An overview of how Multilateral Development Banks (MDBs) can assist with the export process This article is part of "A Basic Guide to Exporting", provided by the U.S. Commercial Service, to assist companies in exporting.
Last Published: 10/20/2016
Multilateral development banks (MDBs) are international financial institutions owned by member governments. Their individual and collective objective is to promote economic and social progress in their developing member countries. Current MDBs include:
  • The African Development Bank
  • The Asian Development Bank
  • The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development
  • The Inter-American
  • Development Bank
  • The World Bank Group

These institutions achieve their objective by providing loans, technical cooperation, grants, capital investment, and other types of assistance to governments, government agencies, and other entities in their developing member countries. The practical expression of MDB support usually takes the form of a project or study.
Is an MDB active in one of your target markets? If so, it may have programs to help finance your entry or growth.

Increasingly, the MDBs are providing funding to private-sector entities for private projects in developing countries. A growing number of companies and project developers around the world are taking advantage of this funding, which is secured on the basis of the financial, economic, and social viability of the projects in question. 

The MDBs have traditionally been heavily involved in infrastructure and poverty alleviation projects. All the banks support projects in:
  • Agriculture
  • Energy
  • Environment
  • Finance
  • Industry
  • Transportation
  • Telecommunications
  • Health
  • Education
  • Urban development
  • Tourism
  • Microenterprises
  • The public sector
  • Economic reform
All the banks also provide some funding for private ventures.

The MDBs also provide debt, equity, and guarantee financing to eligible private ventures in developing countries. These funds, offered on commercial terms, can be accessed directly by private project sponsors and do not require a government guarantee. Many opportunities are available to U.S. companies and to increase U.S. business. For more information and for a list of MDBs, visit