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Cisco bets on ASEAN digitalization as Western tech demand slows

Upskilling will unlock region's demographic advantage, says innovation chief

Cisco Systems global innovation officer Guy Diedrich on a recent visit to Malaysia, where the company has digital accelerator and skills training programs. (Photo courtesy of Cisco)

BANGKOK -- U.S. network equipment maker Cisco Systems is looking to use Southeast Asia's digitalization push to expand its foothold in the region as demand in the U.S. and Europe cools.

Southeast Asia is on track this year to outpace China's growth for the first time, expanding by 3.2% compared to China's 2.8%. To keep that growth going, governments across the region are ramping up efforts to bring online connectivity and digital services to large areas still outside the digital fold, presenting an opportunity for companies like Cisco to cultivate new markets.

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