Abraham Liu at the Connectivity & Social Progress conference in Sofia, Bulgaria
Improving connectivity in rural areas is vital to ensure all Europeans benefit from a level playing field when it comes to jobs, market access, education and work-life balance, a conference in the Bulgarian capital, Sofia, heard today.
“The recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic should not leave anyone behind,” said Abraham Liu, Huawei’s Chief Representative to the EU Institutions and Vice-President of the European Region, participating in a panel alongside high-level EU representatives.
“Connecting Europe’s rural areas, and especially those suffering from depopulation, is now a more pressing need than ever. Huawei wants to help Europe overcome the rural-urban digital gap, so that the post-Covid reality can be a truly inclusive one” Abraham Liu said.
The conference, “Connectivity & Social Progress: Digital Resilience for Remote Areas”, was organised by the media platform Euractiv, with the support of Huawei.
Participants discussed how Internet connectivity can help remote areas address depopulation and boost growth and employment in countries such as Bulgaria and Romania.
WHAT THEY SAID AT THE CONFERENCE
“We will do our utmost to bring connectivity to each and every village. We need to join forces with partners, including private companies and national and regional governments, to make this happen.” Dubravka Šuica, European Commission Vice-President for Democracy and Demography
“If we learned one lesson from the pandemic, it’s that we should massively invest in digitalisation, especially in the public sector (…) and with regard to education.” Denitsa Sacheva, Bulgaria’s Minister of Labour and Social Policy
“Innovation becomes truly useful and has a significant impact on people’s lives when it manages to address social aspects: think about innovations in teaching and online learning. (...) In this sense, the pandemic has shown us that technology is vital for our societies.” Corina Crețu MEP, former European Commissioner for Regional Development
“Bringing connectivity and online public services to rural areas should be a key indicator when the Commission evaluates national recovery plans.” Cristian Ghinea MEP, Vice-Chair of the European Parliament’s Regional Development Committee
“In 2020, ‘digital gap’ means ‘opportunity gap’. Every day Europe’s regions spend without 5G is a day of missed opportunities. This is particularly important for regions affected by depopulation and other demographic and economic challenges. Huawei is determined to help Europe overcome the rural-urban gap and fully embrace the digital era in a way that is affordable, sustainable and inclusive – as it has been doing for the last 20 years.” Abraham Liu, Huawei’s Chief Representative to the EU Institutions and Vice-President European Region