At Huawei Connect 2022 on Monday, Huawei, together with the ASEAN Foundation, held the Asia Pacific Digital Talent Summit. The summit, themed “Cultivate Talents, Unleash Digital,” focused on exploring the paths of building a future-ready ICT talent pool and unleashing digital potential in the Asia-Pacific region and convened stakeholders from government, academia and industry.

In his welcome speech, Ekkaphab Phanthavong, Deputy Secretary-General of ASEAN for Socio-Cultural Community, said, “This summit is essential to forge discussions and efforts on how we can cultivate innovative ICT talents in the region, identify their current status, address digital adversities and inequalities, and determine the step forward.”

Echoing similar sentiments, Dr. Yang Mee Eng, Executive Director of ASEAN Foundation, hopes that “through the summit, we will bring key stakeholders across the region to enhance consensus, tackle difficulties and take ample actions to resolve digital gaps, cultivate innovative talents, and unleash digital transformation for the region.”

Also gracing the event were government officials from the region who shared best practices in digital talent cultivation.

Sharing insights from his country, Prof. Ir Nizam, Director General of Higher Education of Ministry of Education, Culture, Research and Technology of Indonesia, said, “In Indonesia, we are transforming our education system to be digitally ready and developing a talent pool of digital technology through multiple initiatives.”

“Cambodia has begun including digital subjects into school curriculum, leveraging online platforms and establishing community tech centers for students. Meanwhile, we have worked with vocational training schools in providing digital training for those already in the workforce,” noted Sok Puthyvuth, Secretary of State, Ministry of Post and Telecommunications of Cambodia.

Introducing the Turing AI Orchestra (TAIO), the world’s first AI ensemble, Professor GUO Yike, Vice-President, Hong Kong Baptist University, commented, “TAIO will promote transdisciplinary education to the next generation.”

Meanwhile, Professor Hitoshi Yamada, former Vice-President of Yokohama National University in Japan, spoke at length about how international exchange can transform digital talent development.

Simon Lin, president of Huawei Asia Pacific, explained Huawei’s talent strategy in the region: “Nearly all Asia-Pacific countries are empowering ICT talents, especially young people, to boost digital economy. As a global company rooted in local markets, Huawei will keep strengthening the talent ecosystem through leadership, skill and knowledge.”

A panel featuring discussion of digital inclusion and post-pandemic recovery was also on the agenda. Michele Wucker, global best-selling author of “The Gray Rhino,” gave her take on how to boost young people’s participation in policymaking to support digital inclusion.

On this note, Iona Dominique, one of the members of the winning team of APAC Seeds for the Future’s Tech4All Competition, shared her project of helping disabled job seekers secure positions with cloud and AI.

“Collective actions among private sector, academia and the government could contribute towards digital inclusion in this era,” said Professor Guo Song of Hong Kong Polytechnic University.

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