Europe and Huawei share common values. Together we can lead the 4th Industrial Revolution.

DISCLAIMER: All opinions in this column reflect the views of the author(s), not of EURACTIV Media network.

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Abraham Liu is Huawei’s Chief Representative to the EU institutions. [Huawei]

This article is part of our special report Striking a balance: IT infrastructure and digital sovereignty.

Huawei has been a trusted partner in Europe for over 18 years now. It is one of our most important markets – we have grown together.

Abraham Liu is Huawei’s Chief Representative to European Institutions and the President of its European Public Affairs and Communication Office.

This year alone we announced that we are investing millions in the UK, Germany, Romania, France and Spain, and just last month we unveiled a 70 million Euro Research and Development investment in Ireland.

It is Europe’s values of openness, innovation, and the rule of law that have made it the powerhouse of mobile communications that it is today. We at Huawei share these values.

Innovative European companies have brought 2G, 3G, and 4G to European citizens and the world. The lifting of mobile roaming charges has helped Europe’s competitiveness and European consumers.

And the introduction of the EU General Data Protection Regulation is an excellent initiative reinforcing the core European value of the protection of citizens’ privacy.

We believe the model applied in GDPR can also be applied in cybersecurity, helping Europe to continue to be a leader in the 5G era.

Europe and Huawei share a vision I believe, of technology benefiting consumers and citizens. Since the company was founded 30 years ago, we have been working to bring digitalization and connectivity to all. We believe it’s no longer a luxury, but a fundamental right. But with rights come responsibilities.

This is why we actively encourage all stakeholders to take responsibility for improving cyber-security, and the standards of that security together. And it’s also the reason we have made cyber-security our top priority at Huawei.

Huawei has an excellent record all over the world. We comply willingly with all local regulations and laws.

This is why we welcomed the EU coordinated 5G risk assessment released on the 9th of October. We believe it is an important step towards developing a common, fact–based approach to cyber security and delivering safe networks across Europe. We will work closely with everyone to help mitigate any risks that may be identified.

We want your trust – we understand it is important. But just as important is verification. This is why we want to work with, and are open to suggestions from all European Governments, customers and partners. Verify us, don’t just trust us.

Europe is open and inclusive – and it is this openness and inclusivity which allows us to work together effectively. We must understand each other’s points of view, and reconcile each other’s interests. This exchange of ideas will move us forward together.

We are on the cusp of a 4th Industrial Revolution. A revolution driven by 5G technology, Artificial Intelligence and technological innovation, unimaginable just a few years ago. The possibilities are endless. And the advantages for consumers and citizens equally so.

Huawei can bring something special to this – the most advanced 5G technology available. I believe this can unleash Europe’s true potential. It is my wish that within the next 20 years, the leading global companies in the tech field will be European. We believe these initiatives will help Europe continue to be a leader in 5G era. The “internet of things” will be driven by European innovation.

The result, I believe, will be a European model for a global digital future – based on free and fair competition, rooted in security; then Europe will have achieved true Digital Sovereignty.

The first Industrial revolution was forged in Europe out of industry. The second and third industrial revolutions were led by America, through mass production and digitalization. Now, I think it is only fitting that the 4th Industrial Revolution should again see Europe at the forefront –and I want this to be in partnership with Huawei, a company that shares its vision of a connected world, embracing digital technology, for the benefit of all.

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