Trade facilitation plays an important role in development. It enhances countries' competitiveness, allowing them to trade goods and services on time and with low transaction costs.
The Trade Facilitation Support Program (TFSP), managed by the World Bank Group's Trade and Competitiveness Global Practice, provides support for countries seeking assistance in aligning their trade practices with the World Trade Organization Trade Facilitation Agreement (WTO TFA).
TFSP helps developing countries implement trade facilitation reforms aimed at improving trade systems, services, and practices, potentially leading to increased trade, investments, job creation, and private sector competitiveness.
The TFSP program complements the work of other departments in the World Bank and IFC operating in the trade space. Externally, we coordinate closely on the ground with international financial institutions, multilateral organizations, and other partners.
A Consultative Committee consisting of TFSP's founding donors,the WBG's Development Research Group, and Trade and Competitiveness Global Practice leadership team has beenestablished to further refine the agenda and approach of the Program, and oversee its launch and rollout. The Consultative Committee meets semi-annually to:
Asian Development Bank
Inter-American Development Bank
International Monetary Fund
International Trade Centre
United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD)
World Customs Organization
World Trade Organization
The TFSP was established to help developing and least-developed countries (LDCs) reform their trade facilitation practices in a manner consistent with the measures of the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA), concluded at the 9th WTO Ministerial Conference in Bali, Indonesia in December 2013.
To receive support under the Program, countries are expected to have demonstrated a strong commitment to implementing trade facilitation reforms in the areas covered by the WTO TFA. Moreover, the TFSP will prioritize assistance to countries with limited access to other donor support. Requests for technical assistance can be made directly to the Trade Facilitation Support Program or through WBG offices and partners.
There are two main components to the TFSP approach - technical assistance and knowledge, learning and management.
The program helps developing countries reform trade facilitation laws, procedures, processes and systems in a manner consistent with the WTO TFA. The main areas of intervention include:
Main Areas of Technical Assistance
With an aim of creating and sustaining reform momentum, TFSP places emphasis on rapid response-type interventions. Additionally, the Program can finance selected interventions that are not specifically covered by the TFA, but which support its purpose of creating more open trade regimes and achieving greater impact.
Knowledge, Learning & Measurement
The program complements and underpins project interventions with the development of knowledge, learning and measurement tools.
Where technical assistance is clearly required and requested by member countries, or where self-implementation efforts require support, the World Bank Group will assist countries on any combination of the WTO TFA implementation activities outlined below: