With the ever-evolving nature of global trade, new trade challenges have emerged for countries and policy makers. For example: non-tariff measures (NTMs) have increased sharply to protect domestic industries; services play an increasing role in trade; the financial crisis revealed significant vulnerability to external shocks from globally integrated markets; commodity markets continue to suffer from volatility, creating risk for commodity exporters; the proliferation of regional and bilateral preferential trade agreements create complicated incentive frameworks; logistics costs represent a significant share of trade costs; and other non-tariff regulations create de facto barriers to trade. As a result, both the private sector and policymakers want to know how to navigate the global trade landscape, so that they can increase their firms’ opportunities in global markets, support economic development, create more jobs through international trade and make their countries more attractive to foreign investors.
The Bank recognizes that through an effective approach to Trade Policy and Market Access, it can play a critical role in influencing trade policy and market access to promote greater intra- and extra-African trade, in support of the structural transformation and integration of African economies into the global economy. The Bank further recognizes that developing capacity in the areas of Trade Policy and Market Access is essential to complement the provision of credit, risk bearing and advisory services.