Research Discussion Paper – RDP 9405 External Debt and Liabilities of Industrial Countries


This paper attempts to overcome the lack of comparable data on the external indebtedness of the industrial countries by constructing consistent time series of data on external debt and the overall international investment position of these countries. As well as classifying external assets and liabilities by type of instrument (debt and equity), this paper presents them by function (direct and portfolio investment) and by sector (official and non-official). Australia is shown to be one of nine industrial countries with net external debt in the range of 30 to 60 per cent of GDP. Within this group, Australia is currently positioned in the lower half.

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