Prime Minister Joseph Muscat this morning thanked government envoy Sai Mizzi, the energy minister's wife, for her work in attracting Chinese company Huawei to Malta, where it will test 5G technology.

A Memorandum of Understanding will be signed tomorrow.

Dr Muscat said this was the first major result of the decisions taken by the government, despite stiff criticism, but there would be more. He said talks would be started on a fibre to homes technology project which would also benefit local businesses such as e-gaming firms.

Huawei, he pointed out, if the biggest producer of mobile phones in the world and the pride of the Chinese technology sector. He also thanked  Parliamentary Secretary Jose' Herrera and consultancy company Earnst and Young for their work.

The Sunday Times of Malta reported earlier today that Huawei will open a branch at Smart City.

The multinational company that specialises in network and telecommunications equipment is expected to sign a memorandum of understanding with the government tomorrow.

Huawei will evaluate the possibility of setting up a research and development facility in Malta apart from the Smart City office, depending on the 5G test results.

The 5G testing forms part of Huawei’s five-year plan that started in 2013 to invest $600 million in research on the next phase of mobile phone networks.

It will be the second major Chinese company to invest in Malta after Shanghai Electric Power concluded a transaction to buy a 33 per cent stake in Enemalta last year.

Huawei is headquartered in Shenzhen, Guangdong. It is the largest telecommunications equipment maker in the world, having overtaken Ericsson in 2012

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