Cisco Will Inject US$40 M Into Asian Business

American networking giant, Cisco Systems Inc.
will pump US$40 million into its Asian business over the next 12 to 18
months.

“Despite the tough economic environment in Asia, our business in the region
increased dramatically by 40 percent in 1998,” said Bill Nuti, Cisco
Systems president for Greater Asia. “We expect to see Internet traffic
grow tenfold in the region by the end of next year.”

“We are going to play across the board in every market,” added Nuti.

“However, there are markets that are moving along further that present
great opportunities,” Nuti said, “Deregulation is more economically
beneficial–doesn’t matter if there is a right time or a wrong time. I do
think it impacts the competitiveness of the markets.”

In Asia, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Korea are liberalizing their
telecommunications industries while India is doing the same for its ISP
market. Asia makes up 10 percent of Cisco’s business while the US is 59
percent and Europe is 30 percent.

Nuti believes that China will deregulate in 3 to 5 years

Cisco’s expansion plans for Asia follow a year of solid growth in the
region, according to Cisco representatives.

During calendar year 1998, Cisco Systems increased its staff by more than
250 percent in Asia to 600 and grew fiscal revenue 40 percent
year-on-year, despite tough economic challenges facing the region.

Nuti said that Cisco was hot on the acquisition trail looking to snap up eight
to 10 companies over the next year particularly those with voice
technologies and possibly in Asia.

“We look at acquisition opportunities every day,” he added, “looking for
what products best fit Cisco.”

“Survival in the New World of the Internet requires investment in building
powerful, cost-effective communications infrastructure,” he continued. “The
New World communications platform is a multiservice network, based on
Internet Protocol (IP), that will carry data, voice and video traffic.”

“By combining the three traditional communications channels into a single,
unified network, organizations will benefit from tremendous
cost-efficiency, easy-to-manage networks and free voice calls that ride on
other value-added services,” said Nuti.

Cisco Systems plans to set up new regional offices in China and Vietnam to
cater for growth in these new markets. The company will also open a
Technical Assistance Center (TAC) in Korea and more spare parts depots in
the region to enhance logistics support.

Responding to questions about Cisco’s backing of Cyberport in Hong Kong, he said,
“From our perspective the Cyberport is an excellent location. A great deal
of intellectual capital will be there. We are investigating our options to
play a role in that (the Cyberport).”

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