Economic integration and innovation

Regional and global integration are essential for economic development. The Bank and its donors help modernise cross-border infrastructure, including major transport, energy and IT networks.

For example, in Albania a €36.8 million loan is helping to finance significant improvements to the rail line linking the capital, Tirana, to the Adriatic sea port of Durrës. The project also includes a new link to Tirana International Airport, ensuring faster connections between these key destinations. The venture benefits from a €35.4 million investment grant and additional technical assistance from the Western Balkans Investment Framework.

The EBRD works to build knowledge-based economies that grow through innovation and increased productivity. The work of the Bank, supported by donors, seeks to help industries and services absorb the best available technology, processes and products. This approach increases competitiveness and fosters global trade.

Donors fund technical assistance and policy reform to advance the knowledge economy through appropriate regulatory frameworks. In 2016 the Bank completed a legal assessment of the information and communication technology infrastructure in 20 countries. The assessment will be used to help countries adopt policies accelerating the roll-out of broadband services.

In 2016 the Bank extended a US$ 10 million loan to Ukraine’s Meest Express, a leading provider of postal and logistic services. The loan was issued under the Green Logistics Programme initiated by the EBRD and the Global Environment Facility. The Programme aims to reduce carbon emissions in the logistics sector across the Bank’s countries of operations. Meest Express will introduce low-carbon courier products and innovations in logistics. These changes will include the expansion of its network of automated collection and delivery points. They will also cover the development of a specialised IT platform and of domestic and international hubs for logistics.