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The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is an international organization that was initiated in 1944 at the Bretton Woods Conference and formally created in 1945 by 29 member countries. The IMF's stated goal was to assist in the reconstruction of the world's international payment system post–World War II. The IMF currently has a near-global membership of 188 countries. To become a member, a country must apply and then be accepted by a majority of the existing members. Upon joining, each member country of the IMF is assigned a quota, based broadly on its relative size in the world economy. The IMF provides policy advice and financing to members in economic difficulties and also works with developing nations to help them achieve macroeconomic stability and reduce poverty.
The Direction of Trade Statistics (DOTS) presents current figures on the value of merchandise exports and imports disaggregated according to a country's primary trading partners. Area and world aggregates are included in the display of trade flows between major areas of the world. Reported data is supplemented by estimates whenever such data is not available or current. Imports are reported on a cost, insurance and freight (CIF) basis and exports are reported on a free on board (FOB) basis, with the exception of a few countries for which imports are also available FOB. Time series data includes estimates derived from reports of partner countries for non-reporting and slow-reporting countries.
Covering 187 countries including most low-income countries, the toolkit provides indicators on export product diversification and export product quality from 1962-2010. The measures in this toolkit are based on an updated version of the UN–NBER dataset, which harmonizes COMTRADE bilateral trade flow data at the 4-digit SITC (Rev. 1) level. The export diversification and quality database was developed by IMF staff under an IMF-DFID research collaboration.
The Export Diversification Database has three main indicators: the Export Diversification Index, the Extensive Margin, and the Intensive Margin. Higher values for the all three indices indicate lower diversification. The Export Quality Database contains export quality measures across different aggregation levels of export products. Higher values for the quality indices indicate higher quality levels.
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