Huawei recently announced a major investment into New Zealand’s future.
The news came after a meeting between NZ Prime Minister, Bill English and Huawei founder and CEO, Ren Zhengfei, where they discussed ICT infrastructure build-out and digital transformation.
The Chinese telecommunications equipment manufacturer will commit up to $400 million over five years to research and development and digital innovation in New Zealand.
The highlights of the investment include:
- $250 million in procurement from New Zealand companies
- Working with local partners to build a New Zealand Cloud Data Centre
- Opening an Innovation Lab at Victoria University of Wellington in 2017
- Building an Innovation Lab in Christchurch
- Expand the Seeds for the Future University Student Programme to 100 ICT students
Economic Development Minister, Simon Bridges says the depth of the investment will touch many areas of the economy and open up global opportunities for NZ, including strengthening our research and development activity and capability building in the digital world.
“International connections are important if we are to be productive and competitive in the global market place,” Bridges says.
“Having access to the resources and technology lifts our ability to be innovative, agile and productive. We have identified this as a priority in the Business Growth Agenda.”
According to Science and Innovative Minister, Paul Goldsmith, NZ’s hi-tech sector is one of our fastest growing, and the government is investing in the sector through the $411 million Innovative New Zealand package, in order to lift total government investment in science and innovation to $1.6 billion by 2020.
“The establishment of another New Zealand-based Cloud Data Centre will be a step forward for local companies and institutions looking to test new innovations on a locally-based platform, while the expansion of the Seeds for the Future programme will give 100 of New Zealand's brightest ICT and engineering undergraduates the opportunity to learn offshore and bring those skills home," says Goldsmith.
Huawei’s Zhengfei sees NZ as a ripe area for growth as it facilitates their ongoing commitment, emphasising its open and fair trade environment with a focus on developing new technology.
“New Zealand has rich tourism resources, and highly developed agricultural and trade sectors,” says Zhengfei.
“Digital transformation empowered by advanced ICT technology can enable New Zealand to become better connected with the world, and transform its traditional strengths into driving forces of economic growth.”
According to Huawei, today more than half of New Zealanders are using their products and solutions.