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About the data




Data Sources

Regional Groups

Income Groups



The World Bank’s Debtor Reporting System (DRS), from which the aggregates and country tables presented in this report are drawn, was established in 1951. The debt crisis of the 1980s brought increased attention to debt statistics and to the World Debt Tables, the predecessor to Global Development Finance. Now the global financial crisis has once again heightened awareness in developing countries of the importance of managing their external obligations. Central to this process is the measurement and monitoring of external debt stocks and flows in a coordinated and comprehensive way. The initial objective of the DRS was to support the World Banks’ assessment of the creditworthiness of its borrowers. But it has grown as a tool to inform developing countries and the international community of trends in external financing and as a standard for the concepts and definitions which countries can base their own debt management systems.

Over the years the external financing options available to developing countries have evolved and expanded, and so too has the demand for timely and relevant data to measure the activity of public and private sector borrowers and creditors. Recurrent debt crises caused by adverse global economic conditions or poor economic management have demanded solutions, including debt restructuring and, in the case of the poorest, most highly indebted countries, outright debt forgiveness, formulated on the basis of detailed and robust information on external obligations.

Steps are continuously being taken to ensure that the data captured by the DRS mirrors these developments and responds to the needs of debt managers and analysts. In this context reporting requirements are periodically amended to reflect changes in borrowing patterns. Many developing countries increasingly rely on financing raised in domestic markets, and so we are exploring ways to expand the coverage of public sector borrowing in domestic markets. At the same time we are mindful that expanded coverage and efforts to enhance data accuracy and timeliness must be balanced against the reporting burden imposed on developing countries. Bringing modern technology to bear reduces reporting costs. In partnership with the major providers of debt data management systems to developing countries, the Commonwealth Secretariat (COMSEC) and the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), we have established standard code and system links that enable countries to provide their DRS reports electronically, in a seamless and automated data exchange process.

We recognize that robust debt data and good debt management go hand in hand and the World Bank is committed, together with its partners, to improve the capacity of developing countries to manage their debt. We are also committed to maintain the DRS as a rich source of information and welcome your comments and suggestions to ensure that it meets your needs. 

Shaida Badiee
Director, Development Data Group

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Data sources


The principal sources of information for the tables in this volume are reports to the World Bank through the World Bank’s Debtor Reporting System (DRS) from member countries that have received either International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) loans or International Development Association (IDA) credits. The DRS has its origin in the World Bank’s need to monitor and assess the financial position of its borrowers. Since 1951 borrowers have been required to provide statistics on their public external debt and private sector debt that benefits from a public guarantee. In its design, consistency, and continuity of coverage, the DRS is a unique resource. Reporting countries submit detailed reports 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 agencyin the debtor country. The DRS maintains these records on a loan-by-loan basis. In 1973 coverage of the DRS was expanded to include private sector nonguaranteed borrowing, but for this category of debt, data are provided by borrowers in aggregate rather than loan by loan.
Data submitted to the DRS are processed in the World Bank External Debt (WBXD) system, along with additional information received from the files of the African Development Bank, the Asian Development Bank, the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), the International Monetary Fund (IMF), and institutions of the World Bank Group(IBRD and IDA), and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD). The WBXD is an internal system of the World Bank. Among its outputs is the Global Development Finance (GDF) database, from which the tables in this publication, GDF-CD Rom and online database are produced.

Data on exports and imports (on a balance of payments basis), international reserves, and current account balances, foreign direct investment (FDI), portfolio equity flows and profit remittances on FDI are drawn mainly from the files of the IMF, supplemented by  UNCTAD reports and country data. Balance of payments data are presented according to the fifth edition of the IMF’s Balance of Payments Manual(BPM5).  Official aid flows come from data collected and published by the Development Assistance Committee (DAC) of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). Short-term external debt data are as reported by debtor countries or are estimates based on Bank for International Settlements (BIS) quarterly series of commercial banks’ claims on developing countries. For some countries estimates were prepared by pooling creditor and debtor information. Data on the gross national income (GNI) of most developing countries are collected from national statistical organizations or central banks by visiting and resident World Bank missions.


Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the external debt statistics. Coverage has been improved through the efforts of the reporting agencies and close collaboration between the Bank and our partners Commonwealth Secretariat (COMSEC) and UNCTAD, which provide debt recording and reporting systems across the globe, as well as through the work of the World Bank missions, which visit member countries to gather data and to provide technical assistance on debt issues.  Nevertheless, quality and coverage vary among debtors and may also vary for the same debtor from year to year. 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.

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Total debt stock and other aggregate measures are derived from the summation of loan level data on stocks and flows after conversion to a common currency. Other tabulations are compiled based on terms and conditions reported in the loan level data, such as currency composition, cancellations, rescheduling of other liabilities into long-term public and publicly guaranteed external debt, and debt buybacks.
Aggregates for regional and income groups are based on the World Bank’s operational classifications, which may differ from common geographic usage or income groups used by other organizations. Country classifications of DRS reporting countries in 2010 are shown in country groups in the back of the publication. The same classification is used for all historical data shown in Global Development Finance and the GDF Online database.

Currency conversion
Data on external obligations are normally reported to the World Bank in the currency of repayment and are converted into a common currency (U.S. dollars) using official exchange rates published by the IMF.
Commitments, disbursements, and debt service payments (flows) are converted to U.S. dollars at the annual average exchange rate for the year. Debt outstanding (disbursed and undisbursed) at the end of a given year (stock) is converted at the exchange rate in effect at the end of the relevant year. Consequently, year-to-year changes in debt outstanding and disbursed may not be equal to net flows (disbursements less principal repayments); similarly, changes in debt outstanding (including undisbursed debt) may not equal commitments less repayments. Discrepancies will be particularly significant when exchange rates have moved sharply during the year. Projected debt service is converted to U.S. dollars at rates in effect at the end of December 2010.
Beginning with 1991, all ruble debt owed to the former Soviet Union has been 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. Adoption of this methodology does not constitute an endorsement by World Bank staff of the appropriateness or validity of the exchange rate used. This is a matter to be resolved bilaterally between the Russian Federation and its debtor countries.
Starting with the 1988–89 edition of World Debt Tables (the predecessor of GDF), all data pertaining to IBRD loans from 1985 onward are recorded at their current market value. Starting with the 1991–92 edition, 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.

Debt stock and flow reconciliation
Because of currency conversions and the timing of transactions, there may be differences between the change in aggregate stocks from one period to the next and flows during the relevant period, and changes in debt outstanding, including undisbursed, will therefore, differ from commitments less repayments.
Changes in the stock of debt from one period to the next can be attributed to five factors: the net flow of debt, the net change in interest arrears, the capitalization of interest, reduction in debt resulting from debt forgiveness or other debt reduction mechanisms, and cross-currency valuation effects. Any residual difference in the change in stock not explained by one of the factors identified above may indicate inconsistencies in the reported data or specific phenomena prevailing in an individual country, for example an incomplete historical series for all categories of debt. Starting in 1989 the GDF includes a debt stock reconciliation but not all components are shown in the GDF print edition.

External debt restructuring
Starting in 1985 the World Bank External Debt System (WBXD) includes information on the restructuring of debt by official creditors in the context of the Paris Club, restructuring by commercial creditors, debt swap operations, buybacks, and bond exchanges. It attempts to capture accurately the impact of debt restructuring on both external debt stocks and external debt flows, consistent with the terms on which the restructuring takes place. In compiling and presenting external debt data, a distinction is made between cash flows and imputed flows. Based on this criterion, restructured service payments and the shift in liabilities from one financial instrument to another as a result of debt restructuring are considered to be imputed flows. Both cash flows and imputed flows are recorded separately in WBXD.
The imputed flows and stock changes associated with debt restructuring are included in the GDF tables and GDF database to complement the cash-basis transactions recorded in the main body of the data. This encompasses information on the debt stock and debt flows restructured each year, the amount of principal forgiven (interest forgiven is shown as a memorandum item), and the amount of external debt stock reduced either by forgiveness or a debt buyback operation. Changes in creditor and debtor that result from debt restructuring are also reflected. For example, when insured commercial credits are rescheduled, the creditor classification shifts from private to official (bilateral) reflecting the assumption of the assets by the official credit insurance agencies in the creditor country. The GDF data will show a reduction in the external debt owed to the original private creditors equal/similar to the amount of debt restructured and a corresponding increase in the debt owed to new official creditor. Similarly, on the debtor side when a government accepts responsibility for the payment of restructured debt previously owed by a private enterprise, the relevant change in debtor category will be reflected. Likewise, if short-term external debt is restructured into a long-term obligation, the stock of short-term external debt will decline and the stock of long-term external debt will rise by the amount of short-term debt restructured. In the event of a debt 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 long-term external debt stock but no flow transaction (principal repayment) will be recorded.

