SL woos tech-giant Huawei for bigger role

Wednesday, 18 October 2023 03:08 –      – 456

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President Ranil Wickremesinghe and the top delegation during their visit to Huawei Beijing DaVinci Exhibition Centre 

President Ranil Wickremesinghe with Huawei Technologies Senior Vice President and Huawei Asia Pacific President Simon Lin


  •   President and top delegation visit Huawei Beijing DaVinci Exhibition Centre; discussion focus on cutting-edge ICT and best practices for digital economy
  •  Huawei Asia Pacific President Simon Lin congratulates President Wickremesinghe for stabilising economy and his efforts in building a digital inclusive Sri Lanka
  •  Key partner Huawei has established 96% network coverage in SL and aims to increase it to 100%
  •  President thanks Huawei’s contribution for local digitalisation; says goal with 
  • Huawei is to make Sri Lanka a regional ICT hub
  •  Agreement to be signed to provide Huawei’s support for digitisation of Sri Lankan schools

President Ranil Wickremesinghe yesterday led a key Sri Lankan delegation to the Huawei Beijing DaVinci Exhibition Centre to discuss cutting-edge ICT and best practices for the digital economy.

The multiple discussion aspects included digital port, digital education, national cloud, e-Government, 5G, AI and green energy, etc.

The delegation included Foreign Affairs Minister M.U.M. Ali Sabry, Transport and Highways and Mass Media Minister Dr. Bandula Gunawardana, Senior Adviser to the President on National Security and Chief of the Presidential Staff Sagala Ratnayake, Board of Investment and Colombo Port City Economic Commission Chairman Dinesh Weerakkody, Ambassador of China to Sri Lanka Qi Zhenhong, and Acting Ambassador for Sri Lanka Embassy in China K.K. Yoganaadan.

During the discussion, Huawei Technologies Senior Vice President and Huawei Asia Pacific President Simon Lin congratulated President Wickremesinghe for stabilising the economy in Sri Lanka and his efforts in building a digital inclusive Sri Lanka.

He explained Huawei’s global business as well as its local performance in Sri Lanka. Lin emphasised that, in collaboration with key partners, Huawei has established 96% network coverage and aims to increase it to 100%.

“Huawei is dedicated to cultivating local talents in industrial corporations, Government, department, agencies and industries,” Lin said as per a statement issued by Huawei.

It said during the visit, President Wickremesinghe expressed his gratitude for Huawei’s commitment to digital transformation in Sri Lanka.

“I would like to thank Huawei’s contribution for local digitalisation. I am happy to witness Huawei’s achievement in Sri Lanka. You have done amazing work,” he said.

According to the Huawei statement, President Wickremesinghe emphasised the importance of looking to the future of Sri Lanka, as the country moves toward digital transformation.

“It is now time to look at Sri Lanka’s future. Our goal with Huawei is to make Sri Lanka a regional ICT hub. Meanwhile, climate change education is important in Sri Lanka,” President Wickremesinghe said.

He also requested that Huawei enhance cooperation with Kotelawala Defence University.

During his conversation, he pointed out several key Government initiatives, such as the implementation of Sri Lanka’s digital identity system, the National Single Window portal and Social Welfare registration system, etc.

“Now the Sri Lankan Government should look forward to other modules with Huawei. Sri Lanka is currently experiencing digital transformation, including e-Government, digital education, transportation, and network connectivity, especially in rural areas. Sri Lanka must make the economy competitive,” the President said.

The visit was prompted by an invitation extended by Huawei Sri Lanka CEO Tao Guangyao and Huawei Sri Lanka Public Affairs Communication Department Director Christophe Lee. President Wickremesinghe and the delegation were welcomed in Beijing, China by Huawei technologies Senior Vice President and Huawei Asia Pacific President Simon Lin, Public Affairs Communication Department President Jun Zhang and Huawei South Asia Region President Pan Junfeng.

Huawei has been operating in Sri Lanka for over 25 years, working closely with operators and industrial partners to bring digital to every person, home, and organisation in order to build a fully connected Sri Lanka.

In a related development, according to a statement issued by the President’s Media Division, Simon Ling announced his company’s readiness to support an annual study program aimed at nurturing software and hardware engineers in Sri Lanka. He mentioned that Huawei has already initiated collaborations with several Sri Lankan universities, not only in academic assistance but also in providing technology and infrastructure.

He emphasised the crucial role of both the Chinese Government and Huawei in supporting Sri Lanka’s digital education system and green energy production.

President Wickremesinghe stressed the need for Sri Lanka to build a competitive digital and green economy to face the challenges of the future. He noted that the foundational work for this transformation is already underway.

The discussions extended to the importance of empowering Sri Lankan citizens with digital technology, which is closely linked to the nation’s economic growth. The Sri Lankan delegation was also briefed on Huawei’s international services and their latest technological advancements.

Additionally, an agreement was signed during this visit, formalising Huawei’s support for the digitisation of Sri Lankan schools.

 

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