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Umbrella Facility for Trade

What We Do

Significant catalyzing of WBG trade operations.

UF funding has helped make trade an integral component in $12 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.