On May 21st, on the first day of ICT Spring, the organizers had the great honor of welcoming, again, Xavier Bettel, Prime Minister of Luxembourg, who delivered an inspiring keynote speech on the advantages of Luxembourg and its attractiveness for startups all over the world. He also listed some of the latest initiatives that have been taken by his government, showing once again how his country aims at becoming a digital leader.

"Year after year I see familiar faces and new ones in attendance. You are all welcome in Luxembourg and I'm delighted to meet with innovative international startups. For centuries, our country was a fortress which later took down it walls to open to others. It is also the birth place of Robert Schuman, the father of Europe," explained Xavier Bettel, highlighting that common problems require common solutions. He added: "We are stronger together. In Luxembourg, we are different yet we still respect each other. Moreover, being different is not a weakness, it's actually a strength".

The Prime Minister also highlighted the fact that Luxembourg has become a Smart Nation over the last years, with citizens, companies, researchers and his governments working hand in hand in order to be at the forefront of innovation. "By definition, innovation cannot stand still and we will continue to make sure we all benefit from new technologies. These must be inclusive. All people should have the skills to use digital and tech to their advantages," added Xavier Bettel. According to him, these skills are to become the basics in a world where digital is to reshape all industries and even the political system. He explained that politicians used to have and share the information and that now they need to react and justify their acts. Xavier Bettel warned against the rise of fake news, stating that people cannot simply read but that they have to understand to be able to judge. "The use of technologies therefore brings a new set of responsibilities to the table as it can have consequences in the real world. Digital needs to happen FOR us, not to us," said the Prime Minister.

Xavier Bettel also stated that digital brings real opportunities to all industries and that his government supports several projects and initiatives that aim at making digital more available. The country is now seen as a hub of innovation with a vibrant startup scene, with many incubators and entrepreneurs. "We are also putting efforts to upskill our citizens: knowledge is power. We are giving them opportunities to participate to programs to learn new skills. We have high speed internet and have a clear 5G roadmap", he added before advocating the creation of a single digital European market. Moreover, the PM went over the recent creation of the Ministry of Digitalization and the willingness to avoid the silo mentality. Lately the government launched its AI strategy in Luxembourg, by engaging all the stakeholders and by making it "user-centric" and "responsible".

Xavier Bettel ended his presentation by saying that Luxembourg a country where ideas grow and where people all work together. "Yet, everything is not granted. I am a true believer in Europe and in the advantages exchange and collaboration can bring. It's a constant pleasure to work alongside you," he concluded.


Alexandre Keilmann

Photos: Marion Dessard

Publié le 21 mai 2019