ASEAN Foundation teams up with Huawei to bridge digital talent gap in Asia Pacific

Wednesday, Nov 03, 2021 18:46

The ASEAN Foundation and Huawei signed an understanding that will help bridge the digital talent gap. — Photo courtesy of Huawei

The ASEAN Foundation and Huawei yesterday signed a memorandum of understanding to bridge the digital talent gap in ASEAN countries at the Asia Pacific Innovation Day – Digital Talent Summit 2021.

The online summit brought together policymakers, researchers and industry experts to help build a sustainable ecosystem that will foster digital talent in the Asia Pacific region.

"The Digital Talent Summit 2021, which aims to address the needs of ASEAN ICT youth talent, is very relevant, especially in the global pandemic which has forced us to rely more on digital platforms. 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 Robert Matheus Michael Tene.

The CEO of Huawei Viet Nam, Wei Zhenhua, gave his remarks; “I appreciate Huawei's commitment through today's Asia Pacific Innovation Day - Digital Talent Summit to support a sustainable digital ecosystem in Viet Nam. Today's initiative is in line with the commitment of the ASEAN and Viet Nam Government to integrate digital knowledge in the ASEAN Action plan on education in 2021-25, which to lead the nation in taking the digital leap. This summit is an example of how cross-country, cross-governmental collaboration also involves global-scale industries, such as Huawei, which is very much needed to narrow the digital gap and to meet the savvy needs of industry 4.0.”

“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 the Asia Pacific region have been a journey to find like-minded friends. Let's work together to build an inclusive, innovative, and vibrant ecosystem, attracting and cultivating 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, the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy and Maxis.

Another key activity of the summit is a 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 the Asia Pacific region.

“Cultivating an 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 US$50 million in the next five 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 the digital talent gap in the Asia Pacific region, in particular ASEAN, was further strengthened by the signing of the 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, the digital capacities of young people in the ten ASEAN Member States will be built up, so that they can thrive in the era of the digital economy.

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, and will invite young people aged 15 – 30 in ASEAN countries 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. I believe that this wonderful regional programme will play an important part in bridging the digital talent gap in the region by equipping our ASEAN youth with essential skills that will enable them to thrive in the era of the digital economy. Our partnership with Huawei also signifies another important milestone for ASEAN in regards to bringing in committed partners from the private sector to contribute to youth development effort in ASEAN,” said Executive Director of ASEAN Foundation Dr Yang Mee Eng. — VNS

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