The Asia-Pacific region is one of the most culturally and economically vibrant regions in the world. It plays an important role in global economic growth, and now it plays an equally important role in digital innovation.
The first is that many APAC countries have elevated digital transformation to a strategic policy level, and are taking real action. For example, policies like Digital Indonesia, My Digital in Malaysia, Digital Hub in Thailand, and South Korea’s Digital New Deal. These are accelerating the deployment of digital infrastructure across the region, and laying strong foundations for a robust digital economy.
The second, APAC is going green. Countries are really committed to sustainable development. For example, Japan and Thailand have committed to carbon neutrality by 2050. Singapore is committed to reaching peak carbon emissions by 2030. China will reach peak carbon emissions by 2030, and carbon neutrality by 2060. Of course, digital technology will be a key enabler throughout this process.
Next I would like to share some of my thoughts on how we can go digital more successfully in the Asia-Pacific region. I think we need to focus on three areas: digital infrastructure, industrial applications, and digital talent.
First, APAC countries are already doing a great job on digital infrastructure. According to ITU, mobile coverage in the region has almost reached 100%.
This is an incredible achievement. Just 10 years ago, some APAC countries did not have any 3G or 4G infrastructure at all. Now, GSMA estimates that, by 2025, APAC will have 1.2 billion 5G connections. But connectivity is not everything. It helps us to collect and transfer much more data than before. However, we still need much stronger capabilities to process that data.
So in addition to strong connectivity, we also need to build more important infrastructure like cloud and data centers.
The second is industry applications. Industries across the APAC region are working hard to speed up the development and adoption of digital applications. And this is already creating real value.
For example: Thailand is using 5G to bring healthcare services to more people in remote regions. And in the Philippines, people are using AI and connected devices to help protect the rainforest.
The possibilities are endless, and I am sure that each industry will be able to figure out where and how they can get help from digital technologies to meet their specific needs.
The final area is digital talent. By 2030, APAC’s workforce is estimated to reach 2.2 billion people. And compared to other regions, this workforce will be relatively young. This is an important advantage, and we should invest more in the next generation of digital talent.
Huawei has deep roots in APAC. We have been serving our customers here for over 30 years, and we are proud to support digital development in the region. Innovation is in our DNA. In 2021, we invested more than 22% of our total revenue back into R&D. That’s the highest percentage in our history as a company.
Moving forward, we will keep investing heavily to help our partners in the region meet their strategic development goals. In 2022, we will increase our support for a Green and Digital APAC by promoting digital infrastructure, low-carbon development, and digital inclusion.
A single tree can’t make a forest. To build the best possible Digital APAC, we have to work together, and we look forward to working more closely with all of our customers and partners.