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Tue 16 Sep 2008 06:44 AM

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Bahrain aims to take Middle East IT lead

Goverment signs deal with US giant Cisco in bid to boost economy, win more foreign investment.

Bahrain has signed a multi-million dollar deal with IT giant Cisco in a bid to become the Middle East's hub for information technology.

The government is teaming up with Cisco after a memorandum of understanding was signed by the two parties aimed at improving Bahrain's ability to operate in the global marketplace, boost the economy and win new direct foreign investment.

US-based Cisco has agreed to establish an internet data centre in Bahrain and to establish an office in Manama, with up to 10 staff, reported Gulf Daily News on Tuesday.

"These initiatives will strengthen our co-operation with global technology providers through a strong local presence, to develop the information communications technology industry in Bahrain and will help pave the way to attract direct foreign investment, a long-standing strategic objective of the government," Cabinet Affairs Minister Shaikh Ahmed bin Ateyatala Al Khalifa told the paper.

Cisco said it would be working closely with the government to define strategic information and communications technology initiatives that will help advance Bahrain's global competitiveness.

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