Sales of exported products on deferred-payment terms carry risks not found in the case of sales in domestic markets. Reliable information concerning prospective foreign buyers may be hard to obtain, making it difficult to accurately assess their credit-worthiness. Suppliers fear that in case of non-payment it may prove complicated or costly to press their claims in foreign courts, and that in the buyer's country alien creditors may not always receive the same treatment as do domestic creditors. In addition to commercial risks (insolvency and default of the buyer), external trade involves important non-commercial risks arising from events beyond the control of both buyer and supplier. Losses may be caused by political events such as war, rebellion and expropriation, by catastrophes such as hurricanes, floods and earthquakes, and by monetary phenomena such as foreign exchange shortages and other transfer difficulties. When such events occur before delivery of the goods, they may prevent the buyer from fulfilling the contract or make it impossible to transport the goods to their destination. When they occur after delivery, they may render previously solvent, buyers insolvent or prevent payment by solvent buyers. Export credit insurance schemes alleviate some risks for nationals of some countries, but there are inequalities among the insurance plans and there are some countries for which no insurance is available.
The Encyclopedia of World Problems and Human Potential is a collaboration between UIA and Mankind 2000, started in 1972. It is the result of an ambitious effort to collect and present information on the problems with which humanity is confronted, as well as the challenges such problems pose to concept formation, values and development strategies. Problems included are those identified in international periodicals but especially in the documents of some 60,000 international non-profit organizations, profiled in the Yearbook of International Organizations.
The Encyclopedia includes problems which such groups choose to perceive and act upon, whether or not their existence is denied by others claiming greater expertise. Indeed such claims and counter-claims figure in many of the problem descriptions in order to reflect the often paralyzing dynamics of international debate. In the light of the interdependence demonstrated among world problems in every sector, emphasis is placed on the need for approaches which are sufficiently complex to encompass the factions, conflicts and rival worldviews that undermine collective initiative towards a promising future.
Non-profit, apolitical, independent, and non-governmental in nature, the UIA has been a pioneer in the research, monitoring and provision of information on international organizations, international associations and their global challenges since 1907.