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GE committed to investment expansion in Vietnam
By Mong Binh - The Saigon Times Daily
Friday,  Dec 10, 2010,00:30 (GMT+7)

By Mong Binh - The Saigon Times Daily

Luis Manuel Ramirez (R) of GE Industrial Solutions and Le Thanh An (2nd, R) take a close look at equipment at the US$1-million training center at the University of Technical Education in HCMC on Thursday - Photo: Mong Binh
HCMC – The chief executive officer of GE Industrial Solutions said on Thursday that the U.S. firm would increase investment in manufacturing and human resource development in Vietnam after opening a multi-million factory in the country.

Luis Manuel Ramirez told the Daily that millions of dollars would be spent in the coming years on technology transfer and manufacture of more products in Vietnam, which the company considers as “a strategic market” in Southeast Asia.

Ramirez said the US$60-million factory in Haiphong was opened earlier this year to turn out GE generators for wind turbines for local and international orders, as outlined in the company’s strategy to expand presence in the market. He added this was a world-class technology facility.

Ramirez said though he represented the GE industrial business, he knew that there were also other parts of GE that were also investing in Vietnam. “So, there are several GE businesses that are doing the same thing that we are doing in the energy sector.”

Healthcare and other areas were what that Ramirez and other senior GE executives mentioned at a press conference in HCMC on Thursday after the inauguration of a US$1-million training center sponsored by GE at the University of Technical Education (UTE).

The opening ceremony was also attended by Le Thanh An, U.S. consul general in HCMC; Do Quoc Anh, representative of the Ministry of Education and Training in the south, as well as other senior GE executives including James D Fisher, CEO and president of GE Industrial Solutions for Asia Pacific.

The high-tech center trains students the most advanced electrical distribution and control equipment. It is estimated that more than 100 students will be able to come to this 200-meter-square facility a day to practice what they learn at the school.

Nguyen Dinh Manh Chien, country manager of GE Industrial Solutions for Indochina, said under the support of the UTE, GE would expand the cooperation in other partnership programs such as specialist courses, internships opportunities at GE’s businesses and job offers to outstanding graduates.

Ramirez said GE was partnering with the UTE and other institutions to train students and the future leaders in technology. “GE is investing in the right team. My vision is that within five years we will have products, services, manufacturing of local products and university graduates who will help lead our businesses to develop, design, manufacture and deliver these parts to the marketplace.”

“I would say that we want to be here for the long term, want to be considered as a local partner and a local player, and want a team that is going to be developing from the local employees,” Ramirez said.

GE business has grown 27% over the past years and will expand by 35% or higher as forecast by GE executives given significant investment the company had done and planned for this market.

GE operates in diverse business scopes, from aircraft engines and power generation to financial services, health care solutions, and television programming in over 100 countries and territories.

GE was among the very first U.S. companies to come to Vietnam when it first opened a representative office in Hanoi in 1993, and subsequently in HCMC in 2001. Seven years ago, the company founded GE Vietnam Ltd. with its 100% capital investment.

GE now has a long list of customers in this market including many major names like Electricity of Vietnam (EVN), PetroVietnam, Vietnam Airlines, Vietnam Railway Corp., as well as state-owned and private hospitals.

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