The EBRD has been promoting innovation and digitalisation across the economies it invests in. For instance:
In Serbia, the EBRD has supported a government digitalisation project. Together with bilateral donors under the Western Balkans Investment Framework (WBIF), around 90,000 households and 600 schools and public institutions in rural areas will gain access to fast broadband. This project was part of Serbia’s initiative to promote digitalisation as a driver of economic growth and position the country as an IT development hub.
Greek companies now have the ability to test innovative financial products and services with EBRD support using the Bank of Greece’s regulatory sandbox. The EBRD participated in implementing the EU-funded project, with consultant’s support from EY Greece.
An EBRD loan supported the modernisation of Armenia’s power supply network. The investment promotes digital transition through large-scale automatic control and smart metering implementation, primarily in Yerevan and Gyumri.
Many companies in the EBRD regions lack the expertise to engage in the digital agenda and need independent advice on how to start their journey and build the case for investment. As companies digitalise their activities, there are risks as well as opportunities.
The growth of cybercrime is one example. Cyber challenges require a response from public policymakers at both a national and international level, as well as investment by private actors to build more resilience into the system. The EBRD will collaborate with our international partners on this area, given cybersecurity’s emergence as an issue in our economies, with ever-growing threats from criminal, geopolitical and ‘hacktivist’ actors. In parallel, the Digital Hub is also designing a “Cyber Tool Kit” to support our clients with digital and cyber resilience, which will soon be deployed to assist EBRD economies.
The digital transformation of the EBRD regions can only take place through comprehensive engagement, something the Bank is – perhaps uniquely – best placed to deliver, given our rich combination of private-sector investment, advisory activities and public-sector policy engagement work.