Projections of future disbursements and debt service payments
The WBXD system projects future disbursements and future debt service payments on the assumption that every existing loan commitment will be fully utilized and repaid in full.

Future disbursements 

Disbursement projections are made using one of the following methods:
• Specific schedules: Debtor countries are requested to submit a schedule of future disbursements, if available, at the time each new loan is first reported.
• Standard schedules: In the absence of specific schedules, the WBXD system projects the future disbursement schedule, based on the undisbursed balance of each loan at the end of the most recent reporting period.

These projected schedules are based on profiles derived from the disbursement pattern of comparable loans that fully disbursed. Thirty different profiles have been compiled corresponding to each category of creditor and, in the case of official creditors, for concessional and nonconcessional loans. Each profile is derived by applying regression analysis techniques to a body of data on actual disbursements for each fully disbursed loan in the WBXD database. The profiles are periodically updated to take into account the evolving pattern of disbursements observed for fully disbursed loans. 

Future external debt service payments are generated by the WBXD system based on the repayment terms of each loan. Principal repayments (amortization) are based on the amount of the loan commitment. If the amortization schedule follows a set pattern, for example equal semi-annual payments, repayments are calculated automatically by WBXD using the loan commitment amount, the first and final payment dates, and the frequency of the payments. If future payments are irregular, the WBXD system requires a schedule.

Future interest payments are generated by the WBXD system based on the disbursed and outstanding balance of the loan at the beginning of the period. Based on the interest rate specified in the loan contract, the first and final interest payment dates, and the frequency of payments, the WBXD system calculates the stream of future interest payments due. If interest payments are irregular, the WBXD system requires a schedule.

Future debt service payments are the sum of future principal and interest payments due on existing commitments, including the undisbursed portion. They do not include debt service payments that may become due as a result of new loans contracted in subsequent years. Nor do they take into account the impact of any change to future debt service obligations resulting from actions, such as prepayment, rescheduling, or cancellations that occurred after the most recent year-end data reported to the DRS.

Both projected disbursements and future debt service payments are converted into U.S. dollars using end-December 2010 exchange rates. Likewise, future interest payments on loans with a variable rate interest rate, for example loans from commercial banks tied to the London Interbank Offer Rate (LIBOR), are based on the interest rate prevailing at end-December 2010.

Treatment of arrears
The DRS collects information on arrears of both principal and interest. Principal in arrears is included in the amount of long-term external debt outstanding and shown separately. Interest in arrears on long-term external debt and interest in arrears on the use of IMF credit are included as part of short-term external debt outstanding, and shown separately. Clearance of interest in arrears by repayment will be recorded as an interest payment in the relevant creditor category of the loan(s) on which the arrears were incurred, a corresponding reduction in the level of short-term debt outstanding, and a net reduction in interest arrears. Clearance of interest arrears through debt restructuring or forgiveness will be recorded as a reduction in the level of short-term debt outstanding and a net reduction in interest arrears. When interests are restructured they will almost always be capitalized: this will be recorded as an increase in long-term debt outstanding equal to the amount of interest capitalized and the reduction in short-term debt outstanding noted above. 

External debt and its components


This section describes the compilation of the major components of external debt included in the GDF tables and database and the relationship between them, as shown in Figure above. Information about general methods of compiling external debt data are discussed in the section on Methodology. For concise definitions, see the Glossary.


Total external debt

Total external debt shown in the GDF is the sum of long-term external debt, short-term debt, and the IMF credit. It represents the total debt owed to nonresident creditors and repayable in foreign currencies, goods or services by public and private entities in the country. (Debt repayable in domestic currency is not included.)


