers a change in debtor categories in the DRS. Similarly, when external short-term debt is included in a restructuring agreement, the rescheduled amount is shifted from external short-term to external long-term debt.

  back to top tool-arrow.gif 

Methodology for projecting data

The WBXD system of the DRS projects future disbursements of unutilized commitments and future debt service payments.

Future disbursements

Projections of disbursements help underpin future capital requirements in the implementation of externally financed projects. In addition, they help determine the interest portion of projected external debt service. Future interest payments are based on projected external debt outstanding, which is itself determined by projected disbursements and repayments. The underlying assumptions of these projections are that loan commitments will be fully utilized and that the debtor country will repay all sums due. Future disbursements and external debt service refer only to existing external debt and do not reflect any assumptions on future borrowing.

Disbursement projections use two methods:
           Specific schedules: Debtor countries are requested to submit a calendar of future disbursements, if available, at the time individual loans are first reported. Country authorities are in a better position to provide estimated disbursement schedules when there is a solid public sector investment program in place.
           Standard schedules: In the absence of specific schedules, the WBXD system projects disbursements by applying a set of profiles to the last actual undisbursed balance of individual loans.

The profiles are derived under the assumption that specific sources of funds have some common characteristics that cause them to disburse, in the aggregate, in some observable pattern. Accordingly, some thirty profiles have been derived that roughly correspond to creditor type. Profiles exist for concessional and non-concessional loans from official creditors. For bilateral lending, profiles have been developed for the Development Assistance Committee (DAC), the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), and other creditor groupings. For multilateral lending, specific profiles are available for major international organizations. An estimating equation for each profile is derived by applying regression analysis techniques to a body of data that contains actual disbursement information for each loan. Although these standard profiles are re-estimated from time to time, under the best scenario they can only approximate the disbursement pattern of any single loan.

Future debt service payments

Most projections of future external debt service payments generated by the WBXD system are based on the repayment terms of the loans. Principal repayments (amortization) are based on the amount of loan commitments, and the amortization profile of most loans follows a set pattern. Using the first and final payment dates and the frequency of the payments, the system calculates the stream of principal payments due. If future payments are irregular, the WBXD system requires a schedule.

Projected future interest payments are calculated similarly. Interest is based on the amount of external debt disbursed and outstanding at the beginning of the period. Again, using the first and final interest payment dates and the frequency of payments, the system calculates the stream of interest payments due. If interest payments are irregular, the WBXD system requires a schedule.

The published figures for projected external debt service obligations are converted into U.S. dollars using the end-December 2007 exchange rates. Likewise, the projection routine for variable interest rate debt, such as commercial bank debt based on the London Interbank Offer Rate (LIBOR), assumes that the rate prevailing at the end of December 2007 will be effective throughout.

back to top tool-arrow.gif


Summary Table 1 provides key debt ratios for individual reporting countries. Summary Table 2 presents the composition of external debt stocks for individual reporting countries and regional and income groups along with some graphical presentations.

For the 128 individual coun­tries that report to the World Bank’s DRS, country tables are presented in a two-page layout containing 10 sections. The format of the regional and income group tables draws on the individual country table format and includes graphical presentations. As in the past, the database feeding the print edition continues to maintain all the derived indicator information.

For all summaries, regional, income, and individual coun­try tables, data definitions are presented on the following pages or footnoted where appropriate.


1. Summary external debt data summarizes the stocks and flows of the major components of the external debt of the country. Not all data breakdowns are presented in the printed GDF Book but the entire breakdown can be found in the CD-ROM and in the online database.

External Debt Stocks consist of public and publicly guaranteed long-term external debt, private nonguaranteed long-term external debt, the use of IMF credit, and short-term external debt. The rela­tion between external debt stock and its components is illustrated on page xxiv.

