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Remarks by Ambassador Xu Erwen at the Huawei Croatia:Seeds for the Future 2019 Program Launching Ceremony

Honourable State Secretary of the Central State Office for the Development of Digital Society Mr. Bernard Gršić,

Huawei Country Manager Mr. Zhang Heng,

Dear students,

Ladies and gentlemen,

Good afternoon!

It gives me great pleasure to attend the launching ceremony of “Huawei Croatia: Seeds for the Future 2019 Program”. First of all, I wish to extend my warmest congratulations to the students who are going to study and exchange in China as representatives of Huawei’s “Seeds for the Future” program and express my appreciation to Croatian Government and Central State Office for the Development of Digital Society for the great support to this project.

This program resulted from the high level exchange of visits by the leaders of our two countries. In November last year, Croatian Prime Minister Mr. Plenković visited China and attended the first China International Import Expo, during which he talked about “Seeds for the Future” program with Huawei representatives. In April this year, Huawei signed “Seeds for the Future” innovation and technology training program with Croatian Central State Office for the Development of Digital Society as one of the fruitful results by Chinese Premier Li Keqiang’s official visit to Croatia and his attendance at the 8th Summit of “17+1 Cooperation”. According to the program, Huawei will send 10 Croatian college students to visit and study in Huawei headquarter in China each year for the next five consecutive years to encourage them to participate in building digital society. As far as I know, since the launching of this program by Huawei in 2008, 4725 students from 125 nations have been invited to China to gain hands-on practice of the latest ICT technologies.

China-Croatia relations have maintained a strong momentum of development and entered one of the best periods in history. The two economies are highly complementary with each other and both are at a crucial stage of transformation to high-quality economic development. The digital revolution is the direction of future economic and social development, which will bring fundamental changes to all areas. I have noticed that last week Croatia held a conference entitled “The Croatia We Need - Digital Society”, which put forward views that digitalization is a precondition for the society's progress and that Croatia should catch up with fast digital transformation. I firmly believe Huawei’s “Seeds for the Future” program will create a platform for Croatian young talents to get access to cutting-edge technologies in the ICT industry, enable them to better serve the digital development of the Croatian society, and contribute to the cooperation between China and Croatia in the field of digital economy.

National relationship is based on affection of the peoples. Currently China is working together with Croatia to construct Belt and Road which is a road of connectivity of not only about policy, infrastructure, trade, financing, but also very importantly about people to people exchange. The program created opportunities for Croatian young people to have an in-depth understanding of Huawei and modern China. I hope that all the students could make full use of this opportunity to develop ICT talent, broaden your horizon and improve your abilities. I sincerely hope that all of you could become the future seeds of the ICT industry and digital economy, as well as the future seeds of friendship and mutual understanding between China and Croatia.

Since its entry into Croatia, Huawei has been providing high-quality products and services to Croatian people and enterprises, created a number of jobs and actively assumed social responsibilities. It is hoped that their service will be provided to schools, hospitals, smart cities etc in future. The “Seeds for the Future” program is a beneficial attempt by Huawei to strengthen future development of our bilateral relations and well being of our two peoples. It is also an epitome of how Chinese companies in Croatia earnestly fulfill their social responsibilities and promote people to people exchanges. We also believe Huawei advanced technology like 5G is the result of mankind’s progress in science and technology and should be shared by the people in the world. China resolutely opposes the unwarranted suppression of Huawei by some countries and resolutely opposes unilateralism, protectionism and hegemonism.

China and Croatia share the same views of supporting free trade, open economy and multilateralism. Protectionism is against the trend of the times. It is my sincere hope that our Croatia friends will continue to support Chinese companies to carry out win-win cooperation and promote common development in accordance with fair competition and market principles.

Finally, I wish “Seeds for the Future” program this year a complete success! I wish you all success in your studies and greater contributions to the development of Croatia and the friendly relations and cooperation between our two countries!

Thank you.

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