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Thu, Apr 16, 2009 - Page 10 News List

Cisco Systems could boost S Korea investment: CEO

GROWING John Chambers did not provide details on how the funds would be spent, but said if the investment was successful, more was likely to follow


Cisco Systems Inc CEO John Chambers said yesterday he wouldn’t be surprised if the company’s planned US$2 billion investment in South Korea ended up bigger.

“Two billion was our first step,” Chambers told reporters.

He refrained from providing specifics on how the money would be spent, but said if it proved successful more was likely to follow.

Previous investment plans by Cisco — the world’s biggest maker of computer networking gear — in South Korea and other countries have generally ended up larger and in “a different mix” than anticipated, Chambers said.

San Jose, California-based Cisco, founded in 1984, makes routers and switches that companies use to send data on the Internet and internal networks.

It has recently been expanding aggressively into other areas, including servers, and making acquisitions including Pure Digital Technologies Inc, which makes the popular Flip camcorders.

Chambers met South Korean President Lee Myung-bak on Tuesday.

Lee’s office, in a release after the meeting, said Cisco’s US$2 billion plan would be spent over five years, and outlined other specifics, including US$500 million in investment and loans for South Korean IT and communications companies.

Chambers said yesterday that Cisco is not ignoring its home market, the US, when formulating investment plans.

“You’ll see a number of announcements over the next month in terms of commitments in the US, resource commitments, financial commitments,” he said, without providing details.

Chambers would not provide specifics on the company’s acquisition plans, but said more were coming.

“Are you going to see our acquisition pace pick up,” Chambers said. “Of course.”

Chambers characterized Cisco as a “very conservative company” that tends to be “more aggressive during the market downturns than at any other time.”

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