Cisco to invest $5m in Palestinian investment fund

Middle East Venture Capital Fund seeks to enhance the information and communication technology sector and creating jobs in the West Bank.

Three years after Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) chairman and CEO John Chambers pledged to invest $10 million in the Palestinian Authority, he has won recognition for his efforts. On Friday, he was awarded the Award for Corporate Excellence (ACE) by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for Cisco's "efforts to connect the Israeli and Palestinian economies and people, and engaging in initiatives to enhance technical capacity, connectivity and education, as well as creating opportunities for women and youths in Israel and Palestine."

Chambers announced the extension of its existing Palestine commitment with a planned $5 million investment in the Middle East Venture Capital Fund (MEVCF). MEVCF is focused on enhancing the information and communication technology sector and creating jobs in the West Bank by investing and helping to establish export-oriented, high-growth Palestinian high-tech companies.

Cisco's Palestinian engagement includes engineering project collaboration between Cisco Israeli and Palestinian software development companies Exalt Technologies Ltd., Asal Technologies Ltd., and Global Software Services Inc. (GSSI), venture capital investments in high-potential small businesses throughout the region, and training programs that support the development of high-tech skills.

Cisco has also invested $2.5 million in Nazareth and Nazareth Illit's digital cities project and the Mediterranean Young Technology Club (MYTecC).

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on December 20, 2010

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2010

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