[Bangkok, Thailand, August 19, 2022] Today, Huawei launched its largest-ever Seeds for the Future Program in Asia Pacific, in collaboration with ASEAN Foundation and Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT). From August 19 to 27, it will bring together 120 outstanding students from 16 countries across the Asia Pacific region for a 9-day cross-cultural, digital boot camp. While there, they will propose technical solutions to social problems through Tech4Good projects. 56 of the 120 participants are women, making the 2022 cohort the most gender-balanced in the region since the program initiated in 2008.
Asia-Pacific Seeds for the Future 2022 marks the first time the program is held since Huawei and ASEAN Foundation signed an MoU on scaling it up. TAT will host participants for a cultural tour of Bangkok. By cooperating, the three organizations aim to enhance the value and quality of the program.
The opening ceremony was attended by government officials and representatives of international organizations.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Commerce of Thailand, H.E. Mr. Jurin Laksanawisit said: “At present, public and private sectors are working together to increase ICT personnel in order to keep up with changing trends. I believe that co-training with leading specialized companies such as Huawei will greatly enhance the quality of education and is an excellent step for advancing digital development.”
Secretary-General of ASEAN, H.E. Dato Lim Jock Hoi stressed that digital talent will be the driving force in the construction of a Digital ASEAN: “The private sector can play a pioneering role in realising this vision. This project underscores the long-term commitment of Huawei to collaborate and prepare the ASEAN youth for the changing world of work and industry’s demands. I also commend the Huawei ASEAN Academy for working with local stakeholders to train 23,465 ICT professionals from Malaysia, Thailand, Cambodia, and Indonesia.”
Executive Director of ASEAN Foundation, Dr. Yang Mee Eng said: “The growth of ASEAN Digital Economy is entirely dependent on the capability of the region’s young people to participate in it. It is crucial for stakeholders of ASEAN to create a robust learning ecosystem that allows our youth to advance their digital skills.” She added that this event represents yet another successful partnership of the ASEAN Foundation and Huawei in talent development.
President of Huawei Asia Pacific Mr. Simon Lin reiterated Huawei’s own commitment to talent development: “The Seeds represent hope, passion, and future. As the corporate-level flagship CSR project with the longest history, this program has been brought to nearly 140 countries and regions, reaching over 12,000 students from 500 universities. The ‘Seeds’ have grown to a global ‘forest'”.
H.E. Dr. Ms. Dipu Moni, Minister of Education of Bangladesh, spoke of how digital talent can bridge historical gender gaps: “It is increasingly important that we include our female students to STEM-based learning and creating an equal opportunity for them to grow. We are excited to have five excellent female young professionals from Bangladesh joining the camp, and I believe their success will empower more women to contribute to Bangladesh’s digital economy.”
Deputy Minister of Education of Thailand Khunying Kalaya Sophonpanich said that “The Seeds for the Future program is important for students interested in ICT and digital technologies as it fills the gap between theory and practice. Digital skills are regarded as one of the most significant areas in the Thai education sector.”
Deputy Permanent Secretary for Ministry of Culture of Thailand Mr. Krisada Kongkajan, Deputy Permanent Representative of Lao PDR to ASEAN Mr. Sengpraarthid Snookphone, ITU Asia-Pacific Regional Director Ms. Atsuko Okuda, UNESCO Chief of Section for Educational Innovation and Skills Development Mr. Libing Wang all acknowledged that this is a great platform for regional youth exchange.
The official start of the program was jointly announced by ASEAN Foundation’s Dr. Yang Mee Eng, TAT’s Deputy Governor for Digitization Research and Development Mr. Nithee Seeprae, Huawei Asia Pacific President Mr. Simon Lin, and Huawei Thailand CEO Mr. Abel Deng. Then, participants were awarded Ambassador Certificates from the TAT. The ceremony ended with 16 Seeds representatives performing the song “Dream it Possible” in their own languages.