NETWORK equipment maker Cisco Systems Inc yesterday announced a strategic initiative with the Malaysian Investment Development Authority (Mida) to further develop its manufacturing capabilities in Penang.
The initiative aims to train and develop highly skilled, knowledge-based employees critical to the country’s growth.
Cisco Malaysia managing director Anne Abraham said the company will collaborate with key partners to support manufacturing of components for routing and switching technologies.
“In Malaysia, this will help to make possible services such as video-on-demand, high-definition video conferencing, online gaming and real-time interactive services,” Abraham told reporters after announcing the collaboration with Mida in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.
She said Malaysia is a strategic market for Cisco, backed by its stable economy, quality infrastructure and ample government support.
According to the Statistics Department, the electronics and electrical sector is a key contributor to the economy, accounting for more than 520,000 jobs and 41 per cent of the country’s total exports in 2009.
Abraham said Cisco wants to develop technology that enable providers to deliver the services that can grow economies, enable creativity and utilise the network as a platform for national transformation.
Mida director-general Datuk Jalilah Baba said the agency supports leading multinational companies like Cisco to establish manufacturing operations and facilities here.
“The initiative with Cisco will not only demonstrate the country’s global competitiveness, but also create job opportunities in the market.”
Jalilah said through Mida’s collaboration with Cisco, about 1,000 Malaysians will be trained and equipped with knowledge skills on Cisco’s advanced technology and applications.
She said in recognition of the investment, Mida has approved a grant to be utilised for training purposes over the next three years.
Jalilah said to further strengthen the collaboration, Mida and Cisco were identifying other potential skills to be included in the training.
“We hope to one day come up with a Cisco skills standard for the training,” she added.