Special Correspondent

Emerging economies to

come out of recession sooner.

BANGALORE: Cisco Systems, with revenues of $39.5 billion last year, is upbeat enough about the economic slowdown receding, to think about acquisitions.

Chairman and CEO John Chambers told reporters here on Thursday the $4-billion raised recently from the issue of long term bonds, might be used to partly fund acquisitions. He did not spell out any details on possible acquisitions except they might be fairly large.

Mr. Chambers said emerging economies such as India and China were likely to come out of recession sooner. Among the developed countries, the U.S. would overcome the slowdown first, followed by Europe; it would be difficult to name a time frame.

“The 7.1-per cent GDP growth stated by Indian officials may not be far off the mark, from what I could see here in the past few days. You have the advantages of a large domestic market and consumption, to sustain your economy and look for even aggressive growth,” he remarked.

On further investments in India, Mr. Chambers replied, “We do not look at investments from the point of the next quarter or the next year but from a long term perspective. During the Asian economic crisis, many U.S. businesses wanted to pull out but we did not. We stand by our commitments.”

The Asia-Pacific region now contributes 11 per cent of Cisco’s global revenues and India operations have a headcount of over 5,000. The company has joint development centres with Wipro and Infosys in Bangalore and HCL in Chennai.