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Innovation for a Digital Asia Pacific, Exploring Strategies

Ken Hu, the rotating chairman of Huawei gave an opening remark discussing innovation for the digital Asia Pacific. He said the region plays a significant role in global economic growth and shared that APAC is seeing a digital transformation while also going green. Mr. Hu was speaking at the Asia-Pacific Digital Innovation Congress held recently in Singapore.  

In his speech, Huawei chairman Hu called Asia-Pacific (APAC) one of the most culturally and economically vibrant regions in the world. He then stressed the important role the region has played in digital innovation and shared his observations.

He points out that many APAC nations have improved their digital transformation to a “strategic policy level.” He referred to Digital Indonesia, My Digital in Malaysia, Digital Hub in Thailand, and South Korea’s Digital New Deal for examples.  These countries have rapidly deployed digital infrastructures in the region for digital transformation. Mr. Hu says these lay strong foundations for a robust digital economy.

Ken Hu, Rotating Chairman of Huawei speaks on the Digital Asia Pacific
Ken Hu, the Rotating Chairman of Huawei

He then talked in length about how the APAC region is going green. Countries in the region are committed to the idea of sustainable development. He again gives examples of this. Japan and Thailand have declared carbon neutrality by 2050. Singapore has also committed to reaching peak carbon emissions by 2030. Similarly, China will do the same by 2030, and have carbon neutrality by 2060. Hu says digital technology will become a key enabler for these “green” policies. Also read: Huawei APAC Digital Innovation Congress Begins in Singapore

How to realize the digital Asia Pacific more successfully?

Hu ponders the question for the more proper digital transformation of the region. And he points out three key areas for focus – digital infrastructure, industrial applications, and digital talent.

Digital Infrastructure

He believes the APAC countries are already doing good work on digital infrastructure. Mr. Hu references ITU’s stat that the region has reached almost 100 percent mobile coverage. A decade ago, he says the whole region didn’t have much of 3G or 4G infrastructures. But, GSMA is predicting that the region will have 1.2 billion 5G connections by 2025, three years from now.  

However, connectivity is not all. While it helps for data transfer at a faster rate, there are things to consider. He says there is a need to develop stronger capabilities to process that data. Besides the strong connectivity, Hu says, “we also need to build more important infrastructure like cloud and data centers.”

Industry applications

Hu says APAC countries are working hard to accelerate and adopt digital applications. He believes it is already returning a good value. Thailand is exploiting 5G to bring health care services to remote regions. In the Philippines, AI is used in some parts to protect rainforests.

5G network

He says he is confident that each industry will soon figure out where and how they can get help from digital technologies to meet their needs.

Also learn how to apply: Huawei Launches 2nd Seeds for the Future Program in Nepal

Digital talent

By 2030, APAC will have a workforce of 2.2 billion people. The youth will mostly comprise this demography. Hu says this advantage and calls for more investment in the next generation of digital talent.

Huawei is a predominant contributor in the Asia Pacific. IT has served the region for over 30 years. Likewise, innovation is the hallmark of the Chinese tech giant. In 2021, Hu says over 22 percent of the company’s total revenue went for R&D, the highest in its history.

Huawei will continue investing heavily in the region to meet its strategic goals. Hu says the company will increase its support for Green and Digital APAC by promoting digital infrastructure, low-carbon development, and digital inclusion.

“Ladies and gentlemen, a single tree can’t make a forest. To build the best possible Digital APAC, we have to work together, and that’s what today’s event is all about,” Hu said in his concluding statement.

Are you happy at the speed Nepal is transforming digitally? We can noticed an explosion of digital payments since Covid-19 and the shift is noticeable from learning to payments, to working from home. Has there been a change in how you work too? Do share in the comments below.

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