Interest in arrears on long-term external debt is added to the short-term external debt and is shown as a separate line. Interest in arrears on the use of IMF credit is also added to the short-term external debt. Principal in arrears on long-term external debt is shown as a memorandum item. Arrears of principal and of interest are disaggregated to show the arrears owed to official creditors and the arrears owed to pri­vate creditors (CD-ROM and online database only). Long-term public sector external debt, long-term private sector external debt and public & publicly guaranteed commitments are presented as memorandum items.

Long-term external debt is defined as debt that has an original or extended maturity of more than one year and that is owed to nonresidents by residents of an economy and repayable in foreign currency, goods, or services.

Long-term external debt has three components:

·          Public external debt, which is an external obligation of a public debtor, including the national govern­ment, a political subdivision (or an agency of either), and autonomous public bodies.

·          Publicly guaranteed external debt, which is an external obligation of a private debtor that is guaranteed for repayment by a public entity.

Public external debt and publicly guaranteed external debt are shown as a single line in the tables.

·          Private nonguaranteed external debt, which is an external obligation of a private debtor that is not guaranteed for repayment by a public entity.

Use of IMF credit denotes members’ drawings on the IMF other than those drawn against the country’s reserve tranche position. Use of IMF credit includes purchases and drawings under Stand-By, Extended, Structural Adjustment, Enhanced Structural Adjustment, and Systemic Transformation Facility Arrangements, together with Trust Fund loans.

·          IMF purchases are total drawings on the general resources account of the IMF during the year specified, excluding drawings in the reserve tranche.

·          IMF repurchases are total repayments of out­standing drawings from the general resources account during the year specified, excluding repay­ments due in the reserve tranche.

      Short-term external debt is defined as external debt that has an original maturity of one year or less. Avail­able data permit no distinction between public and private nonguaranteed short-term external debt.

Interest in arrears on long-term external debt is interest payment due but not paid, shown on a cumula­tive basis. Interest arrears are regarded as short-term external debt. Thus an increase in interest arrears will not be recorded as an increase in long-term external debt outstanding and disbursed. On the other hand, a clearing of interest arrears as pay­ments of interest arrears will be allocated to the rel­evant flows, being long-term or short-term external debt, depending on toward which flow the interest payments took place. It will be recorded as (1) a reduction of short-term external debt; (2) a net change in interest arrears (CD-ROM and online database only). Similarly, the re­duction of interest arrears through interest arrears restructured and interest arrears forgiven will also be recorded as a reduction of short-term external debt and as a net change in interest arrears (CD-ROM and online database only). In addition, interest arrears restructuring and interest restructuring will be recorded as interest capitalization (CD-ROM and online database only).

Principal in arrears on long-term external debt is de­fined as principal repayment due but not paid, on a cumulative basis.

Long-term public sector external debt and long-term private  sector external debt convey information about the distribution of long­-term external debt for DRS countries by type of debtor (central government, state and local government, central bank, public and mixed enterprises, official development banks, private banks, and private entities).

back to top tool-arrow.gif

External Debt Flows are consolidated data on disbursements, principal repayments, interest pay­ments for long-term external debt, transactions with the IMF, and short-term external debt.

Disbursements are drawings on loan commit­ments during the year specified.

Principal repayments are the amounts of prin­cipal (amortization) paid in foreign currency, goods, or services in the year specified.

Net flows on external debt are disbursements on long-­term external debt and IMF purchases minus principal re­payments on long-term external debt and IMF repurchases up to 1984. Beginning in 1985 this line includes the change in stock of short-term debt (excluding interest arrears for long-term external debt). Thus if the change in stock is positive, a disbursement is assumed to have taken place; if negative, a repay­ment is assumed to have taken place.

Interest payments are the amounts of interest paid in foreign currency, goods, or services in the year specified.

Net transfers on external debt are net flows minus in­terest payments (or disbursements minus external debt service payments) (CD-ROM and online database only).

External debt service paid is debt service payments on long-term external debt (public and pub­licly guaranteed and private nonguaranteed), use of IMF credit, and interest on short-term external debt (breakdown is CD-ROM and online database only).

