Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO), the world's top maker of Internet gear, announced plans to invest more than $1 billion in new initiatives in Brazil and India.
The move comes as the San Jose, California networking giant takes steps to boost its technology footprint in the fast growing markets in the BRICs nations -- Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.
The reason is that business is growing faster there than in any other segment of Cisco's revenue base. In its fiscal year ended July 30, Cisco's U.S. revenue rose only 6 percent compared to emerging markets revenue, which rose 14 percent.
In Brazil, Cisco promised to spend to bolster a new research center in Rio de Janeiro, invest in a special venture capital fund, extend local manufacturing and forge intellectual property agreements with Brazilian companies.
The goal is to create new jobs in Brazil, Cisco said, at a ceremony this week attended by Minister of Communications Paulo Bernardo. Some of the Brazil work will focus on preparations for the 2016 Olympic Games, where International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE: IBM) is already working closely with Rio de Janeiro on its Smart City initiative.
In India, Cisco said it plans to put an undisclosed amount into Aavishkaar II, a Mauritius-domiciled investment fund that manages $120 million, all for investment in rural India.
Cisco said its investment in India is intended to foster social entrepreneurship. Cisco has already invested about $200 million in various Indian ventures.
Shares of Cisco fell 46 cents to $20.36 in Wednesday trading. They've gained nearly 13 percent so far in 2012.