Short-term debt

Short-term debt is defined as external debt with an original maturity of one year or less.  The World Bank’s Debtor Reporting System (DRS) requires debtor countries to report only on their long-term external debt.  However, in order to present a comprehensive picture of total external obligations the World Bank encourages debtor countries to provide information, on a voluntary basis, on their short-term external obligations.
By its nature, short-term external debt is difficult to monitor: loan-by-loan registration is normally impractical, and monitoring systems typically rely on information requested periodically by the central bank from the banking sector.  The World Bank regards the debtor country as the authoritative source of information on its short-term debt.  Where such information is not made available from the debtor country, data from creditor sources may be used to get an indication of 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. These data are reported on the basis of residual maturity but an estimate of short-term external liabilities by original maturity  can be derived by deducting from claims due in one year those that, 12 months earlier, had a maturity of between one and two years.  However, not all commercial banks report to the BIS in a way that allows the full maturity distribution to be determined, and the BIS data include liabilities only to banks within the BIS reporting area. Consequently the results should be interpreted with caution.
The flow of short-term debt may be derived from the change in claims (stock) data in the BIS quarterly series over consecutive periods, but valuation adjustments resulting from exchange rate movements will affect the calculations, as will prepayment and refinancing of long-term maturities falling due. Where short-term external debt has been rescheduled, lags in reporting and differences in the treatment of the rescheduled external debt by debtors and creditors may result in double counting.
The information on short term debt shown in this publication comes primarily from either creditor or government sources. Unless otherwise specified in the country tables, the data for short-term debt are derived from the data provided by BIS on international bank lending based on time remaining to original maturity.  Interest in arrears on long-term external debt and interest in arrears on the use of IMF credit are added to short-term debt, and separately identified.

Use of IMF credit

Data related to the operations of the IMF are provided by the IMF Treasurer’s Department.  They 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 flows. IMF trust fund (TF) operations under the Enhanced Structural Adjustment Facility (ESAF), Extended Fund Facility (EFF), Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility (PRGF) and Structural Adjustment Facility (SAF – renamed to ESAF in 1999) are presented together with all of the Fund’s special facilities (buffer stock, supplemental reserve, compensatory and contingency, oil facilities, and other facilities).

Long-term debt

Long-term debt has an original maturity of more than one year. It comprises the obligations of both public and private debtors. Private nonguaranteed debt comprises the external obligations of private debtors that are not guaranteed for repayment by a public entity in the debtor country.
Public and publicly guaranteed debt comprises the external obligations of public debtors and has two components: public debt which is borrowing by the national government, a political subdivision (or an agency of either), or autonomous public bodies; and publicly guaranteed debt, which is borrowing by a private agency that is guaranteed for repayment by a public entity.

Private nonguaranteed debt

The DRS reporting requirements were expanded in 1973 to include long-term private nonguaranteed debt. Data are reported annually on an aggregate basis and provide, for the reporting year, data on the total amount of disbursed and outstanding debt, disbursements, principal repayments, interest payments, principal and interest rescheduled, and projected principal and interest payments for future years. The aggregate data are usually reported in dollars and no information on the underlying currency composition is given.
DRS reporting countries recognize the importance of monitoring borrowing by their private sector, particularly when it constitutes a significant portion of total external debt, but many countries acknowledge the difficulty of this process. Detailed data are available only where countries have registration requirements for private nonguaranteed debt in place, most commonly in connection with exchange controls. Where formal registration of private nonguaranteed debt is not mandatory, compilers must rely on balance of payments data and financial surveys.
The data on private nonguaranteed debt in this publication is as reported or as estimated, for countries where this type of external debt is known to be significant. The estimation of private nonguaranteed debt is based on the national data on quarterly external debt statistics. Flows are derived from the change in stock over consecutive periods, adjusted for the effect of exchange rate movements and assuming the currency composition mirrors that public and publicly guaranteed debt, and for any known debt restructuring. Principal payments are estimated on the basis of the average maturity observed for loans to private sector borrowers in countries reporting to the DRS and the stock of debt outstanding. Interest payments are estimated on the basis of the stock of debt outstanding and interest rates prevailing in international capital markets. 
Balance of payments data provide a useful guideline in the estimation process: private nonguaranteed external debt may be derived as a residual between net long-term external borrowing record in the balance of payments and net long-term public and publicly guaranteed external debt reported to the DRS.

