Hungary is set to become a success story of an increasingly digitised world economy, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said in his opening address at the ITU Telecom World 2019 conference in Budapest on Monday.
Digital economy has stable roots in Hungary, Orbán said.
“Hungary is already a digital economy in the heart of Europe. The future has already started here, and we hope Europe will also follow that road by concluding the related debates and acting in unity,” he said.
In the past few years, Hungary has demonstrated it does not only plan its future but also makes it a reality, Orbán said. In Europe, Hungary has the lowest VAT on internet, 5 percent, and a modern test centre for electronic vehicles has recently been inaugurated in its southwestern region, he noted.
Orbán said that
the digital economy provides some 25 percent of Hungarian GDP, and employs some 400,000 people, about 10 percent of the total workforce.
ITU Telecom World 2019, the global tech event for governments, corporates and small- and medium-sized enterprises, opened its doors today to four days of exhibition, debate, networking and awards amongst some of the most influential names from across the information and communication technology (ICT) sector.
Hosted by the Government of Hungary, the event was launched in the presence of Viktor Orbán, Prime Minister of Hungary, alongside Houlin Zhao, ITU Secretary-General, Francis Gurry, Director General of the World Intellectual Property Organization, Nguyen Manh Hung, Minister of Information and Communications, Vietnam, together with high-level government leaders and representatives, regulators and leading industry Chief Executive Officers.
“Together, I am confident we will be able to expand avenues for cooperation and ICT infrastructure investment, make ICT applications and services more relevant, secure and affordable, and give people the tools and skills they need to navigate and succeed in the digital economy,”
said ITU Secretary-General Houlin Zhao, welcoming delegates to ITU Telecom World 2019 and back to Budapest, four years after ITU Telecom World 2015. “Together, we can and will bring about connectivity that matters, the theme of this year’s event − here in Hungary, the region and the rest of the world.”
Addressing delegates via a video message, United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres spoke of the importance of new technology to save lives: “There is no doubt: innovative technologies such as artificial intelligence, 5G and the Internet of Things can help us achieve the Sustainable Development Goals and improve the lives of all. We must harness the opportunities they bring, while mitigating the risks.”
Francis Gurry, Director General of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) said that the theme of this Forum, Innovating together; connectivity that matters, “illustrates the relationship between ITU and WIPO, but also a much deeper truth and that is that ideas and development are nourished by connectivity. Connectivity with others inspires innovation. Telecommunications are a fundamental driver of the innovation in the world today.”
Speaking on making a new telecom infrastructure ready for a digital economy and a digital society, Nguyen Manh Hung, Minister of Information and Communications, Vietnam, Host Country for ITU Telecom World 2020, said
“Telecom is now becoming ICT, and ICT is becoming a new infrastructure for a digital world. To make this happen, we need more innovations in technology, in policy and in strategy. This is a long way to go. And we should go together.”
The Opening Ceremony marked the start of an action-packed few days of high-level debate, dialogue between business, a raft of innovative small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in technology and governments, showcasing, networking and a high-profile Awards Programme and ceremony. The event was also marked by the launch of an ITU Telecom World 2019 Commemorative Stamp, by György Schamschula, CEO Magyar Posta, during the Event Opening Press Conference.