The external debt (or the foreign debt), at any given time, is the outstanding amount of the actual current (and not contingent) liabilities that require payment(s) of principal and/or interest by the debtor at some point(s) in the future and that are owed to non-residents by residents of an economy. The external debt is the portion of a country's debt that was borrowed from creditors outside the country, including commercial banks, other governments or international financial institutions (such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank). The assets/liabilities include debt securities, such as bonds, notes and money market instruments, as well as loans, deposits, currency, trade credits and advances due to non-residents. The loans must usually be paid in the currency in which they was made. In order to earn the needed currency, the borowing country may sell and export goods to the lender's country. The data are expressed in % of GDP.
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Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union
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