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GE CEO optimistic about China's capability

Updated: 2013-06-07 14:47

BEIJING -- General Electric Corp is "very optimistic" that China can sustain its competitiveness and sees a potential in southwestern city Chengdu, the company's chairman and CEO Jeff Immelt told Xinhua.

Immelt has been invited to attend the 2013 Fortune Global Forum held in Chengdu, capital of southwest China's Sichuan province, from Thursday to Saturday.

In a written interview before his trip, Immelt told Xinhua that "as a company, we are very optimistic that China can sustain its overall competitiveness in growth and complete its industrial restructuring."

GE, which makes products ranging from light bulbs to jet engines, remains confident in the economic strength of the emerging markets, including China, Immelt said.

"We are encouraged by renewed growth and reform in China, which has a positive impact on other big resource-rich regions like Africa, Latin America and the Middle East," he said.

The company booked orders last year in 164 countries and regions, including orders over $1 billion in 19 countries, Immelt said.

The CEO said he believes that China is aspiring to move up the value chain by focusing on research and development, design, and creativity, with the growth model changing to "quality-focused."

Immelt also said that the Industrial Internet, which is designed to connect industrial operations to the Internet, will unleash a productivity revolution for countries like China.

GE opened its first global Customer Innovation Center in Chengdu in May "because we see so much potential in this region," Immelt said.

He noted that Sichuan has a focus on healthcare, with a plan to expand health care services both in cities and in rural areas.

Immelt is confident that GE's innovation and R&D activities can contribute to Sichuan's goal to have 50 percent of its economic growth fueled by technology innovation by 2015.

The Fortune Global Forum is being held in China for the fourth time, drawing over 600 participants, including CEOs of many Fortune 500 companies and business leaders, former government officials, heads of state and economic experts.