Fascinating interview at Reuters TV with John T. Chambers, chairman and CEO of Cisco Systems, Inc. Host Chrystia Freeland of the Freeland File inquires about the economy, tax policy, and global competitiveness. At one point, she asks whether business really likes President Obama:
Chambers: I don’t think it’s so much an issue of whether you like a person or not, it’s predictability.
If I were to use Prime Minister Cameron in the U.K., I could use the same example for Prime Minister Harper in Canada, or even President Putin or Prime Minister Medvedev from Russia.
They have been very easy to work with, in terms of saying, here’s where the country’s going to go, here’s where my tax policy is going to go. If you do this, I’ll be able to help you here.
And if you watch, our relationship with Great Britain has been very, very strong. We’ve acquired a $5 billion company over there. We worked together on the Olympics, from everything from revitalizing east London to innovation centers across the country, we’re redoing … the schools, as well as helping to pull off the Olympics in a very effective way.
I think you’re going to see more and more leaders on a global basis focusing on how they work together to solve problems -- business and government, NGOs, subject matter expertise, coming together in partnerships.
Freeland: So, John, I think you just said something really quite astonishing, that it’s easier for business to work with the Kremlin than to work with the White House.
Chambers: I think at presently I’d probably give our country an “A” on innovation, but if you were to say, is it easier to do business in Canada, the answer is absolutely yes. It’s the number one country in the world to do business.
Is it easier, at the present time to do business with the U.K.? Yes it is.
Freeland: And Russia?
Chambers: Russia, they’ve been pretty direct on what they will allow you to do and what not. So yes, we’ve grown very well in Russia. We’re making major commitments there.
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