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About the Report

Global Development Finance 2004: Harnessing Cyclical Gains for Development

The external financing environment facing developing countries has brightened. In 2003, as global growth gained momentum, prices for key commodities rose, financial markets recovered, interest rates remained low, and private capital flows to developing countries increased to $200 billion—their highest level in five years. Harnessing these gains to promote long-term investment and growth is the key theme of Global Development Finance 2004.


Much of the developing world still has difficulty accessing the international capital markets. International investment in developing-country infrastructure has declined dramatically since 1997 and—with the exception of trade finance—private capital flows remain heavily concentrated in specific countries and regions. Although official aid flows have increased, they remain well below the levels required to meet the Millennium Development Goals.


In several developing countries, there has been a large scale build-up in official reserves, much of which has been invested in the financial markets of advanced economies, especially the United States—epitomizing the diverse landscape of contemporary development finance, as well as intricate linkages between exchange rates, trade and capital flows, and the growing interdependence between developed and developing countries.


Global Development Finance 2004, I: Analysis and Summary Tables is the World Bank’s annual review of recent trends in and prospects for financial flows to developing countries. It highlights sources of vulnerability and risk in the recovery in private flows, notably the likely increases in interest rates in the advanced economies, volatility in major currencies and financial markets stemming form large global current-account imbalances, and fears of policy slippages in macroeconomic management in developing countries. It also contains the World Bank’s assessment of the global outlook in light of the recent economic recovery.


Global Development Finance 2004, II: Summary and Country Tables includes a comprehensive set of tables of data for 136 countries that report under the World Bank Debtor Reporting System, as well as summary data for regions and income groups. It contains data on total external debt stocks and flows, aggregates, and key debt ratios, and provides a detailed, country-by-country picture of debt. Global Development Finance 2004 debt data are also available on CD-ROM, with more than 200 historical time series from 1970 to 2002, and country group estimates for 2003.


With analysis and data spanning from short-term trade to long-term infrastructure finance, Global Development Finance 2004 is unique in its breadth of coverage of the issues related to international development finance. By providing a comprehensive review of recent trends in and prospects for all development-related flows (including debt, equity, official aid, and workers’ remittances), Global Development Finance 2004 enables government officials, economists, investors, financial consultants, academics, and policy makers in the development community to better understand, manage, and promote the key challenge of financing development in today’s globalize environment.


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