Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe at the Huawei exhibition hall
During his visit to Huawei’s headquarters in Shenzhen, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and the Ambassador of the Chinese Embassy in Sri Lanka jointly witnessed the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on ICT cooperation between the Sri Lankan Ministry of Telecommunication and Digital Infrastructure and Huawei Sri Lanka.
The MoU demonstrates the Sri Lankan government’s commitment to furthering its cooperation with Huawei. Ranil Wickremesinghe visited Huawei’s new ICT industry exhibition hall and had a meeting with Li Jinge, Senior Vice President, Huawei.
Wickremesinghe said, “Huawei is a leading global ICT company. I am greatly impressed by Huawei’s innovative and advanced ICT technologies. We welcome Huawei to participate in ICT planning and construction in Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka government seeks further cooperation with Huawei.”
Li Jinge, Senior Vice President, Huawei, said: “We will actively respond to Hon. prime minister’s call. Huawei will continue contributing to ICT development and digital economy in Sri Lanka. We are pleased to bring our global experience in ICT industry and provide leading ICT solutions and consumer devices to Sri Lanka. We will accelerate the local ICT talent development. This year, we will also establish a Customer Solution Integration and Innovation Center in Sri Lanka. Huawei can share its global best practice with Sri Lanka customers at the innovation center. Customers can have an interactive engagement with the experts from Huawei Headquarters and other countries and even exchange ideas, make innovation and build up cooperation with industry players at the innovation center.”
At the meeting, Yi Xianliang, the ambassador of Chinese Embassy in Sri Lanka indicated that he will greatly support the cooperation between Huawei and Sri Lanka, especially in international financial city, industry zone in Hambantota. Hon. Patali Champika Ranawaka, Minister of Megapolis and Western Development welcomes Huawei to participate in ICT planning and infrastructure construction for Smart Colombo. After the meeting, Wickremesinghe, Yi Xianliang and Li Jinge jointly witnessed the signing of a MoU on ICT cooperation between the Sri Lankan Ministry of Telecommunication and Digital Infrastructure and Huawei.
Huawei has been operating business in Sri Lanka since 2005. At that time, the local mobile penetration rate was only 16.85 percent, and the household broadband penetration rate was 0.4 percent. Over the past 11 years, Huawei has partnered with local operators to focus on innovation and bridging the digital divide. Sri Lanka’s mobile penetration rate now reaches 112 percent, and the household broadband penetration rate reaches 12 percent. Huawei’s networks have served 70 percent of total population in Sri Lanka, and Sri Lankan customers can now enjoy the high-speed 4G networks. Huawei’s smartphones have also been well received by Sri Lankan consumers, with the second largest market share in the local smartphone market. This is just one example of how Huawei has been fuelling ICT development in Sri Lanka through its focused strategy, continuous investment, and tremendous breakthroughs.
Huawei has more than 400 employees in Sri Lanka, of whom 86 percent are local hires. Huawei has indirectly created over 1,000 jobs. Over the past 11 years, Huawei has developed large numbers of local ICT talent. Huawei will launch its Seeds for the Future program in Sri Lanka to sponsor a study trip to China for 10 local university students in 2016. Students will have the opportunity to study the latest ICT technologies at Huawei’s headquarters in China and experience Chinese culture at a university in Beijing.