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A Cisco executive in Southeast Asia said he is not worried about a global trade war

  • A Cisco executive in Asia said that he is not worried that rising trade tensions could dent business optimism in the region.
  • Cisco's local business in each Southeast Asian market was growing at double the rate of GDP, Naveen Menon, president of Southeast Asia at Cisco said.
  • According to Menon, that meant local infrastructure spending in Southeast Asia was increasing, and people were investing in automation and new technologies.

As the possibility of a global trade war weighs on the minds of business leaders around the world, a Cisco executive in Asia said he is not yet worried about the impact it may have on his customers.

Naveen Menon, president of Southeast Asia at Cisco, said on Thursday that he was "not at all" worried that rising trade tensions could dent business optimism in the region.

He explained that Cisco's local business in each Southeast Asian market was growing at about "double the rate of GDP." In some markets, Menon said, the growth was at four to five times more.

"What that means is infrastructure spending is up," Menon told CNBC's "Squawk Box" at the YPO Edge conference in Singapore.

"If infrastructure spending is up, then people are investing in automation and investing in new technologies. Which is a great thing for us as a company," he said.

"The macroeconomic or the geopolitical landscape does not worry me at this point in time," he added. "Our customers, the public sector or the government or the large companies, are not necessarily impacted directly by that."

President Donald Trump previously said the United States would impose a 25 percent tariff on steel imports and 10 percent on aluminium. The decision is expected this week but the White House hinted there could be an exemption period for Mexico, Canada and a few other countries.

The move had prompted a global backlash and heightened fears of retaliatory measures from U.S. trading partners including Canada, the European Union and China.

The European Union on Wednesdaythreatened to impose duties on U.S. bourbon, peanut butter, cranberries and orange juice in retaliation. China also warned that it would respond accordingly.

Elsewhere, reports said that Southeast Asia and Europe were looking to speed up efforts for a trade deal amid growing U.S. protectionism.

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