The UK Government and the Chinese communications technology firm Huawei have agreed a procurement commitment worth £3bn to the UK economy. The agreement was signed last week by Huawei chairwoman Sun Yafang at a meeting with Prime Minister Theresa May.
Huawei hopes to increase its presence in the UK market while also assisting British firms in exporting to China. Yafang said that her organisation valued long-term partnership, pointing out that the UK was one of the first international markets Huawei entered, opening its first office here in 2001. In 2012, the firm pledged to make investments and procurement deals in the UK worth at least £1.3bn over five years. By 2017, the company had invested £2bn in the UK economy over the stated period, comfortably exceeding its initial target.
“We have now been working with our major customers in the UK for more than twelve years, helping to build a better connected UK,” Sun Yafang said. “Over the coming years we look forward to continuing to collaborate with our customers and partners to help keep the UK at the forefront of the digital age.”
Huawei specialises in networking equipment and the manufacture of smartphones, with special emphasis on research and innovation in areas including 5G technology. It claims strong ties with UK telecommunications firms such as BT and Vodafone as well as the UK Government. Its research work involves partnership with several British academic institutions.
Huawei employs 1,500 UK workers across 15 locations. The organisation’s UK headquarters is at Green Park in Reading.
“Thanks to the drive and innovation of UK businesses, backed by this government, trade between the UK and China is already at record levels,” the Prime Minister said. “This visit is an opportunity to further showcase the best of British and boost jobs and prosperity throughout the UK.”