The World Bank in a first-time move is clearing $100 million (89 million euros) to help Burkina Faso and Ivory Coast reduce mutual trade and transport costs on the key Abidjan-Ouagadougou corridor.
"The high costs of transporting goods are an important constraint to economic growth and to poverty reduction in both Cote d'Ivoire and Burkina Faso," the bank said in a statement received Thursday by AFP.
"It is the first time that the World Bank provides budget support to more than one country on a regional basis," it added.
Trade between the two nations amounts to around 391 million euros ($438 million) a year, most of it Ivorian exports to Burkina.
Landlocked Burkina Faso, Africa's top cotton producer, for its part uses the port of Abidjan both for its imports and exports.
The trade and transport project aims to help reduce the high costs of cargo handling and port charges in Abidjan while modernising border crossings, customs procedures and upgrading the trucking industry.
"By lowering the high transport costs, facilitating trade and promoting regional integration, the reforms will provide broad-based welfare gains in both countries, benefiting the producers of exported goods, including farmers, the families that buy imported goods and companies that help transport these goods," the bank said.