Supply Capacity > United Nations Development Programme

UNDP’s support for supply capacity is based on the premise that international trade can play an important role in raising levels of human development and achieving sustainable poverty reduction. Properly harnessed, international trade can be used to expand markets, raise productivity and accelerate technology transfer. To enable trade to become a meaningful driver of development, UNDP helps to develop trade and economic competitiveness in developing countries, i.e. the capacity to compete internationally by overcoming supply side constraints (especially LDCs) through programmes and projects at the global, regional and national levels.

Private Sector development and engagement

Support for trade development and productive sector capacity building is provided mainly under UNDP’s private sector portfolio which seeks to foster inclusive market development, with a strong focus on strengthening value chains and promoting inclusive and sustainable business approaches in economic sectors of strategic importance to a country. In Africa for example, UNDP’s regional Africa Facility for Inclusive Markets (AFIM) supports cross-border value chain initiatives and strengthens the capacity of the Regional Economic Commissions to further support and enable inclusive market development in the region. This portfolio, including the activities of UNDP’s affiliate, the UN Capital Development Fund (UNCDF), accounts for approximately US$100 million per year globally, and is aimed at enhancing the contribution of the private sector, including micro, small and medium sized enterprises, to trade, growth and poverty reduction.


Andrew Bovarnick, 
Energy and Environment Group
Bureau Development Policy

Green commodities

UNDP has established a Green Commodities Facility, which seeks to connect global markets with national governments and farmers to strengthen national capacity for scaling up sustainable agricultural and marine commodities production around the world. The facility supports national-level commodity-focused programmes and platforms that remove barriers and institutionalize systemic approaches and resources for scaling up the production of sustainable commodities. This includes addressing environmental externalities within the supply chain, strengthening financial sustainability for technical assistance, reforming policy to level the production playing field and incentivizing sustainability.

For more information:

Aid for Trade Initiative for the Arab States


Adel Abdellatif
Chief Regional Programme Division
Regional Bureau for Arab States

Tel: +212 906 5477


The objective of the initiative which will be implemented from early 2013 is to provide a platform for targeted trade reforms at regional and country levels, building upon UN agencies’ experience and ongoing technical assistance and capacity development interventions. Five agencies of the UN Cluster on Trade and Productive Capacity - ILO, ITC, UNIDO and UNCTAD - will provide technical support on employment, competitiveness, trade promotion and regional trade integration. UNDP has been tapped to manage the funds, coordinate implementation and delivery of results on the ground.

The initiative is organized around a two-year project constituting the first phase that will focus on helping countries and the main sub-regional and regional integration entities to accelerate the pace of trade reforms, to strengthen the employment effects of those reforms with particular focus on women and youth and to mobilize additional resources for this purpose. Building upon the experience and ongoing activities in the region and at country level of the five collaborating UN agencies, four results areas have been carefully designed to be achieved during the 24-month project.

Result 1, for which UNDP is the responsible agency is formulated as follows: Trade-related aspirations on energy, transport, food security, water, SME support, and trade-facilitation expressed in the outcome documents of the 2009 and 2011 Arab Economic and Social Summits are assessed and where feasible developed into actionable interventions for further resource mobilization. Interventions with the highest impact on youth and women will be prioritized. Implementation of this result will be led by UNDP’s Istanbul International Centre for the Private Sector in Development.

Wider Europe – Aid for Trade for Central Asia, South Caucasus and Western CIS


Joern Rieken
UNDP Regional Centre Bratislava
Slovak Republic

Tel: +421 2 59 337 306


At the macro level the programme aims to:

  • Advocate on the linkages between trade, human development and the MDGs;
  • Promote, along with other UN agencies and development partners, the implementation of the Aid for Trade agenda in transition economies;
  • Help governments, civil society and research institutes to build their capacity to assess the impact of the various trade agreements, including the WTO and CIS Customs Union;
  • Provide support in the design of trade policies, and mainstreaming trade into national development and private sector strategies to creating an enabling environment for the growth of a robust SME sector.

At the micro level, the programme provides support to:

  • Baseline assessments on export opportunities;
  • Value chain development in agro-processing, and capacity development for exporters;
  • Regional export promotion, market information and agricultural extension centers on improving their services;
  • Introduction of environmentally friendly technologies and green commodity production.

All activities are carried out jointly with national partners, encouraging beneficiaries to gain from trade opportunities. The programme assists farmers, SMEs, service providers on production, processing and marketing, throughout their entire business process – from planning, management and finance to processing, standards, branding, market access and productive capacities.

Further information can be accessed at: