The ASEAN Foundation and Huawei signed MoU on joint efforts to bridge the digital talent gap at the Asia Pacific Innovation Day – Digital Talent Summit 2021. The online summit brought together policy makers, researchers and industry experts to share solutions and best practices in building a sustainable ecosystem that will help foster digital talents in the Asia Pacific.
The Asia Pacific Innovation Day – Digital Talent Summit 2021 started strongly with a series of keynote speeches from governments’ leaders such as Deputy Secretary-General of ASEAN for ASEAN Political Security Community H.E. Robert Matheus Michael Tene, Chair of the ASEAN Digital Senior Official Meeting H.E. Dato’ Sri Mohammad Mentek, the Minister of Posts and Telecommunications of Cambodia H.E. Dr. Chea Vandeth, the Chief of Presidential Staff of the Republic of Indonesia H.E. General TNI (Purn) Dr. Moeldoko, the Minister of Youth and Sports of Sri Lanka Hon. Namal Rajapaksa, the Philippine Ambassador to China H.E. Jose Santiago L. Sta. Romana, and Permanent Secretary of Thailand Ministry of Higher Education, Science, Research, and Innovation H.E. Prof. Sirirurg Songsivilai, M.D., Ph.D. Their speeches stressed on the importance of key stakeholders’ proactive participation in developing a solid foundation for digital talent ecosystem in the region.
“The Digital Talent Summit 2021, which aims to discuss and address the needs of ASEAN ICT youth talent, is obviously very relevant, especially in the midst of the global pandemic which forced us to significantly rely more on digital platform. This auspicious event is very much aligned with the ASEAN Digital Masterplan 2025 objective of improving people’s capability to participate in the digital society economy,” said the Deputy Secretary-General of ASEAN for ASEAN Political Security Community H.E. Robert Matheus Michael Tene.
Speaking on Huawei’s initiatives to boost India’s vast talent base Huawei India CEO David Li said, “As a global ICT leader, Huawei over its 20-year presence in India has been committed to helping shape the country’s digital talent landscape, focusing on building basic education infrastructure, driving skilling programs, and leveraging global training competitions to build a future-ready talent. Huawei has been conducting several learning initiatives including its global flagship ICT training program the Seeds for the Future, which has facilitated Indian students from prestigious engineering institutes to join global compatriots in gaining valuable hands-on knowledge on futuristic technologies.
Additionally, through a collective effort of all its programmes, Huawei in India has trained 30,000+ Huawei certified ICT professionals, supported the digital infrastructure of 100+ schools benefitting 50,000 students, financed mid-day meals for more than 55,000 students across 50+govt and affiliated schools over the years. Aiming to equip the underprivileged rural youth in joining India’s ICT economy, the Huawei Telecom Skill Development Center launched in 2019 has since trained 500 youth in industry-related skills. We are proud of our legacy and work in India and are committed to continuing working with the larger ecosystem to drive future digital initiatives.
55,000 students across 50+govt and affiliated schools over the years. We are proud of our legacy and work in India and are committed to continuing working with the larger ecosystem to drive future digital initiatives.”
“Innovation and development rely on a talent ecosystem. Huawei is prepared to work with its partners to build a talent development ecosystem conducive to innovation,” Huawei Senior Vice President and Board Member Catherine Chen noted during her opening remarks, “Huawei’s 20 years in Asia Pacific have been a journey to find like-minded friends. Let’s work together to build an inclusive, innovative, and vibrant ecosystem, attract and cultivate more digital talent, and jointly promote the development and prosperity of the region.”
The importance of digital talent in sustainable development was emphasised in the virtual roundtable discussion involving notable speakers from UNESCO, International Telecommunication Union (ITU), Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy and Maxis.
Another key activity of the summit is presentation of Huawei’s 2022 Asia Pacific Digital Talent Insights. The white paper, which was presented by Senior Consultant for National Digital Talent Development Alex Lee, chronicled the tech company’s efforts and journey in fostering digital talent in Asia Pacific.
“Cultivating innovative ICT talent ecosystem is fundamental to the digital transformation. Leveraging shared innovations with win-win outcomes, we can harness the power of ICT skills to fly us into a digital future. Together with our partners, Huawei will invest $50 million in the next 5 years to develop 500,000 digital talents in the Asia Pacific region,” President of Huawei Asia Pacific Jeffery Liu announced in his keynote speech.
The commitment to bridge digital talent gap in Asia Pacific, in particular ASEAN, was further strengthened with the signing ceremony of Memorandum of Understanding between ASEAN Foundation and Huawei ASEAN Academy. The agreement highlights both entities’ readiness to implement ASEAN Seeds for the Future, which is a scaled-up version of Seeds for the Future, Huawei’s global CSR flagship initiative that has been providing world class digital skills training for young people across the globe since 2008. Through ASEAN Seeds for the Future, ASEAN Foundation and Huawei ASEAN Academy strive to build the digital capacities of youth in the ten ASEAN Member States so that they can thrive in the era of digital economy.
The ceremony was attended by Executive Director of ASEAN Foundation Dr. Yang Mee Eng and Vice President of Huawei Indonesia Albert Yang and witnessed by Permanent Representative of the Kingdom of Cambodia to ASEAN H.E. Amb. Yeap Samnang, Deputy Secretary-General of ASEAN for ASEAN Political Security Community H.E. Robert Matheus Michael Tene, Deputy Permanent Representative of the Philippines to ASEAN Elizabeth Te, Deputy Permanent Representative of Republic of Singapore to ASEAN Tham Borg Tsien, and Huawei Asia Pacific Vice President Jay Chen.
The ASEAN Seeds for the Future will also help contribute to achieving the objectives of ASEAN Digital Masterplan 2025, which are to increase the capacity of youth in the region to participate in the digital economy and to create a digitally inclusive society in ASEAN. The ASEAN Seeds for the Future is set to launch in early 2022, inviting youth aged 15 – 30 in ASEAN to immerse themselves in a virtual journey of capacity building on leadership and digital skills.
“We are delighted to sign the memorandum of understanding with Huawei to implement ASEAN Seeds for the Future. It is my belief that this wonderful regional programme will play an important part in bridging digital talent gap in the region by equipping our ASEAN youth with essential skills that will enable them to thrive in the era of digital economy. Our partnership with Huawei also signifies another important milestone for ASEAN in regard to bringing in committed partners from private sector to contribute to youth development effort in ASEAN,” said Executive Director of ASEAN Foundation Dr. Yang Mee Eng.