Huawei’s Rotating Chairman Guo Ping attended the forum and delivered a keynote speech on building a digital Eurasia. During the event, Guo met with Andrei Vladimirovich Kobyakov, the Prime Minister of Belarus, and exchanged ideas on how to help Belarus achieve sustainable economic and social development and build an IT country.
Huawei’s Rotating Chairman Guo Ping addressing the forum
Thanks to its increasing ICT spending in recent years, Belarus has one of the most advanced ICT infrastructures in central and eastern Europe. Belarus has proposed to accelerate digital transformation, and has issued a decree On the Development of the Digital Economy. Huawei provided recommendations on how to digitize key industries in Belarus, such as logistics, construction, education, and public safety.
Located at an intersection of several international transit routes, Belarus is well positioned to become a major trade hub between Europe and China, and Europe and Russia by ensuring fast, convenient, and seamless transit. It is estimated that the volume of logistics services will increase 1.5-fold and revenues from transit will grow 3.7-fold by 2020 compared to 2015. According to the proposal, digital technology provides an opportunity for Belarus to build a logistics center competitive at an international level. Digital solutions most relevant to Belarus include intelligent transportation systems for roads, rail transportation management systems, smart customs solutions, logistics services, and systems for contractor verification.
Building information modeling (BIM) provides a tool for integrated project design, management, and delivery, leading to major improvements in cost and time efficiency as well as convenient interaction for stakeholders at all stages of the construction lifecycle. Integration of BIM and IoT enables fundamentally new approaches to effective management at construction sites. Smart Metering and Smart Home solutions help to automate energy management and reduce energy consumption through an IoT-enabled network of meters, controllers, devices, and smart domestic appliances.
ICT plays an even more important role in education. Firstly, the education resource sharing platform breaks down the barriers of distance and time, so that the best education resources are accessible to everyone. The education management platform will help collect and analyze the information needed in the education process, serving as a bridge between homes, schools, enterprises, and individuals. Similarly, digital teaching will transform the way learning is done, making the classroom process more interactive. Lastly, the ICT talent cultivation center will focus on the combination of theory and practice in developing qualified ICT specialists.
To make cities smarter and safer, governments need to adopt innovative ICT solutions to prevent and respond to evolving threats. Video surveillance and drones can be used to enhance the safety of critical infrastructure, large events, and crowds. E-ID, a citizen status identification system, can help governments manage all relevant citizen information. The system can also be integrated with government services and social services, such as healthcare, pensions, insurance, and other services provided to citizens.
Guo remarked, “Huawei will work with all stakeholders in Eurasia to explore how ICT can enable and promote sustainable social and economic development.” He recommended Belarus take the following actions to achieve digital transformation.
- Build stronger infrastructure (both fixed and mobile broadband): Belarus is a strong performer in fixed broadband penetration and enjoys the highest ranking among central and eastern European countries on the ITU’s Global ICT Development Index. This has laid a solid foundation for future development. However, with a 4G penetration rate of less than 20%, the country still needs to improve its mobile broadband infrastructure. Belarus should encourage the development of application software providers, or over-the-top (OTT) players, and borrow from the experience of countries like China. The government can stimulate investment by adopting a lenient regulatory approach and allowing industries to engage in trial and error. This can enable mobile operators and OTT players to complement with each other and grow together.
- Keep cities safe: Police patrols and safety initiatives still employ traditional voice and push-to-talk (PTT) trunking systems. Belarus has not yet widely deployed integrated police systems, and thus can refer to the solution adopted in Shenzhen.
- Build industry benchmarks: From an industry perspective, finance and energy have strong demand for digitization. In reality, these sectors are seeing rapid adoption of digital technologies. Belarus needs to encourage digital development in these sectors, and build them into benchmarks that other sectors can replicate.
- Build “digital brains”: There is already demand for “city brains”. Becloud is moving government services to the e-government cloud. Belarus needs to first digitize government services. This will lay the groundwork for smart government. Then, the country needs to work to build smart cities and manage urban facilities through “digital brains”.
Guo also witnessed the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on the building of a safe and smart industrial park. As the first resident company in the industrial park, Huawei began its cooperation with the China-Belarus Industrial Park in 2014. Based on its innovation and R&D in smart campus, safe city, and horizontal solutions, Huawei will provide customized ICT solutions, products, and services to the industrial park and other resident companies.