RAMALLAH, West Bank, January 30, 2008 - Cisco today announced an investment of $10 million to seed a sustainable model of job-creation and economic development in the Palestinian Territories. The three-year investment, made in cooperation with the president of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas, represents Cisco's continued commitment toward building stronger and healthier global communities through strategic social investments.
"Education and the Internet are the great equalizers and vital to a sustainable, productive economy that increases the standard of living for all," commented Cisco Chairman and CEO John Chambers. "It's a core part of our culture to give back, but it's also a core strategy of what drives our success in the regions of the world where we do business. We make all our business decisions with 3-5 years in mind and given our strong business momentum in the region, it's only appropriate to make this investment into its economy and its people."
"One of our key priorities is to build a market economy in close cooperation with the private sector. We commend Cisco for its commitment to helping us accomplish this goal, and look forward to working together toward enhancing the social, economic and education opportunities for the people of Palestine. This contribution, we hope, will help prosperity and peace in the region," said Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.
Key aspects of the commitment include a multi-million dollar venture capital investment targeted at high-potential small businesses throughout the region, as well as the development of training programmes for critical information communications technology (ICT) skills. In the future, Cisco's intention is to engage in a multi-stakeholder collaboration to encourage further inward investment into the Palestinian economy from local, regional and global organizations.
Chambers added, "As we execute against this commitment over the coming years, our hope is also to create a catalyst of active engagement and a call to action for others across the public and private sector to contribute toward a diverse and sustainable economic model for the region."
For more information on Cisco's global development and corporate social responsibility initiatives, please visit http://www.cisco.com/web/about/citizenship.