Program in a Nutshell

Created in 1944

20 activities carried out​


  • Building Skills and Training
  • Capacity Building and Development
  • Policy Advice, Support and Formulation
  • Technical Assistance and Support
  • Institutional Building and Support to Institutions


Geographical scope​

Regional Economic Status

Partner : WBG

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The Trade and Competition Unit of the World Bank Trade and Competitiveness Global Practice (T&C GP) focuses its attention on e-trade on four key pillars of the e-trade environment. The T&C e-Trade portfolio assists developing countries in expanding digital entrepreneurship; diagnosing the country’s performance on e-trade and assessing its main limitations; improving of their regulatory environment for the digital markets, based on international best practices; and in the adoption of customs procedure and logistics condition to reduce costs related to the movement of goods through e-commerce.

  • Building Skills and Training

      • mHubs: membership organizations and networking platforms that promote digital entrepreneurship through events such as hackathons, competitions, seminars, workshops, social evening with thematic presentations, etc.
      • mLabs: incubation and acceleration services for digital entrepreneurs. This includes technical and business training, mentorship, one-on-one coaching, and assistance to accessing markets and connections to sources of early-stage financing. mLabs also provides business services such as office space, testing equipment and administrative support to residents.
      • Intensive programs for the most competitive startups, consisting of one-on-one mentorship and coaching, and access to investors, through a combination of residential and virtual training and business model refinement.
  • Capacity Building and Development

      • Improving local SME access to public procurement in ICT through the removal of administrative barriers and promoting skills upgrading through:
        • Behavioral incentives in hiring and training of domestic workers and firm upgrading, as well as regulatory reforms to support regional labor market mobility and
        • Easier acquisition of visas and work permits for expatriate workers to promote important skills spillovers between domestic and foreign workers.
      • Assessing the investment competitiveness of the ITES and other ICT sub-sectors
  • Policy Advice, Support and Formulation

      • Assisting clients to implement investment policies which promote investment in technology-related sectors, such as improved protection of intellectual property and other confidential information.
  • Technical Assistance and Support

      • Support clients with regional competitiveness evaluations; country level conditions, such as competitive advantages, policy and regulatory enablers, institutional frameworks, SME capacity, investment competitiveness, and site selection
      • Reduce post-entry barriers for ITES MSMEs rooted in market and institutional failures which hinder firm productivity, growth and linkages with GVCs and domestic large firms
      • Provide clients with support on remedies for policy, legal/regulatory, and institutional barriers to the establishment and/or growth of ITES or discourage the development of vertical linkages between foreign and domestic firms, skills upgrading through smart incentive policies
      • Ensure relevant investment policy conditions are conducive to FDI in target segments, upgrading or outsourcing and refine industry specific knowledge and tools to build institutional capacity of the promotion entity and partners to professionally promote the location and attract, retain, and expand ITES international investors
      • Promoting experts by domestic ITES through targeted support on sub-contracting, outsourcing or other arrangements that foster technology transfer and upgrading of domestic capabilities and/or export of services by domestic firms.
      • BPO represents an important employment sector for women and youth and country cases suggest women represent 30 to 55 percent of the work force in India and the Philippines respectively. This work diagnoses and works to remedy barriers to increased inclusion of women and youth in the ITES workforce and female advancement in ITES firms.
      • Assisting clients in establishing or modernizing online systems to facilitate trade, including customs and single window systems, as well as in supporting the use of digital signature and electronic documents in international trade transactions.
  • Institutional Building and Support to Institutions

      • Assist governments in improving interactions with businesses by reducing and streamlining administrative procedures through the use of digital technologies.
      • Supporting governments in addressing political risks at the source through the Systemic Investment Response Mechanism (SIRM), which improves the monitoring of institutions affecting investment activities and minimize as much as possible political risks related to government conduct.
      • E-trade regulation assessment focuses on laws and regulations specific to the digital markets and evaluates it in light of international practices in order to promote the establishment of an enabling environment for e-trade.
      • Assist governments in improving interactions with businesses by reducing and streamlining administrative procedures through the use of digital technologies.
      • Analyse regulation and procedures at the border and address the conditions of logistics for e-commerce behind the border, particularly by assessing the ability of express delivery services to reach individual consumers.
Impact Stories
  • From Slums to Cocktail Parties - African Jewelry is Trending

    • It’s all about choices: a new app matches farmers and wholesale buyers in Jamaica. Gone is the middleman who took half of their profit. All you need is a cellphone.

  • Matchmaking for Farmers

    • Trendy jewelry made in African slums goes international: A Kenyan Startup company has used mobile technology to link local artisans with global markets. The company, founded and managed by women, distributes some of Africa’s coolest fashion items via Internet.

ParliamentariansPolicy makersLegal professionalsBusiness AssociationsMSMEsSMEsResearchersExpertsDecision makers