Knowledge economy

Information systems and infrastructure

Modern and reliable communications networks – and in particular fixed or wireless broadband – are an essential component of the knowledge economy, which depends on people’s ability to access and share information.

The EBRD invests in communications infrastructure throughout the countries where it invests so that businesses and consumers in big cities and remote regions alike can share the benefits of the internet and mobile technology revolutions.

The EBRD also supports services that build upon this infrastructure, such as data centres, technology parks and software and hardware production, thereby creating the conditions for knowledge-based businesses to thrive.

Investing in Tunisian software

Vermeg Solutions is a software company specialised in fund administration and securities processing. It counts fund managers, brokers, investment banks and other financial institutions among its clients. In 2013 the EBRD extended a €5 million loan to the Tunisian company to help finance its growth, in particular through synergies with Belgian business BSB, in which Vermeg’s parent company owns a significant stake. Vermeg has built its success on state-of-the-art technology and high-quality, knowledgeable and well-trained staff. The EBRD provided the loan under the Local Enterprise Facility, which invests in small and medium-sized enterprises in the Balkans, Turkey and the Southern and Eastern Mediterranean (SEMED) region.

Expanding broadband coverage in Romania

A €75 million EBRD senior loan to COSMOTE Romania, the country’s third-largest mobile phone operator with 6.3 million subscribers, is aimed at enabling the company to finance the growth of its broadband infrastructure. COSMOTE will use the financing to fund the expansion of its 4G network and renew its existing spectrum licences.. The operation promotes greater competition in the Romanian telecoms sector and increased access to high-speed broadband infrastructure in Romania, where broadband penetration lags behind the EU average.