Public and publicly guaranteed debt
Data related to public and publicly guaranteed debt are reported to the DRS on a loan-by-loan basis. The data provide annual information on the disbursed and outstanding balance and the undisbursed balance of each loan, the cumulative disbursements, principal and interest paid and principal and interest restructured in the reporting year, and the stock of any outstanding payments arrears of principal and interest. Detailed information on the terms and conditions of each loan is also reported. Public debt and publicly guaranteed debt are shown as a single line in this publication and then further disaggregated by creditor type and, in the case of private creditors, by type of credit instrument.

Official creditors
Official creditors include multilateral and bilateral lenders. In general official creditors provide loans (and, in some cases, provide grants) to public bodies, although in some cases they may lend to other entities with a public guarantee.

Multilateral creditors are international financial institutions such as the World Bank, regional development banks, and other multilateral and intergovernmental agencies whose lending is administered on a multilateral basis. Funds administered by an international financial organization on behalf of a single donor government constitute bilateral loans (or grants). For lending by a number of multilateral creditors the data presented in this publication are taken from the creditors’ records: these include the African Development Bank, the Asian Development Bank, the Inter-American Development Bank, the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), and the International Development Association (IDA). (IBRD and IDA are the institutions of the World Bank.)

Bilateral Creditors are governments and their agencies, including central banks, aid agencies, official export credit agencies, and autonomous agencies such as the U.S. Department of Agriculture or the Federal Home Loan Bank. Member countries of the OECD Development Assistance Committee and some other countries also report information on loans extended bilaterally or officially guaranteed to the Creditor Reporting System (CRS) of the OECD. 

Private creditors
Private creditors include commercial banks, bondholders, and other private creditors. This line includes only publicly guaranteed creditors. Nonguaranteed private creditors are shown separately.


Bonds include publicly issued or privately placed bonds. 

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

Other private creditors include credits from manufacturers, exporters, and other suppliers of goods, and bank credits covered by a guarantee of an export credit agency. This line is included in the GDF database, but not shown in the published tables. It can be obtained as the difference between total private creditors and bonds and commercial banks.

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Country Groups

    Regional groups




East Asia and Pacific


Egypt, Arab Rep. of (A)

Ghana (A)


Tajikistan (A)

Iran, Islamic Rep. of (A)

Guinea (E)

Cambodia (A)

Turkey (A)

Jordan (A)

Guinea-Bissau (E)

China (P)

Turkmenistan (E)

Lebanon (A)

Kenya (A)

Fiji (A)

Ukraine (A)

Morocco (A)

Lesotho (A)



Syrian Arab Rep. (A)


Indonesia (A)

Uzbekistan (A)

Tunisia (A)

Liberia (E)

Lao PDR (P)


Yemen, Republic of (A)

Madagascar (A)

Malaysia (E)

Latin America and the Caribbean


Malawi (A)

Mongolia (A)



Mali (P)

Myanmar (E)

Argentina (A)


Mauritania (A)

Papua New Guinea (A)

Belize (A)

South Asia

Mauritius (P)

Philippines (A)

Bolivia (A)


Mozambique (A)

Samoa (A)

Brazil (A)

Afghanistan (A)

Niger (A)

Solomon Islands (A)

Chile (A)

Bangladesh (A)

Nigeria (A)

Thailand (A)

Colombia (A)

Bhutan (A)

Rwanda (E)

Tonga (A)

Costa Rica (A)

India (A)

São Tomé and Principe (P)

Vanuatu (A)

Dominica (A)

Maldives (A)

Senegal (A)

Vietnam (P)

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 (A)

Angola (A)

Tanzania (A)

Belarus (A)

Honduras (A)

Benin (A)

Togo (A)

Bosnia and Herzegovinaa (A)

Jamaica (A)

Botswana (A)

Uganda (A)

Bulgaria (A)

Mexico (A)

Burkina Faso (E)

Zambia (P)

Georgia (A)

Nicaragua (A)

Burundi (A)

Zimbabwe (A)

Kazakhstan (A)


Panama (A)

Cameroon (A)


Kosovo (A)




