Jeffrey Immelt, Chairman of GE, on Friday spoke of his hopes to build a stronger presence in Korea, mostly in the marine, aviation and health care sectors where the company already has a strong global foothold.
“I see a couple of opportunities in Korea,” he said, saying his two days in Korea meeting with government officials and business partners were productive, and that GE wanted to “continue to build a strong presence here.”
|GE chairman Jeffrey Immelt speaks at a news conference in Seoul on Friday. (Yonhap News)|
Immelt declined to elaborate, but said there was much room for investment in Korea, particularly in aviation and health care.
GE currently supplies engines for Boeing’s F15SE.
In marine, Immelt already has an interest here. On Tuesday, he met with executives from Daewoo Shipbuilding, Hyundai Heavy Industries and Samsung Heavy Industries to discuss future cooperation. This week, GE opened a global shipbuilding and marine headquarters in Busan.
“They are demanding customers,” he said. “We had a good perception of what they (the three companies) require and it was a great opportunity for GE.”
Regarding Samsung, a rival in medical equipment, Immelt said the two companies would continue to work together and possibly widen their scope of partnership.
However, he added that Samsung was inevitable competition in the medical equipment segment.
In terms of foreign companies doing business in Korea, Immelt said industrially, Korea offers helpful places to invest and he sees no difference between Korea and other countries.
“Korea is a very inviting environment for foreign direct investment,” he said.
He said when foreign companies plan to invest in Korea, they should think about not only the domestic market but also exports at the same time.
“I see Korean companies in every corner of the world and they are competing globally. That is a big aspect when you invest here. You will get very good global reach at the same time.”
During his three-day visit to Korea, the GE leader met President Park Geun-hye at Cheong Wa Dae and discussed issues of mutual concern including the company’s partnership with Korean firms to enter the markets of other countries.
Immelt told Park that GE was interested in developing offshore natural gas and manufacturing high-tech products.
He also praised Korea’s technological edge and its influence in the global market, expressing hope that his company would work with Korean firms in healthcare, aerospace and high-tech manufacturing.
By Shin Ji-hye (firstname.lastname@example.org)