Better integration into the global trading system

The Trade Capacity Building Program

When it is part of a sustainable environmental and social development path, trade is a way of increasing economic resilience. AFD's Trade Capacity Building Program (TCBP) supports developing countries in transforming their productive sectors through technical assistance, training, and sectoral analysis or feasibility studies. The TCBP also facilitates the integration of these countries into the international trading system and encourages them to move toward an inclusive and sustainable economic transition.
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AFD's Trade Capacity Building Program (TCBP) supports developing countries in transforming their productive sectors through technical assistance, training, and sectoral analysis or feasibility studies


For the Least Developed Countries (LDCs), several factors can limit the development of trade. These range from the disorganization of the economic system, to institutional, structural or infrastructural deficiencies. Insufficient local financial resources and a lack of human resources can also constitute major constraints by slowing down economic growth, holding back a dynamic employment sector and hindering access to regional markets, as well as exacerbating existing inequalities. 

Launched in 2003, the Trade Capacity Building Program (TCBP) is France's primary bilateral instrument for implementing its public aid commitments to trade development. This initiative is in line with the principles defined by the World Trade Organization (WTO) and strengthens the productive and trade capacities of developing nations.

Initiated and funded by the Directorate-General of the Treasury (DGT) and the General-Directorate of Global Affairs from the French Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs (MEAE), the TCBP is implemented by AFD. The program focuses its activities on developing countries, in particular the least developed countries (LDCs) including Sub-Saharan Africa and the Deauville Partnership countries.

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To promote the integration of recipient countries into the international trade system, the PRCC is structured around two main objectives:

  • To develop trade policies and facilitate the regional economic integration of developing countries. This involves creating projects to support the design and implementation of regional or national trade policies. This objective also promotes trade facilitation measures and the creation of systems to manage market risks for strategic products, particularly those related to food security.
  • To develop a competitive offer from developing countries on regional and international markets. PRCC projects contribute to a structural  transformation of the local and regional productive economy. They may involve supporting institutions in defining sustainable sectoral policies that contribute to improved commercial competitiveness or providing local support to public, private or associative actors in specific sectors.

The PRCC finances projects with the objective of shifting the trade ecosystem towards a sustainable environmental and social development path. The impact of these projects on the inclusion of the most vulnerable people, the economic empowerment of women and the promotion of a fair and inclusive economy are key selection criteria. 

Economic sectors with low barriers to entry, such as agriculture, receive special attention. Traditional productive sectors with high potential for development are supported in their upgrading and transformation to accelerate the creation of jobs and of local added value. As a result, the resources and know-how of the beneficiary populations are enhanced.

Aimed at increasing economic resilience, these changes reduce income instability, increase productivity and ensure the security of supply and sales channels. They also contribute to the improvement of the environmental and social impacts of trade and to a greater resilience of local economies.

The PRCC also contributes to Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), specifically number 2 on ending hunger, as well as number 8 on access to decent jobs, number 10 on addressing inequality, and number 17 on partnering for global goals.


The Trade Capacity Building Program responds to specific needs. Projects that can benefit from it are identified locally by AFD agencies and regional economic services, in dialogue with partner countries.

The PRCC mainly provides technical assistance, training, sectoral or feasibility studies, and financing of small-scale materials and educational equipment for the benefit of public institutions and regional organizations or for the direct benefit of sector stakeholders.

The current PRCC (2020-2022) targets three areas of intervention:

  • The quality approach covers certifications, particularly those related to fair trade. It also involves compliance with international standards and regulatory convergence with the European Union, mainly in the sanitary and phytosanitary field. The protection of intellectual property and more specifically the development of geographical indications are also part of this approach.
  • The PRCC is designed to support the establishment of collective structures, such as chambers of commerce, export agencies, cooperatives and clusters. The program also supports entrepreneurship, in particular social entrepreneurship with a commercial focus, or the structuring of small businesses to bolster the expansion of their international activities.
  • Finally, the PRCC supports regional integration across Africa by providing operational support for the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (ACFTA) including associated Memoranda of Understanding and the standardization of business laws.


Since 2008, the Trade Capacity Building Program has funded more than seventy projects, with a commitment amounting to 105 million euros in volume. As a multi-year program, it is currently in its 6th installment (2020-2022), providing 30 million euros in financial support

Some key projects:

  • West Africa - Combating fruit flies

In West Africa, fruit flies decimate orchards and cause heavy losses on produce exported to the European Union. AFD is supporting a regional program to combat this pest in order to ensure that horticultural products comply with European phytosanitary standards. The ultimate aim of this initiative is to improve the income of market gardeners in order to contribute to poverty reduction and food security in this region.

  • Madagascar - Structuring the vanilla industry

AFD is helping to structure the vanilla sector in Madagascar in order to combine agricultural economic development with biodiversity conservation actions for local communities. This project will help diversify producers' income and support the management of a new protected area in the Pointe à Larrée region.

  • Morocco - Supporting the social and solidarity economy, innovation and entrepreneurship

This project supports the social and solidarity economy, as well as sustainable agriculture in Fez and Rhamna. A way to change the situation for women, youth, small farmers and local cooperatives.

  • Indian Ocean - Promoting economic exchanges between islands

The Union of Chambers of Commerce of the Indian Ocean, now CAP Business Indian Ocean, wants to promote spaces for dialogue of the regional private sector to improve trade in the area and to the outside.

This project strengthens the cashew sector to allow for a sustainable improvement in farmers' incomes while preserving the natural resources of the intervention zone, as well as the institutional and technical capacities of the INCAJU entity that supports the development of the sector. 


projects supported since 2008
countries of activity
million euros allocated since 2008
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