Kyrgyz Republic (A)

Paraguay (A)

Cape Verde (A)


Latvia (A) 

Peru (A)

Central African Republic (P)


Lithuania (A)

St. Kitts and Nevis (P)

Chad (A)


Macedonia, FYR (A)

St. Lucia (A)

Comoros (P)


Moldova (A)

St. Vincent and the Grenadines (A)

Congo, Dem. Rep. of (E)


Montenegro (A)

Uruguay (A)

Congo, Rep. of (P)



Venezuela, R.B. de (A)

Côte d’Ivoire (A)


Romania (A)


Eritrea (A)


Russian Federation (P)

Middle East and North Africa

Ethiopia (A)




Gabon (P)



Algeria (A)

Gambia,The (E)



Djibouti (A)





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.



Income groups


Low-income countries


Dominican Republic 

Papua New Guinea







Egypt, Arab Rep. of




El Salvador 






Burkina Faso



Russian Federation 








São Tomé and Principe

Central African Republic

Middle-income countries











Congo, Dem. Rep. of 



South Africa 




Sri Lanka 



Iran, Islamic Rep. of 

Syrian Arab Rep.

Gambia, The 



St. Kitts and Nevis




St. Lucia 




St. Vincent and the Grenadines 













Kyrgyz Republic





Bosnia and Herzegovina 

Macedonia, FYR















Cape Verde 














Venezuela, R.B. de


Congo, Rep. of




Costa Rica 


Yemen, Republic of


Côte d’Ivoire



Sierra Leone




Solomon Islands




Notes: 1/ Low-income economies are those with a GNI per capita of $1,005 or less in 2010. Middle-income economies are those with a GNI per capita of more than $1,006 but less than $12,275. Lower-middle-income and upper-middle-income countries are separated at a GNI per capita of $3,976.


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Average terms of new commitments provide information on the average terms (interest rate, maturity, and grace period) of new commitments on public and publicly guaranteed external debt contracted with public and private creditors. Averages are weighted by the amounts of the loans.

Bilateral official creditors
 are official agencies that make loans on behalf of one government to another government or to public (and, in some cases, private) borrowers in another country.

are debt instruments issued by public and publicly guaranteed or private debtors with duration of one year or longer. Bonds usually give the holder the unconditional right to fixed money income or contractually determined variable money income. 

Commercial banks are private banks that provide loans and other financial services.

Commitments of public and publicly guaranteed debt constitute the total amount of new long-term loans to public sector borrowers or borrowers with a public sector guarantee extended by official and private lenders and for which contracts were signed in the year specified.

Contractual obligations on outstanding long-term external debt
are the anticipated debt service payments on long-term external debt contracted up to December 2010.

Currency composition of public and publicly guaranteed debt
provides information on the share of loans outstanding and disbursed by currency of repayment. For major multilateral creditors, the currency composition the currency composition of the relevant unit of account is also taken into account. The principle currencies in which the external debt of low-and middle-income countries is contracted (the euro, Japanese yen, pound sterling, Swiss franc and U.S. dollar) are separately identified. Beginning in 2001, debt denominated in the currencies of the members in the euro area is included under the euro rather than the national currencies that previously prevailed.

Current account balance
is the sum of net balances on trade in goods, services, income and the net current transfers.

Debt buyback
 is the repurchase by a debtor of its own debt, either at a discount price or at par value. 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 stock outstanding of long-term debt, 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 increase by P. The difference between the price at which the debt was bought back and the face value is recorded as a debt stock write-off (the related transactions are not separately indentified in the GDF publication but are available in the CD-ROM and online World Bank open data).

Debt forgiveness grants
 include both debts cancelled by agreement between debtor and creditor and reductions in the net present value of official non-concessional loans resulting from concessional rescheduling or refinancing. Data are recorded on a disbursement basis and include debt forgiveness from bilateral and multilateral creditors

Debt outstanding and disbursed
 is the value at year’s end of long-term external debt owed by public and publicly guaranteed and private non-guaranteed debtors.

Debt restructurings
are revisions to debt service obligations agreed by creditors and debtors. Such agreements change the amount and timing of future principal and interest payments.

