Cisco Systems will spend US$265 million in Saudi Arabia over the next five years by adding about 530 employees, opening a technology and entrepreneurial demonstration center, and donating training and networking equipment in poor areas, the company said Tuesday.
The investments are meant to help the country move toward its goal of being a “connected kingdom,” Cisco said in a news release. Cisco President and Chief Executive Officer John Chambers made the announcement while visiting Saudi Arabia. The investment “reflects our alignment with the country’s focus on entrepreneurship, innovation and education, which we believe will help drive the 21st century global economy,” he said in a statement.
Cisco established operations in Saudi Arabia in 1998 and maintains offices in Riyadh, Jeddah and Khobar.
The five-year Cisco investment plan includes:
increasing the number of Cisco employees in Saudi Arabia from about 70 to 600.
providing leasing and other financial options to Cisco customers.
creating a Cisco technology and entrepreneurship innovation center to demonstrate the effect of technology on vertical markets.
sponsoring a Saudi technology and entrepreneurship institute, incubation space for startup companies and R&D activities.
providing equipment, training and support required to provide Internet connections to 2,000 homes in underprivileged areas.
establishing 100 new networking training centers, in addition to 42 current centers, to provide technical programs in concert with local universities.
-Grant Gross, IDG News Service
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