Investing to grow is GE’s strategy for ME

DUBAI - The growth strategy of General Electric company, or GE, for the Middle East, North Africa and Turkey (MENAT) region will focus on investments in key economic sectors and strengthening public private partnerships, said the region’s head.

By Patrick Michael

Published: Thu 23 Jun 2011, 9:44 PM

Last updated: Tue 7 Apr 2015, 11:02 AM

Nabil Habayeb, President and Chief Executive Officer of GE Middle East, North Africa and Turkey, said the MENAT region is key in the global growth outlook for the high-tech infrastructure and financial services company, with GE recording nearly 60 per cent of its 2010 revenue of $150.2 billion from outside the US. He said that GE delivered geographic revenues of $9.1 billion from Middle East and Africa in 2010. “Our compounded accumulated growth rate for the Middle East region from 2005 to 2010 was 16 per cent, and we have invested over $200 million in localisation initiatives in the past 24 months.”

Habayeb said the company’s primary focus for the MENAT market is in line with the global growth theme of GE led by technological leadership, research & development and customer service. “GE has leadership franchises in energy, oil and gas, water, healthcare, aviation, transportation and consumer products. Several of our investments in the region are long-cycle with the financial benefits accruing over the long-term.

“Our long-term businesses, such as in aviation where we power more than half the total airline fleet of the Middle East region, yield tangible results with time, and on the course, contributing to regional economic growth,” he said.Habayeb said region-specific R&D will be a key priority for GE. “In the past 80 years of our association with the Middle East, GE has worked with both public and private sector organisations to drive innovation that is region-specific. We have always strived to understand our partners’ requirements, and deliver innovative technology to enhance efficiencies, and we will adhere to this commitment.”

“The governments in the region are focused on economic diversification backed by environmental sustainability. This means exploring new sources of energy, driving the manufacturing sector, and most importantly, creating jobs for the youth population,” said Habayeb.

He said that GE invested $1.8 billion in 2010 on research and development of clean technologies as part of its ecomagination initiative, which puts into practice GE’s belief that financial and environmental performance can be integrated to accelerate profitable growth for the company, while taking on some of the world’s biggest challenges.

This investment helped lead to the development in 2010 of 22 new ecomagination-qualified products and solutions such as WattStation a user-friendly charging station designed to accelerate the adoption of plug-in electric vehicles and Nucleus, a smart meter technology that helps homeowners manage energy use.

“At GE, we believe that 21st century companies must serve two roles — one is to deliver positive returns for investors; and two — serve as a positive force for change. We do both.”

Habayeb said that the ‘growth starts here’ approach for 2011 outlined by Jeffrey Immelt, Chairman of the Board and CEO of GE, is focused on the company becoming a “competitive force for change,” by drawing on its scale, resources and expertise to solve tough problems for the customers and society.

He said the value proposition of GE is underscored by its financial strength having ended the year 2010 with $79 billion of cash; large-scale innovation with investments of nearly US$5.8 billion in R&D this year, growing at an average 10 per cent annually over the past decade.

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