Debt service to exports
is the ratio of the sum of principal repayments and interest paid on total long-term debt (public and publicly guaranteed and private nonguaranteed debt) to the value of exports of goods and services and receipts of income from abroad.

Debt stock-flow reconciliation
shows the indicators that affect the change in debt stocks from one period to the next.

are drawings during the year specified on loan commitments contracted by the borrower.

Exports of goods, services, and income
constitute the total value of exports of goods and services, receipts of compensation of nonresident workers, and investment income from abroad.

External debt flows
are debt-related transactions during the year specified. They include disbursements, principal repayments, and interest payments.

External debt stocks
comprise public and publicly guaranteed long-term external debt, private nonguaranteed long-term external debt, the use of IMF credit, and short-term external debt, including interest arrears on long-term debt. The relation between external debt stock and its components is illustrated above.

External debt stocks to exports
is the ratio of outstanding external debt to the value of exports of goods and services and receipts of income from abroad.

External debt stocks to GNI
is the ratio of outstanding external debt to gross national income.

Foreign direct investment refers direct investment flows in the reporting economy. It is the sum of equity capital, reinvestment earnings and other capital. The term describes a category of international investment made by a resident entity in one economy (direct investor) with the objective of establishing a lasting interest in an enterprise resident in an economy other than that of the investor (direct investment enterprise). Ownership of 10 percent or more of the ordinary shares or voting stock is the criterion for determining the existence of a direct investment relationship.

Grace period
is the time between the date on which a loan is committed and the date on which the first principal payment is due.  The information presented in Global Development Finance is the average grace period on all public and publicly guaranteed debt committed during the specified period.

are legally binding commitments that obligate a specific value of funds available for disbursement for which there is no payment requirement. They include debt forgiveness grants, grants from bilateral and multilateral agencies (such as the International Development Association). 

Gross national income (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 to U.S. dollars.

Heavily Indebted Poor Country (HIPC) Initiative
is a program of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund to provide debt relief to qualifying countries with unsustainable debt burdens.

Imports of goods, services, and income
 constitute the total value of goods and services imported and income payable to nonresidents.

Interest arrears on long-term debt
are interest payments due but not paid, shown on a cumulative basis.  Interest arrears are due and payable immediately and are therefore regarded as short-term obligations. Thus, an increase in interest arrears on long-term debt will be recorded as an increase in short-term debt. Interest in arrears on the use of IMF credit is also considered to be part of short-term external debt.

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

Interest rate
is the interest rate applicable to a loan commitment as specified in the loan contract.  The information presented in Global Development Finance is the average interest on all public and publicly guaranteed debt committed during the specified period.

International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD)
is a multilateral official creditor.  It is the non-concessional lending arm of the World Bank Group.

International Development Association (IDA)
is a multilateral, official creditor. IDA is the concessional financing arm of the World Bank Group. IDA also provides grant financing to qualified borrowers.

International Monetary Fund (IMF) charges
are the amounts of interest paid in foreign currency in the year specified for transactions with the IMF.

International Monetary Fund (IMF) purchases
are the total drawings on the general resources account of the IMF during the year specified, excluding drawings in the reserve tranche.

International Monetary Fund (IMF) repurchases
are the amounts of principal (amortization) paid in foreign currency in the year specified for transactions with the IMF.

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

Long-term external debt
 is 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 private sector debt
is long-term debt owed by the private sector, whether publicly guaranteed or not.

Long-term public sector debt
is long-term external debt owed by the public sector.

is the date on which the final principal payment on a loan is due.  It is the sum of the grace and repayment period.  The information presented in Global Development Finance is the average maturity on all public and publicly guaranteed debt committed during the specified period.

Multilateral Debt Relief Initiative (MDRI)
is a program of the World Bank, the IMF, the Inter-American Development Bank, and the African Development Bank that provides additional debt relief to countries that have completed the HIPC process.

 official creditors are official agencies owned or governed by more than one country that provide loan financing. They include the international financial institutions, such as the World Bank, regional development banks, and other intergovernmental agencies.

Mutilateral to external debt stocks
is the ratio of the stock of debt owed to
 multilateral creditors to total external debt.

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 this calculation includes only long-term external debt and IMF flows. Beginning in 1985 the calculation includes the change in stock of short-term debt (excluding interest arrears on long-term external debt).