2. Other non-debt resource flows include net resource flows as well as non-debt flows from various international organizations.

Foreign direct investment (FDI) is defined as investment that is made to acquire a lasting man­agement interest (usually 10 percent of voting stock) in an enterprise operating in a country other than that of the investor (defined according to res­idency), the investor’s purpose being an effective voice in the management of the enterprise. It is the sum of equity capital, reinvestment of earnings, other long-term capital, and short-term capital as shown in the balance of payments. FDI includes inter-company debt.

Portfolio equity flows are the sum of country funds, depository receipts (American or global), and direct purchases of shares by foreign investors.

Profit remittances on foreign direct investment covers payments of direct investment income (debit side), which consist of income on equity (dividends, branch profits, and reinvested earnings) and income on the intercompany debt (interest).

Grants are defined as legally binding commit­ments that obligate a specific value of funds available for disbursement for which there is no repayment requirement. 

Debt forgiveness grants are both debts cancelled by agreement between debtor and creditor and reductions in the net present value of nonofficial development assistance debt from concessional rescheduling or refinancing. Data are on a dis­bursement basis and cover flows from all bilateral and multilateral donors.

International Development Association (IDA) grants are net disbursements of grants from IDA.

            The memorandum item technical cooperation grants includes (1) free-standing technical cooperation grants, which are intended to finance the transfer of technical and managerial skills or of technology for the purpose of building up general national capacity without reference to any specific investment projects; and (2) investment-related technical cooperation grants, which are provided to strengthen the capacity to execute specific in­vestment projects.

back to top tool-arrow.gif

3. Currency composition of public and publicly guaranteed external debt provides information on the cur­rency composition of loans outstanding and dis­bursed based on repayment currency of individual loans. For major multilateral creditors, currency composition is based on reporting currency, which is mostly U.S. dollars and unit of account. The major currencies in which the external debt of low-and middle-income countries is contracted are separately identified, as is debt denominated in special drawing rights and debt repayable in multiple currencies (CD-ROM and online database only).

Beginning in 2001, debt denominated in the currencies of the members in the euro area is included under the euro.

4. Average terms of new commitments provides information on the average terms of new commit­ments on public and publicly guaranteed external debt and information on the level of commitments from of­ficial and private sources. To obtain averages, the interest rates, maturities, and grace periods in each category have been weighted by the amounts of the loans.

Maturity is the number of years to original maturity date, which is the sum of grace and re­payment periods.

Grace period for principal is the period from the date of signature of the loan or the issue of the financial instrument to the first repayment of prin­cipal. The repayment period is the period from the first to last repayment of principal.

The grant element of a loan is the grant equiv­alent expressed as a percentage of the amount committed. It is used as a measure of the overall cost of borrowing. Loans with an original grant element of 25 percent or more are defined as con­cessional. The average grant element has been weighted by the amounts of the loans (CD-ROM and online database only). Commit­ments cover the total amount of loans for which contracts were signed in the year specified; data for private nonguaranteed external debt are not available.

The grant equivalent of a loan is its commit­ment (present) value, less the discounted present value of its contractual debt service; convention­ally, future service payments are discounted at 10 percent.

Present value of external debt outstanding is the discounted value of all future debt service at a given rate of interest (discount rate). It is based on the annual debt service (principal plus interest) discounted by the Commercial Interest Reference Rates of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, according to the currency of payment of the loan.

5. Major economic aggregates provide data series for major economic aggregates. The six economic aggregates for the reporting economies are prepared for the convenience of users; the usual caution should be exercised in using them for economic analysis.

Gross national income, or GNI is the sum of value added by all resident producers plus any product taxes (less subsidies) not included in the valuation of output plus net receipts of primary in­come (compensation of employees and property income) from abroad. Yearly average exchange rates are used to convert GNI from local currency into US dollars.

Exports of goods, services, and income are the total value of goods and services exported and receipts of compensation of employees, and investment income. Workers’ remittances, a transfer and not an income entry in the balance of payments, are treated as compensation of employees in Global Development Finance because they are often difficult to distinguish from compen­sation of nonresident workers and migrants.

