Huawei has released a position paper titled Digital Nation: Stronger Economy, Better Society, Adept Governance. The paper introduces three key aspects of Digital Nations – digital economy, digital society, and digital governance.
Huawei suggests that governments actively apply borderless technology to take up the roles in digitalization of practitioner, motivator, and regulator.
Huawei Rotating Chairman Guo Ping stated that each country has four levels of digital transformation needs. The first level of needs is to deploy ICT infrastructure. This is the foundation of a digital economy. The second level of needs is to deploy security equipment both physically and in cyberspace to ensure the robust development of the digital economy.
The third level of needs is to help industries go digital and enable them to keep pace with the times. And the fourth level of needs is to build digital brains, achieving intelligent management from city- to country-level.
In the position paper, Huawei proposes a policy package that contains twelve action measures for governments to build Digital Nations.
Action 1: Build a top-down, integrated department of digitalization at the national level
Action 2: Establish a vertical organization specialized in key areas
Action 3: Allocate funding by multiple means such as public-private partnerships
Action 4: Focus on investment in ICT infrastructure
Action 5: Attract and cultivate research and engineering digital talent
Action 6: Build an internal technical foundation for digital applications
Action 7: Provide open access to public government databases
Action 8: Implement digital applications for e-Government and urban management
Action 9: Cultivate a digital ecosystem by eliminating barriers to market access and monitoring market competition
Action 10: Establish global technology standards and inclusive trade rules
Action 11: Establish digital evaluation indicators
Action 12: Ensure data security and privacy, and encourage exchanges of data
The paper introduces the digital practices adopted by Estonia. The nation proposed the concept of e-Estonia in 1997, and over 90% of Estonians have since obtained electronic ID cards. The ID cards can be used to record citizens’ medical, financial, voting, and tax information.
At the same time, X-Road, a distributed data storage and exchange platform using blockchain technology, stores all data pertaining to each citizen and the government’s data that is open to the public. This platform provides critical support to the Digital Nation. In addition, the application of e-government simplifies government processes, improves administration efficiency, and achieves annual savings equal to 2% of the nation’s GDP.
Professor Jeffrey Sachs from Columbia University, a global development expert, noted: “Digital Nation is much more than a pep talk or a paean of praise for the new information and communications technologies. Digital Nation is a roadmap for governments aiming to put their countries into the fast lane of sustainable development in the 21st Century. Most importantly, Huawei draws on its deep knowledge of the new and emerging technologies, and its remarkable global experience, to highlight practical steps for governments to follow to create a dynamic, healthful, productive digital nation. Huawei also points out several possible roadblocks and impediments, and how to avoid or overcome them.”