Official creditors
are governments or other bilateral public entities, such as export-import agencies, development agencies, and multilateral financial institutions, such as the World Bank and regional development banks.

Portfolio equity
is the category of international investment that covers investment in equity securities. Equity securities include shares, stocks, participation, or similar documents (such as American Depositary Receipts) that usually denote ownership of equity.

Present value of debt outstanding
 is the nominal value of all future debt service obligations on existing debt discounted at prevailing market rates of interest. The interest rates used in this calculation are the Commercial Interest Reference Rates (CIIR) for each relevant currency compiled and published by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development.

Principal arrears on long-term debt
are principal repayments due but not paid on long-term external debt, shown on a cumulative basis.

Principal repayments
 are the amounts of principal (amortization) paid in foreign currency, goods, or services in the year specified in respect of long-term external debt.

Private creditors
are bondholders, commercial banks, and other trade-related lenders.

Private nonguaranteed
 debt is debt owed by private sector borrowers to external creditors on loans that do not benefit from a public sector guarantee by the debtor country.

Profit remittances on FDI
are 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).

Public and publicly guaranteed debt outstanding and disbursed
is the value of debt at year's end of public sector borrowers, or borrowers with a public sector guarantee, owed to official and private lenders.

Public and publicly guaranteed external debt
comprises public debt (an external obligation of a public debtor, such as the national government or agency, a political subdivision or agency, or an autonomous public body) and publicly guaranteed external debt (an external obligation of a private debtor that is guaranteed for repayment by a public entity).

eserves to external debt stocks is the ratio of international reserves to outstanding external debt.

Reserves to imports (months) is the ratio of international reserves to the value of imports of goods,

services, and income in the year shown and is expressed in months (reserves/(imports/12)).

Short-term external debt
has an original maturity of one year or less. Available data permit no distinction between public, publicly guaranteed, and private nonguaranteed short-term external debt.

Short-term to external debt stock ratio
is the ratio of short-term external debt to total outstanding external debt.

Special Drawing Rights (SDRs
) refer to an international reserve asset that was created by the IMF in 1969 to supplement its member countries' official reserves. The value of SDRs is based on a basket of four key international currencies: the U.S. dollar, the pound sterling, the Japanese yen, and the euro. In addition to playing a role as a supplementary reserve asset, the SDRs serve as the unit of account of the IMF and some other international organizations.

Technical cooperation grants
 include (a) 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 (b) investment-related technical cooperation grants, which are aimed at strengthening the capacity to execute specific investment projects.

Total amount forgiven
is the total amount of principal and interest due, principal and interest in arrears, and debt stock forgiven in the year specified.

Total amount rescheduled
is the total amount of external debt rescheduled, including principal and interest due, principal and interest in arrears, charges, penalties, and debt stock in the year specified.

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

Use of International Monetary Fund (IMF) credit
denotes members’ drawings on the IMF other than amounts 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 as well as Trust Fund loans.

Worker remittances and compensation of employees
constitute the sum of worker’s remittances, compensation of employees, and migrants’ transfers as defined in the IMF’s Balance of Payments Manual (BPM5).

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


BIS               Bank for International Settlements

CIRR             Commercial Interest Reference Rates

COMSEC      Commonwealth Secretariat

CRS               Creditor Reporting System (of the OECD)

DAC               Development Assistance Committee (of the OECD)

DRS               Debtor Reporting System (of the World Bank)

FDI                 Foreign Direct Investment

GNI                Gross National Income

HIPC              Highly Indebted Poor Country (initiative of the World Bank and IMF)

IBRD              International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (of the World Bank)

IDA                 International Development Association (of the World Bank)

IMF                 International Monetary Fund

LIBOR            London Interbank Offer Rate

MDRI              Multilateral Debt Relief Initiative

ODA               Official Development Assistance

OECD            Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development

SDRs              Special drawing rights (of the IMF)

UNCTAD       United Nations Conference on Trade and Development
WBXD            World Bank External Debt System 




The following symbols have been used throughout:


0.0 indicates that a datum exists but is negligible or is a true zero

.. indicates that a datum is not available.

$ indicates current U.S. dollars unless otherwise specified.


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