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Umbrella Facility for Trade

Launched in 2017, the Umbrella Facility for Trade (UF) is a World Bank-administered multi-donor trust fund that supports the World Bank Group’s Trade Strategy through funding that:


The development partners to the UF are the Department for International Development of the United Kingdom (DFID), the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs of Switzerland (SECO), the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Norway, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands and the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida).


The UF aims to increase the number of WBG projects that incorporate trade, expand research and testing of new ideas on trade, gather data and disseminate knowledge on trade related issues, and increase the WBG’s voice on global trade issues. UF support is aligned with the World Bank Trade Strategies, which is comprised of four pillars.





The UF supports projects and activities that are global, regional, economy-wide or at the sector/firm-level. We generally cover the following areas:



To date, the UF has funded 113 activities in approximately 50 countries.



To date, the UF provides assistance in 66 countries and this is expected to grow:

Albania Guyana Nigeria
Angola India North Macedonia
Argentina Indonesia Pakistan
Bosnia and Herzegovina Iraq Rwanda
Botswana Jordan Senegal
Burundi Kazakhstan Serbia
Cambodia Kenya Seychelles
Carmeroon Kosovo Somalia
Central African Republic Kyrgyz Republic South Sudan
China Lebanon Sudan
Comoros Lesotho Syrian Arab Republic
Costa Rica Madagascar Tajikistan
Cote d'Ivoire Malawi Tanzania
Democratic Republic of the Congo Malaysia Thailand
Ecuador Mauritania Tunisia
Egypt Mauritius Turkey
Equatorial Guniea Mexico Turkmenistan
Eritrea Moldova Uganda
Eswatini Montenegro Uzbekistan
Ethiopia Mozambique Vietnam
Gabon Myanmar Zambia
Guinea Namibia Zimbabwe


Significant catalyzing of WBG trade operations.

UF funding has helped make trade an integral component in $7.6 billion of World Bank lending.

Improved regional and global trade integration.

The UF helps countries to integrate into regional trading blocks and globally, including by assessing the impacts for countries in joining regional trade agreements such as the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), and the Central European Free Trade Agreement (CEFTA). The UF also supports countries with their World Trade Organization accession efforts (e.g. in, Ethiopia, Iraq and Uzbekistan).

Trade transparency through the development and expansion of data.

The UF has supported the creation and improvement of trade databases such as the Logistics Performance Index, the Exporter Dynamics Database, the Services Trade Restrictions Database, the World Integrated Trade Solutions platform and the Trade Costs Dataset. These datasets help countries more accurately assess constraints to trade and inform trade-related reforms.

Supporting conflict-affected and fragile states.

The UF has supported research that provides a better understanding on the links between trade and conflict. In the Great Lakes region of Africa, UF-funded analysis has shown that increasing trade links between countries can be a key factor in bringing together communities split apart by arbitrarily defined borders. In Syria, the UF analyzed how increasing security and rebuilding infrastructure within the country can accelerate the refugee return process after the end of conflict.

Promoting services trade.

Trade in services plays a key role in modern economies by offering new sources of export diversification, as well as for increasing competitiveness for the production of other goods and services. Unlike trade in goods, services trade is governed entirely by domestic regulation. UF funding has been used to develop methodologies for countries to increase services trade competitiveness. This is helping governments assess and enhance the regulatory framework for services trade and investment; identify restrictions to trade in services; and enhance regulatory bodies for services. UF-funded work on services is currently underway in in Cambodia, Malawi, Mozambique, Mauritius, Seychelles, and Zambia.

Understanding and enabling the regulatory environment for e-Trade.

Digital technologies are creating new trade opportunities for firms of all sizes in developing countries to access new markets. UF support is focused on diagnosing the performance of economies on e-trade and helping clients conduct assessments of their regulatory environments on e-trade based on international best practices.

Reducing the time and cost to trade through trade facilitation.

The UF is complementing the Trade Facilitation Support Program (TFSP) by helping countries implement National Single Windows and supporting customs authorities to improve revenue mobilization and service delivery. It is also undertaking impact evaluations of trade facilitation and export promotion initiatives.




UFT’s current portfolio spans over 70 developing countries across a range of trade issues. These activities aim to improve trade policies, lower trade costs, and facilitate the movement of goods and services across borders. Many interventions use innovative approaches that have resulted in impacts that can be replicated in other countries and regions. 


Dak Lak, Vietnam - Oct 22, 2016: Coffee beans drying in the sun on yard of house in village by Lak lake. Credit: Vietnam Stock Images, Shuttertstock

Trade Integration and Trade Agreements

Helping Vietnam’s Global Integration through Trade: The Umbrella Facility for Trade supported a comprehensive analysis of the impacts of joining the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CP-TPP) to assess winners and losers within the country. On March 5, 2018 the report was officially presented to Vietnam Deputy Prime Minister, Mr. Vương Đình Huệ†. Three days prior to this event, Vietnam joined the ten member countries to sign the CP-TPP.

Global Value Chains

Vietnam Trade and Competitiveness Programmatic Approach: Vietnam is at a crossroads. It can continue to specialize in low value-added assembly functions, with industrialization occurring in enclaves with little connection to the broader economy or society. Alternatively, it can leverage growth to diversify and move up the chain into higher value-added functions. Using support from the Umbrella Facility for Trade,  this report identifies interventions that will drive development by leveraging Global Value Chain (GVC) participation while also considering major trade policy shifts and rapid technological advancements.

Trade Facilitation

Western Balkans Trade and Transport Facilitation Project: The aim of the Western Balkans Trade and Transport Facilitation project is to reduce trade costs through improving transport efficiency in the Western Balkans. The Umbrella Facility for Trade supported three National Single Window Visioning workshops in Albania, North Macedonia and Serbia. A Single Window Gap Analysis assessment was also conducted in Kosovo.

Small-Scale Cross-Border Trade

Trade Facilitation West Africa (TFWA) Program: As part of a regional trade facilitation intervention in West Africa under the Trade Facilitation West Africa (TFWA) Program, seed funding provided by the Umbrella Facility for Trade was used to conduct a regional field study to generate empirical evidence to help address the issues affecting small-scale cross-border traders. The findings provided a solid understanding of respondent profiles, identified small-scale cross-border trader patterns in West Africa, and documented the main challenges currently facing traders, including women.

Trade Data

World Integrated Trade Solution (WITS): The WITS website brings trade data from multiple international organizations to a single platform, managing and harmonizing the data and calculation methodologies. WITS is a global partnership product developed with UNCTAD and in consultation with UNSD, WTO and ITC, and leverages the mutual strengths of the respective organizations in data collection, processing, online analytics and reporting.

Trade and Technology

Blockchain at the Border: The aim of this activity was to empower small- and medium-sized enterprises and female entrepreneurs in supply chains to make it easier for them to do business across borders. This pilot project was executed with support from the Umbrella Facility for Trade and relied on collaboration with Vietnam’s Women's Initiative for Startups and Entrepreneurship (WISE) in Vietnam.

Trade Finance

Africa Regional Trade Facilitation Projects: RTFP1, RTFP2: Lack of trade credit and finance, arising in part from perceived credit and sovereign risk, are major obstacles to private sector development and regional trade integration in Africa. This activity supported by the Umbrella Facility for Trade provided assistance to the African Trade Insurance Agency (ATI) which provides credit insurance to support trade and investment flows in African member states, addressing critical market gaps.