[Barcelona, Spain, March 4, 2015] Vincent Peng, President of Global Sales at Huawei's Carrier Network Business Group and Belgian Deputy Prime Minister, Alexander De Croo, met at the Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona today to discuss the Belgian technology industry and Huawei's contributions to it.
Minister De Croo, who is in charge of Belgium's Digital Agenda initiative and its telecommunications industry attended the MWC to meet with business and industry leaders with a view to stimulating economic growth in Belgium through technology. As a key contributor to the Belgian information, communications and technology (ICT) sector, Huawei is making an important contribution to this objective.
Over the past seven years, Huawei has invested more than €260 million in Belgium. With the acquisition of Caliopa and M4S, Huawei has integrated Belgian R&D into its activities, resulting in state-of-the-art products and a fast market-entry path to innovative solutions. Huawei operates from five locations in Belgium and employs 154 staff, with more than 20 local positions to be filled.
In December 2014, Huawei signed a strategic partnership with the Belgian research centre imec to jointly develop silicon-based optical interconnects that are expected to deliver benefits including high speed, low power consumption and cost savings. In January 2015, Huawei and Belgian telecom operator Proximus launched a joint innovation programme enabling the two partners to respond more rapidly to the changing data and voice traffic needs of Belgian businesses and consumers. Fast, agile and better performing networks will lead to enhanced mobile experiences in Belgium.
Vincent Peng said: "In order to build a sustainable business environment, Huawei leverages its collaboration with local partners. This is certainly true in Belgium, where we support the major telecom operators in building networks for the future."
"The digital agenda for Belgium aims at building a strong digital ecosystem," said Belgian Deputy Prime Minister De Croo. "That is why we need state-of-the-art technology and technological leadership. In our connected world, ultrafast network connections provide the oxygen a digital ecosystem needs to thrive and grow. Network connections are crucial if we want business models to be transformed across all sectors, from traditional industry to services, including public services such as mobile health. The result of a strong digital ecosystem is more economic growth, more job creation and more well-being."
The Digital Agenda is a major priority for Belgium's new government. To reap the full benefits of the trend towards digitisation, a range of industries need to innovate, improve efficiency and reduce costs. The requirements of the digital economy mean that education has an important role to play in bridging the "e-skills gap" – the difference between what is learned in school and what is needed in the industry.
Huawei is making a major contribution to this goal through its ‘Seeds for the Future' initiative, launched in Belgium in 2014. The programme aims to nurture ICT talent. It currently covers 18 European countries, and more than 400 young Europeans have participated so far. Offering students from these universities their first work experience at Huawei headquarters, ‘Seeds for the Future' stimulates students' interest in technology jobs, and over time will help tackle the challenge of an e-skills shortage.