June 24, 2010 5:03 pm

Cisco to invest $1bn in Russia

Cisco Systems, the world’s largest maker of networking equipment, has promised to invest $1bn in Russia over the next decade.

Cisco is also going to increase its venture capital investments in the country by $100m, and will establish offices at the new technology hub that is being built outside of Moscow.

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The commitments came as Russian president, Dimitry Medvedev, met with a number of Silicon Valley companies seeking support for his plans to launch Russia into the high-tech age. Earlier this year, Mr Medvedev announced plans to build Russia’s answer to Silicon Valley in Skolkovo near Moscow.

John Chambers, Cisco’s chief executive, said Russia represented a growth opportunity for Cisco, as the country invested in building out its communications infrastructure.

Cisco already has a presence in Russia, as an anchor investor in Almaz Capital Partners, a Russian venture capital firm. It also runs 133 Cisco Networking Academies across the country, training engineers in use of its technology. It plans to increase this number to 300.

Other Silicon Valley executives, including Craig Barrett, former chief executive of Intel, and Eric Schmidt, chief executive of Google, are helping advise on the development of the Skolkovo project.

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