Ren Zhengfei, founder and CEO of Huawei, recently met with Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region media to share his thoughts on the region’s digital transformation efforts—and Huawei ‘s plans for supporting local partners to scale digital services to more people, homes, and organizations.

He acknowledged the Arab world’s long and profound history in the mastery of mathematics, geometry, and engineering design along with leadership in building a knowledge economy and investing its oil wealth in the research of technology for non-oil sectors.

Zhengfei shared that he believes that the Middle East will become one of the world’s highest grounds for 5G, and that 5G will be the infrastructure of a rejuvenated civilization. He referenced how Saudi Arabia is making strong investments in education already, such as its development of Princess Nourah Bint Abdulrahman University—the world's largest university for women.

Ren Zhengfei,Huawei Founder

Ren Zhengfei said; 
The Silk Road established by our ancestors connected the cultures of China, Central Asia, and the Middle East, and we have great admiration for it. We should continue in the spirit of the Silk Road today with 5G and high-speed rail. This will drive the economic growth of the entire region.The way forward is to use the money earned from oil to improve education, enhance innovation in science and technology, and invest in digital technologies.”

The key to rejuvenating any country or nation lies in education. Today, knowledge is our oil, our forests, and our coal. The advancement of 5G and AI can create more wealth than ever for a society. But in the new era, when ICT becomes a main driver of productivity, resources must be used to provide support for people and to give them training.

When countries regard physical resources as wealth, geographical boundaries are very important. However, the wealth of digital technologies is global and transcends boundaries.

He confirmed that Huawei is currently in discussions with countries around the world about signing a "no backdoor" agreement to safeguard data on its networks. For things like 5G base stations, transmission networks, and core networks, Zhengfei also noted that Huawei doesn't rely on US parts or components at all, so won't be affected by US sanctions on that front.

Huawei is active Saudi Arabia in developing AI applications with local enterprises, and support larger initiatives such as a recent cooperation with the Saudi Ministry of Hajj and Umrah in the field of information and communication technology.

Huawei recently announced its business results for the third quarter of 2019 showing the global revenues increased by 24.4% year-on-year and by the end of Q3 2019, more than 700 cities, 228 Fortune Global 500 companies, and 58 Fortune Global 100 companies had selected Huawei as their partner for digital transformation.