Workers’ remittances and compensation of employees comprise current transfers by migrant workers, wages and salaries earned by nonresident workers. In addition, migrants’ transfers, a part of capital transfers, are treated as workers’ remit­tances in Global Development Finance.

Imports of goods and services are the total value of goods and services imported and income paid.

International reserves are the sum of a country’s monetary authority’s holdings of special drawing rights (SDRs), its reserve position in the IMF, its holdings of foreign exchange, and its holdings of gold (valued at year-end London prices).

Current account balance is the sum of the credits less the debits arising from international transactions in goods, services, income, and cur­rent transfers. It represents the transactions that add to or subtract from an economy’s stock of for­eign financial items.

back to top tool-arrow.gif

6. Debt ratios The macroeconomic aggregates and external debt data provided in the tables are used to generate ratios that analysts use to assess the exter­nal situations of developing countries. Different an­alysts give different weights to these indicators, but no single indicator or set of indicators can substi­tute for a thorough analysis of the overall situation of an economy. The advantage of the indicators in Global Development Finance is that they are calcu­lated from standardized data series that are com­piled on a consistent basis by the World Bank and the IMF. The ratios offer various measures of the cost of, or capacity for, servicing debt in terms of the foreign exchange or output forgone. The fol­lowing ratios are provided based on external debt:

External debt stocks to exports (%): external debt to exports of goods and services (including workers’ remittances).

External debt stocks to GNI (%): external debt to gross national income.

External debt service to exports (%): also called the external debt service ratio, external debt service to exports of goods and services (including workers’ remittances).

Short-term to external debt stocks (%): short-term external debt to external debt.

Multilateral to external debt stocks (%):  multilateral external debt to external debt.

Reserves to external debt stocks (%):  international reserves to ex­ternal debt.

Reserves to imports (months): international reserves in months of imports of goods and services. (Reserves/ (imports/12)).This ratio shows reserves expressed in terms of the number of months of imports of goods and services they could pay for. 

Concessional debt to external debt (CD-ROM and online database only). 

Interest payments to exports (%): also called the interest service ratio, interest payments to exports of goods and services (including workers’ remittances) (CD-ROM and online database only).

Interest payments to GNI (%): interest payments to gross national income (CD-ROM and online database only).


7. Long-term external debt provides detailed information on stocks and flows of long-term external debt and its vari­ous components. Data on bonds issued by private entities without public guarantee, compiled for major borrowers, are included in private nonguar­anteed external debt. IBRD loans and IDA credits are shown separately.

Data on long-term external debt include eight main elements, not all of which have been provided in the print edition of the GDF:

Debt outstanding and disbursed is the outstanding debt at year end.

Disbursements are drawings on loan commitments by the borrower during the year.

Principal repayments are amounts paid by the borrower during the year.

Net flows received by the borrower dur­ing the year are disbursements minus principal repayments (CD-ROM and online database only).

Interest payments are amounts paid by the borrower during the year.

Net transfers are net flows minus inter­est payments during the year; negative transfers show net transfers made by the borrower to the creditor during the year (CD-ROM and online database only).

Debt service is the sum of principal repayments and interest payments actually made (CD-ROM and online database only).

Undisbursed debt is debt un­drawn at year end; data for private nonguaranteed external debt are not available (CD-ROM and online database only).

Data are aggregated by type of creditor.

Official creditors include multilateral and bilateral lenders.

·          Loans from multilateral organizations are loans and credits from the World Bank, regional development banks, and other multilateral and intergovernmental agencies. Excluded are loans from funds administered by an international orga­nization on behalf of a single donor government; these are classified as loans from governments.

·          Bilateral loans are loans from governments and their agencies (including central banks), loans from autonomous bodies, and direct loans from official export credit agencies.

Private creditors include bondholders, commercial banks, and other private creditors. Other private creditors comprise trade-related lending.

