The difference between a country’s external financial assets and liabilities is its net international investment position (NIIP).
A country’s external debt includes both its government debt and private debt, and similarly its public and privately held (by its legal residents) external assets are also taken into account when calculating its NIIP. Note that commodities, as well as currencies tend to follow cyclical patterns, whereby they undergo significant valuation changes, of which is reflected in NIIP.
A country’s international investment position (IIP) is a financial statement setting out the value and composition of that country’s external financial assets and liabilities. A positive NIIP value indicates a nation is a creditor nation, while a negative value indicates it is a debtor nation. The USA, as recently as 1960 the world’s largest creditor, has now become the world’s largest debtor, and since the 1980s, Japan has replaced USA as the world’s largest creditor nation.