In this midst of the recent financial crisis, the World Bank has scaled up its support for trade-related reform through analytical and advisory services, financial assistance, technical assistance, and capacity building. In FY 2009, World Bank trade-related lending reached its highest level in recent years, increasing from US$560 million in FY 2003 to US$3.4 billion at the end of FY 2009. Lending in FY 2009 has primarily been driven by a sharp increase in non-concessional lending (IBRD projects), while concessional lending (IDA projects) has declined slightly from last year.
Bank trade-related lending supported 34 projects in FY 2009, including 6 regional projects in the Africa region. In terms of the number of projects, lending was driven mainly by projects in the Africa, Latin America and Caribbean and Europe and Central Asia regions, at 35 percent, 20 percent and 18 percent, respectively. Lending to South Asia, the Middle East and North Africa and East Asia and Pacific regions was comparatively less, with 9 percent each for these three regions. In terms of value, in FY 2009, lending was the highest to countries in the Europe and Central Asia and the African region. Trade-related projects this fiscal year mainly focused on trade facilitation and market access, which comprised 68 percent of the value of the portfolio, followed by projects with a focus on export development and competition and regional integration.
*The OECD-CRS database reports as aid for trade the full amount of aid commitments in Economic Infrastructure, Trade Policy and Development, and Productive Capacity. The World Bank uses a narrower definition, including only the trade component of projects and investments. Donors and development agencies are working to refine their respective methodologies.