About CBI

We are the Centre for the Promotion of Imports from developing countries (CBI). Our mission is to support the transition towards inclusive and sustainable economies. We do this by strengthening the sustainability of SMEs in developing countries. We encourage exports of value-added products to Europe and to the local region of SMEs.

We also:

  • Promote and create decent jobs. We pay special attention to women and youth. We support women in management positions and women entrepreneurs.
  • Stimulate sustainable trade and production.

We are part of the Netherlands Enterprise Agency. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs funds CBI.

We contribute directly to the following Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs):


Our experience

The Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs established CBI in 1971. We now have 50 years of experience in contributing to local, sustainable economic development through exports.

Since 1971, we have worked with over 10,000 SMEs from 70 countries to build sustainable trade relationships with European buyers. We have also worked with over 250 business support organisations. As such, we know how to achieve sustainable, long-term change at the sector level. We have a far-reaching, unique network of international experts that we can involve in our projects.

Our approach

We use a systemic approach. With this approach, we recognise the complexity of the environment we work in and look further than the challenges at the sector level. We deal with the underlying causes of problems.

We work in close cooperation with local and international stakeholders, partner organisations and other programmes from the Netherlands Enterprise Agency. Our projects receive the support of local stakeholders and always take possible side effects into account.

In our projects we:

  • Raise awareness;
  • Work on capacity building;
  • Provide knowledge;
  • Support sector and value chain links; and
  • Promote the use of technology.

For (aspiring) exporting SMEs in our focus countries, we provide market information on potential export sectors in Europe.

Watch our video to find out more.

Where we work

CBI works in 13 sectors. We can start new projects in these 24 countries. Currently we are still active in other countries as well. Look at our ‘active projects’ to find out where.

Work for us

Are you interested in working for us? Check our consultancy assignments page or visit RVO.nl (in Dutch) for our job vacancies.

Contact us

Would you like more information? Please contact us.