·          Bonds include publicly issued or privately placed bonds.

·          Commercial banks are loans from private banks and other private financial institutions.

·          Other private includes credits from manufac­turers, exporters, and other suppliers of goods, and bank credits covered by a guarantee of an ex­port credit agency.

Concessional long-term external debt outstanding and disbursed conveys information about the borrower’s receipt of aid from official lenders at concessional terms as defined by the DAC, that is, loans with an original grant element of 25 percent or more (CD-ROM and online database only). Loans from major regional development banks—African Development Bank, Asian Development Bank, and the Inter-American Development Bank—and from the World Bank are classified as concessional, according to each institu­tion’s classification and not according to the DAC definition, as was the practice in earlier reports.

Variable interest rate long-term external debt outstanding and disbursed is long-term external debt with interest rates that float with movements in a key market rate such as the London interbank offer rate (LIBOR) or the U.S. prime rate. This item conveys information about the borrower’s ex­posure to changes in international interest rates (CD-ROM and online database only).

back to top tool-arrow.gif

8. Debt stock-flow reconciliation reconciles the stock and flow data on external debt for each year, beginning with 1989. This section is designed to illustrate the changes in stock that have taken place due to five factors: the net flow on external debt, the net change in interest arrears, the capitalization of interest, the reduction in debt resulting from debt forgiveness or other debt reduction mechanisms, and the cross-currency valuation effects. The resid­ual difference, the change in stock not explained by any of the factors identified above, is also pre­sented. The residual is calculated as the sum of identified accounts minus the change in stock. Where the residual is large it can, in some cases, serve as an illustration of the inconsistencies in the reported data. More often, however, it can be explained by specific borrowing phenomena in individual countries. These are explained in the Country Notes section. Not all components are provided in the GDF print edition.

Total change in external debt stocks is the variation in the external debt stock between two consecutive years.

Net flows on external debt are disbursements on long­-term external debt and IMF purchases minus principal repayments on long­-term external debt; IMF repurchases, and changes in the stock of the short-term debt.

Cross-currency valuation effect arises from movements in the value of the US dollar against other world currencies, as well as debt forgiveness or reduction, and affect the value of developing country debt. Countries contract debt in various currencies. The external debt data that countries report to the DRS is ex­pressed in the currencies in which the original debt was contracted or in currencies in which it is re­payable. For purposes of standardization and aggre­gation, the DRS converts these amounts into dollar values. The exchange rates used are generally the par values or central rates specified by the IMF or mar­ket rates when necessary. Exchange rates in effect at the end of any given year are used to convert the stock of debt outstanding for that year in various currencies into the nominal dollar value.

Net change in interest arrears is the variation in the total amount of interest in arrears between two consecutive years (CD-ROM and online database only).

Interest capitalized is the interest that became part of the stock of debt due to a rescheduling op­eration (CD-ROM and online database only).

Debt forgiveness or reduction is the debt stock, principal, and/or interest that will not be paid (CD-ROM and online database only).

Residual is the change in the external debt stock that is not justified by the operations listed above (CD-ROM and online database only).

9. Debt restructurings provide information on re­structurings of long-term external debt starting in 1985.   

Debt restructurings include restructurings in the context of the Paris Club, commercial banks, debt-equity swaps, buybacks, and bond ex­changes. In the event of a swap of long term external debt (external debt-to-equity, external debt-for-nature, or external debt-for­-development), the face value of the external debt swapped will be recorded as a decline in the long-term external debt stock, but the operation will not be recorded as a principal repayment. For example, if a country swaps external debt of face value D against equity, then long term external debt will decline by D, and a principal repay­ment will not be reported. Debt restructuring data capture the non-cash or inferred flows associated with rescheduling and restructuring. These are presented to complement the cash-basis transac­tions recorded in the main body of the data, which show both the stock and flows resched­uled each year. In addition, the amount of external debt forgiven (interest forgiven is shown as a memo­randum item) and the amount of external debt stock re­duction (including debt buyback) are also shown separately. 

Total amount rescheduled is the total amount of external debt rescheduled, which includes the external debt stock, principal, interest, charges, and penalties rescheduled.

External debt stock rescheduled is the amount of external debt outstanding rescheduled in any given year (CD-ROM and online database only).

Principal rescheduled is the amount of prin­cipal due or in arrears that was rescheduled in any given year (CD-ROM and online database only).

Interest rescheduled is the amount of interest due or in arrears that was rescheduled in any given year (CD-ROM and online database only).

Total amount forgiven is the amount of principal due or in arrears that was written off or forgiven in any given year. It includes debt forgiven within and outside Paris Club agreements, principal for­given and principal arrears forgiven, and excludes interest forgiven. Interest arrears forgiven and fu­ture interest obligations forgiven are recorded as a memo item under interest forgiven.

Interest forgiven is the amount of interest due or in arrears that was written off or forgiven in any given year (CD-ROM and online database only).

Debt stock reduction is the amount that has been netted out of the stock of debt using debt conversion schemes such as buybacks and equity swaps or the discounted value of long-term bonds that were issued in exchange for outstanding debt. It includes the effect of any financial operation that will reduce the debt stock other than debt stock restructuring, repayment of principal and debt forgiven (which is recorded separately). In particular, “debt stock reduction” will include the face value of debt bought back, the face value of debt swapped for equity (or “nature” or “development”), any face value reduction that might result as the consequence of a bond ex­change, and any face value reduction resulting from an exchange of debt for discount bonds (CD-ROM and online database only).

Debt buyback is the repurchase by a debtor of its own debt, discounted or at par. In the event of a buyback of long-term debt, the face value of the debt bought back will be recorded as a decline in the long-term debt stock, and the cash amount re­ceived by creditors will be recorded as a principal repayment. For example, if a country buys back long-term external debt of face value B at a price p, then long-term external debt will decline by B, and principal re­payment will go up by p*B. The difference between the secondary market price at which the debt was bought back and the face value is recorded as a debt stock write-off (CD-ROM and online database only). Both debt buyback and debt stock write-offs are included in the debt stock reduction.


10. Contractual obligations on outstanding long-term external debt provides anti­cipated disbursements and contractual obligations on long-term external debt contracted up to December 2007.

Projected debt service payments are estimates of payments due on existing debt outstanding, in­cluding undisbursed. They do not include service payments that may become due as a result of new loans contracted in subsequent years. Nor do they allow for effects on service payments of changes in repayment patterns owing to prepayment of loans or to rescheduling or refinancing, including repay­ment of outstanding arrears that occurred after the last year of reported data.

         Projected disbursements are estimates of drawings of unutilized balances (CD-ROM and online database only). The projections do not take into account future borrowing by the debtor country. (See the Method­ology section for a detailed explanation of how undisbursed balances are projected.)

back to top tool-arrow.gif


Country Notes

Country notes at the end of each country table summarize major events that have taken place in the country in recent years; describe the sources of information for short-term and private non-guaranteed external debt; and highlight main issues on data collection process. Unless otherwise specified in the country table, data on long-term public and publicly guaranteed external debt for 2007 are based on reports provided by the country, and short-term external debt data are World Bank staff estimates, based on BIS data on international bank lending. 


           The principal sources of information for the tables in this volume are reports to the World Bank through the DRS from member countries that have received either IBRD loans or IDA credits. Additional information has been drawn from the files of the African Development Bank, the Asian Development Bank, and the Central Bank for Economic Integration, the Inter-American Development Bank, the IBRD and the IDA, and the IMF. (IBRD and IDA are the institutions of the World Bank)

           Reporting countries submit detailed (loan¬-by-loan) reports through the DRS on the annual status, transactions, and terms of the long-term external debt of public agencies and that of private ones guaranteed by a public agency in the debtor country. This information forms the basis for the tables in this volume.

