General Electric Company, the $173 billion (Dh635bn) diversified technology, media and financial services company, announced that full-year 2007 revenues from the Middle East and Africa region reached a record high of $8bn, up 45 per cent compared to revenues of 2006.
The Middle East and Africa operations contributed significantly to the firm’s 27 per cent international revenue increase last year.
“We have strengthened our portfolio for growth, restructured to lower cost and stayed true to our risk management principles,” said Jeffrey Immelt, GE’s Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer, currently on a tour of the region.
“More than 50 per cent of our revenues now come from international markets to which the Middle East and Africa region make a significant contribution. The focus in the region is on infrastructure development and addressing major challenges such as cleaner energy and transportation, water scarcity as well as healthcare. Our base of infrastructure projects has led to long-term service contracts that further strengthen our customer relationships. Our ecomagination environmental solutions initiative has gained ground, and complements the current emphasis laid down on sustainable development by the Gulf,” he said.
Consolidating its businesses in the region with the opening of the Dubai regional headquarters in 2007, GE expects full-year revenues of $13bn by 2010 driven by its strong participation in infrastructure development in the region and active partnerships in healthcare and aviation.
Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Kuwait are the largest contributors to the growth of GE Healthcare in the region. Ranked in the pole position of Fortune global ranking of Top 10 Companies for Leaders, GE has also unveiled a series of training initiatives in the UAE and Saudi Arabia in a bid to share best practices in management. GE has 1,500 employees in the Middle East.
In a year of growth, GE announced the signing of a joint research agreement with the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology; the establishment of the GE Technology & Learning Centre at the Qatar Science and Technology Park; and the regional centre for excellence of GE Water and Process Technologies in Jebel Ali, Dubai, which serves 14 countries and shares best practices related to water treatment solutions and technologies.
GE has been in the forefront of several public-private partnerships, and is currently in a premier position to provide innovative solutions for the region’s leading projects in various growth sectors. GE’s aviation business signed orders of $10bn in products and services at the Dubai Airshow 2007, and GE Healthcare’s medical imaging and information technologies are extensively used across the region.
Highlighting the company’s involvement in prestigious regional products, GE Consumer & Industrial won major projects for lighting Burj Dubai, the world’s tallest building. GE Money formed a joint venture with Al Futtaim Group, a UAE-based diversified business group, to provide consumer finance products. In Saudi Arabia, GE is training 1,000 Saudi professionals in best practices in the healthcare and energy sectors.
“We like the region because its business leaders have a strong entrepreneurial drive and the governments are focused on growth,” said Immelt.
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