Publication: Global Development Finance 2010 : External Debt of Developing Countries

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World Bank
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 Bank's 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 on 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.
World Bank. 2010. Global Development Finance 2010 : External Debt of Developing Countries. Global development finance. © License: CC BY 3.0 IGO.
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