           The short-term external debt data are as reported by the debtor countries or are estimates. The most important source is the BIS quarterly series showing the maturity distribution of commercial banks’ claims on developing countries. For some countries, estimates were prepared by pooling creditor and debtor information.

           Data on long-term external debt reported by member countries are checked against, and supplemented by, data from several other sources. Among these are the statements and reports of several regional development banks, government lending agencies, and official government Web sites.

           Data on exports and imports (on a balance of payments basis), international reserves, and current account balances are drawn mainly from the files of the IMF, supplemented by World Bank staff estimates. Balance of payments data are presented according to the fifth edition of the IMF’s Balance of Payments Manual, which made several adjustments to its presentation of trade statistics. Coverage of goods was expanded to include in imports the value of goods received for processing and repair (on a gross basis). Their subsequent re-export is recorded in exports (also on a gross basis). This approach will cause a country’s imports and exports to increase without affecting the balance of goods. In addition, all capital transfers, which were included with current transfers in the fourth edition of the Balance of Payments Manual, are now shown in a separate capital (as opposed to financial) account, and so do not contribute to the current account balance.

           GNI data for most developing countries are collected from national statistical organizations and central banks by visiting and resident World Bank missions. Data on GNI are from the Macroeconomic Data Team of the Development Economics Development Data Group of the World Bank.

           Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the external debt statistics. Nevertheless, quality and coverage vary among debtors and may also vary for the same debtor from year to year. Coverage has been improved through the efforts of the reporting agencies and the work of the World Bank missions, which visit member countries to gather data and to provide technical assistance on debt issues.

                                                                          back to top tool-arrow.gif




The following symbols have been used throughout:

0.0   indicates that data exist, but are negligible or a true zero.
..      indicates that data are not available.
     indicates that data have not been calculated.
$      indicates current U.S. dollars unless otherwise specified.


Debt stock and its components

Graph of debt stock

 back to top tool-arrow.gif

Country groups

Regional groups




East Asia and Pacific


Egypt, Arab Rep. of (A)

Ghana (P)


Tajikistan (P)

Iran, Islamic Rep. of (A)

Guinea (E)


Cambodia (A)

Turkey (A)

Jordan (A)

Guinea-Bissau (P)

China (P)

Turkmenistan (A)

Lebanon (A)

Kenya (A)

Fiji (A)

Ukraine (P)

Morocco (A)

Lesotho (A)

Indonesia (A)

Uzbekistan (E)


Liberia (E)

Lao PDR (P)



Madagascar (A)

Malaysia (P)

Latin America and the Caribbean

Tunisia (A)

Malawi (A)

Mongolia (E)


Yemen, Republic of (A)

Mali (A)

Myanmar (E)

Argentina (A)


Mauritania (A)

Papua New Guinea (A)

Belize (A)

South Asia

Mauritius (A)

Philippines (A)

Bolivia (A)


Mozambique (P)

Samoa (A)

Brazil (A)

Afghanistan (P)

Niger (P)

Solomon Islands (A)

Chile (A)

Bangladesh (P)

Nigeria (P)

Thailand (P)

Colombia (A)

Bhutan (A)

Rwanda (P)

Tonga (A)

Costa Rica (A)

India (A)

São Tomé and Principe (A)

Vanuatu (A)

Dominica (A)

Maldives (A)

Senegal (P)

Vietnam (E)

Dominican Republic (A)

Nepal (A)

Seychelles (A)


Ecuador (A)

Pakistan (A)

Sierra Leone (P)

Europe and Central Asia

El Salvador (A)

Sri Lanka (A)

Somalia (E)


Grenada (A)


South Africa (P)

Albania (A)

Guatemala (A)

Sub-Saharan Africa

Sudan (A)

Armenia (A)

Guyana (A)


Swaziland (A)

Azerbaijan (A)

Haiti (P)

Angola (A)

Tanzania (E)

Belarus (A)

Honduras (A)

Benin (P)

Togo (A)

