Regional Financing Arrangements

Regional Financing Arrangements (RFAs) are multilateral agreements between countries with a view to providing joint financial assistance to each other in support of their budget and/or balance of payments.

Along with the EFSD, other major RFAs are: Arab Monetary Fund (AMF), European Stability Mechanism (ESM), the Latin American Reserve Fund (FLAR), EU Balance of Payments Facility (EU BoP), BRICS Contingent Reserve Arrangement (BRICS CRA), North American Financial Agreement (NAFA), Chiang Mai Initiative Multilateralization (CMIM), South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC).

RFAs are normally established within economic unions, which are inherently more exposed to a contagion effect (especially monetary unions). With RFAs, economic imbalances in one country may generate budget commitments in other countries parties to the Arrangement.

RFAs are part of the Global Financial Safety Net and help to prevent and mitigate the impact of economic and financial crises. The Global Financial Safety Net consists of four levels:

  • I. National: Foreign exchange reserves and national fiscal space
  • II. Bilateral: Bilateral swap lines concluded among countries
  • III. Regional: RFAs
  • IV. Global: International Monetary Fund (IMF)

The effectiveness of the Global Financial Safety Net depends on the adequacy of its resources and coordination both between and within all of its tiers.

The  of RFAs are given below:


RFA

Established

Size

(SDR billions)

Members

AMF

1976

3.6

Algeria, Bahrain, Comoros, Djibouti, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, Oman, West Bank and Gaza, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates, Yemen

BRICS CRP

2014

74.4

Brazil, China, India, Russian Federation, South Africa

CMI

2000 (2010)

178.5

Brunei, Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, Hong Kong Monetary Authority of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, China

EFSD

2009

6.3

Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Russian Federation, Tajikistan

EU BP

2002

39

(Non-Eurozone EU countries) Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Denmark, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Sweden, United Kingdom

EFSF

2012

392

(Eurozone countries) Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain

FLAR

1978

3.5

Bolivia, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay, Venezuela


Source: Collaboration between regional financing arrangements and the IMF, IMF Policy Paper, July 2017

RFAs vary widely in sizes, mandates and design. Some of them can be classified as “budgetary  funds”, and their operations are supervised by the ministries of finance of the member-countries (AMF, ESM, EFSD); others are multilateral currency swap lines concluded among central banks of the member states (CMIM, FLAR, SAARC, NAFA).

Properly structured collaboration with the IMF, as well as between the RFAs themselves, should enable reasonable allocation of resources and ensure effective surveillance, as well as institutional development of participating institutions, whereas lack of coordination in providing assistance to countries may provoke major risks of moral hazard, such as, for example, in adopting more "convenient" methods or programs instead of indispensable, but unpopular solutions.

In 2017, the goal of enabling more effective engagement between the IMF and RFAs was incorporated in the G20 Hamburg Action Plan.

Since 2016, the above collaboration matters have been on the agenda of annual high-level meetings between RFAs and the IMF:

The first high-level meeting between RFAs and the IMF (October, 2016)

The second high-level meeting between RFAs and the IMF (October, 2017)

The third high-level meeting between RFAs and the IMF (October, 2018)

Since 2017, RFAs have been holding annual research seminars:

The first joint RFA research seminar in Singapore (September, 2017)

The second joint RFA research seminar in Colombia (May, 2018)

Publications:

A joint RFA staff paper


Top