The Trade Development Facility (TDF) is a multi donor trust fund with initial financing from Australia and the European Union. The objective of the TDF is to support the National Integrated Framework Governance Structure and to put into operation its initial activities facilitating trade and the increased cross-border movement of goods, and to increase the capacity of the Government to undertake specific tasks related to regional and global economic integration. The multi donor trust fund is administered by the World Bank, and all activities are executed by the Government. The multi donor trust fund also finances a World Bank-based TDF Facilitation Team that is responsible for coordination of donor support within the Trade SWAp, administration of the multi donor trust fund, and the provision of analytical and advisory services on trade.

The TDF is financing technical assistance, capacity building and provision of goods for a total of US$ 6.82 million, in five components that cover (i) Trade facilitation – simplification and automation of procedures (other than customs); (ii) Sanitary and Phyto-sanitary Standards (SPS) and Technical Barriers to Trade (TBTs) – strengthening legal and regulatory frameworks; (iii) Export competitiveness and business environment – market-driven interventions to improve productivity in key sectors; (iv) Capacity building, trade policy and agreements – technical assistance to support local policy analysis capacity, particularly with reference to ongoing trade negotiations; and (v) strengthening of the National Implementation Unit – the anchor unit for the Trade SWAp.

What does the TDF expect to achieve?

The main objective of the TDF is to ensure that the National Integrated Framework Governance Structure is in place, fully operational and has the capacity to manage and implement the Trade SWAp. With financing from the TDF, the GOL expects to achieve the following outcomes:

1. Substantial reduction in the time to import, export and transit non-customs clearance for commercial shipments;
2. Substantial closure of the gap between the current SPS legal and regulatory framework and that required to facilitate trade, protect health and for the Lao PDR to accede to the WTO;
3. Substantial performance improvement among firms selecting themselves to participate in TDF-funded sub-projects, measured by achievement in performance benchmarks in terms of unit productivity or output, and;
4. Better informed and coordinated trade policy formulation process, achieved through the development of a systematic national training mechanism that meets the capacity building needs

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