Thursday, September 20, 2007

American Giant GE to make big investment in Vietnam

16:29' 19/09/2007 (GMT+7)

VietNamNet Bridge – Colin Low, GE National Executive for Singapore, the Philippines and Vietnam, has not admitted anything, except the news about the working visit by GE’s Chairman and Chief Executive Jeffrey R. Immelt on September 28, during which he will meet government representatives and announce an important investment deal in infrastructure.

Colin Low, GE National Executive for Singapore, the Philippines and Vietnam
Vietnam’s media guess that the important investment deal Mr Low has mentioned is a project of many millions of dollars, following the heavy investment of other giants in the world, including Intel and Foxconn.

GE is a well-known US-based technology, telecommunication and financial service group, which has been present in Vietnam since 1993, even before the US lifted the embargo against Vietnam in 1994. In 2003, GE established GE Vietnam Company Ltd, 100% foreign owned, specialising in providing post sales services in health care, electric equipment and power. At the end of 2006, GE opened a representative office of GE Consumer Finance in Hanoi.

Mr Low said that four GE subsidiaries were present in Vietnam: GE Infrastructure (power, aviation, water), GE Industry (electricity, high-grade materials), GE Healthcare and GE Consumer Finance.

GE’s main clients in Vietnam include Vietnam Airlines (air carrier), the Electricity of Vietnam, Vietnam Railway Corporation, PetroVietnam (oil and gas), public and private owned hospitals.

When asked why GE decided to invest in Vietnam, Mr Colin Low said that the main reason was that Vietnam’s Investment Law had become open and protected the benefit of investors.

In fact, South Korean, Japanese and Taiwanese investors all eye Vietnam as an investment address because they want another non-China destination to set up their projects, because investors do not put all eggs into one basket in order to disperse risks. In general, foreign investors see Vietnam as a potential market for outward investment.

With the achievements of the four GEs in Vietnam, the group has every reason to be optimistic about its future performance in the country. GE’s total turnover was $62mil in 2006, and the average growth rate is at 20% per annum, or 3-fold higher than the GDP growth rate. Vietnam is now described as a market with great potential, which is now taking off.

Mr Low also highly praised the quality of the Vietnamese labour force. In Hai Phong city, which has developed industries, labourers there have been well trained to fit industrial production projects.

GE is considering the demand for chartering aircrafts from the national air carrier Vietnam Airlines in order to negotiate a contract on aircraft chartering, Mr Colin Low told the press on September 18.

He said that Vietnam Airlines needed to charter long-distance aircrafts for the direct flights from Vietnam to the US to be launched soon, and needs Boeings. Meanwhile, GE has 1,400 aircraft for lease.

GE once leased three aircrafts to Vietnam Airlines, and 16 of Vietnam Airlines’ operational aircrafts (Boeing 777 and Airbus 320) use GE engines.

(Source: Tuoi tre)