Bosnia and Herzegovinaa (A)

Jamaica (A)

Botswana (P)

Uganda (A)

Bulgaria (A)

Mexico (A)

Burkina Faso (A)

Zambia (P)

Croatia (A)

Nicaragua (A)

Burundi (A)

Zimbabwe (A)

Georgia (A)

Panama (A)

Cameroon (A)



Paraguay (A)

Cape Verde (A)


Kazakhstan (A)

Peru (A)

Central African Republic (P)


Kyrgyz Republic (A)

St. Kitts and Nevis (A)

Chad (A)


Latvia (A)

St. Lucia (A)

Comoros (P)



St. Vincent and the Grenadines (A)

Congo, Dem. Rep. of (E)


Macedonia, FYR (A)

Uruguay (A)

Congo, Rep. of (P)


Moldova (A)

Venezuela, R.B. de (A)

Côte d’Ivoire (A)


Montenegro (A)




Poland (A)

Middle East and North Africa

Eritrea (A)


Romania (A)


Ethiopia (A)


Russian Federation (P)

Algeria (A)

Gabon (P)



Djibouti (A)

Gambia,The (E)


Note: Letters in parenthesis indicate DRS reporters’ status: (A) as reported, (P) preliminary and (E) estimated. The status “as reported” indicates that the country was fully current in its reporting under the DRS and that World Bank staff are satisfied that the reported data give an adequate and fair representation of the country’s total public debt. “Preliminary” data are based on reported or collected information but, because of incompleteness or other reasons; include an element of staff estimation. “Estimated” data indicate that countries are not current in their reporting and that a significant element of staff estimation has been necessary in producing the data tables.

a. For Bosnia and Herzegovina, total debt before 1999, excluding IBRD and IMF obligations and short-term debt, is included under Serbia
b. Data prior to 2006 include Montenegro.

back to top tool-arrow.gif

Income groups




Low-income countries


Middle-income countries











Papua New Guinea



Burkina Faso





São Tomé and Principe


Macedonia, FYR





Central African Republic

Sierra Leone




Solomon Islands







Congo, Dem. Rep. of




Côte d’Ivoire










Bosnia and Herzegovina


Gambia, The













Yemen, Republic of

Cape Verde










Kyrgyz Republic






Congo, Rep. of

Russian Federation



Costa Rica













South Africa



Dominican Republic

Sri Lanka




St. Kitts and Nevis



Egypt, Arab Rep. of

St. Lucia



El Salvador

St. Vincent and the Grenadines











































Iran, Islamic Rep. of









Venezuela, R.B. de





Notes: 1/ Low-income economies are those with a GNI per capita of $935 or less in 2007. Middle-income economies are those with a GNI per capita of more than $935 but less than $11,456. Lower-middle-income and upper-middle-income countries are separated at a GNI per capita of $3,705.

            2/ Although classified as lower middle income, Syrian Arab Republic is not included in this year’s edition of Global Development Finance or The Little Data Book on External Debt because data were not reported for 2007. Regional and income aggregates thus do not include data for Syrian Arab Republic. When reporting resumes, data for Syrian Arab Republic will be published and included in regional aggregates in future editions of Global Development Finance and The Little Data Book on External Debt.

back to top tool-arrow.gif


The following abbreviations are used in the principal ratios and indicator tables:

BIS       Bank for International Settlements
CRS      Creditor Reporting System (of the OECD)
DAC      Development Assistance Committee (of the OECD)
DDSR    Debt and debt service reduction
DRS      Debtor Reporting System (of the World Bank)
FDI       Foreign direct investment
GNI       Gross national income
IBRD     International Bank for Reconstruction and Development/World Bank
IDA       International Development Association (of the World Bank)
IMF       International Monetary Fund
LIBOR   London interbank offer rate
MYRA    Multiyear rescheduling agreement
ODA      Official development assistance
OECD    Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development
OPEC    Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries
SDR      Special drawing right (of the IMF)
WBXD   World Bank External Debt System