Malta and Chinese technology giant Huawei have signed another memorandum of understanding, once again on a pilot project on next-generation mobile technology in Malta, which would allow faster data and internet browsing.

The preliminary agreement also includes a joint research innovation centre in the area of public security called ‘Safe City’ and the opportunity for five Maltese students to attend a two-week ICT course in China once a year.

The signing took place this afternoon, during a Huawei senior strategy review meeting being held in Malta at the Corinthia San Ġorġ in St Julian's.

In a brief address, Prime Minister Joseph Muscat said that apart from the benefits, the agreement also meant “a priceless wealth of knowledge to the local community”.

He added that the joint innovation centre was “the cherry on the cake” of this collaboration with the Chinese company, while pointing out that the Safe City project would be carried out in conformity with privacy and data protection safeguards.

This was the second “strategic agreement” signed between the two parties following another memorandum of understanding signed last July.

Back then the government had announced that this would translate to a pilot project on 5G - the next generation of mobile technology. However, Dr Muscat today pointed out that the agreement revolved around 4.5G technology, saying that this would then pave the way for the advent of 5G technology.

Malta’s special envoy to Asia, Sai Mizzi Lang, who was credited by the government of luring the investment to Malta was not present for the signing.

Earlier this month, a government spokesman dismissed claims that Ms Mizzi Lang, wife of Energy Minister Konrad Mizzi, had not delivered in her three-year stint which will soon come to a close.