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GE's Jeff Immelt says keen to 'Make in India' in defence, transport & energy sectors

Economic Times:  September, 2015

New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi's 'Make in India' campaign found a big fan in General Electric chairman Jeffery Immelt, who said the government's flagship thrust was material to the US firm.

"GE is interested in commercial and military aviation, renewables, oil, gas and sees big opportunity in making in India. It (India) is quickly evolving into a manufacturing base that we cannot avoid to ignore," Immelt told reporters at a press briefing in Delhi.

"We want to ramp up our facilities to be in line with PM Modi's Make in India direction," Immelt said.

Immelt was positive on the Modi government's efforts to create an enviroment in the ease of doing business. "We would like to see continuing thrust by PM Modi on reforms. They are absolutely in the right direction. There is a need to curb power sector subsidies in India, especially power pricing."

"I see a lot of improvement coming now and that too after such a long time." 

Immelt termed India as Asia's growth driver, adding that the country offered a whole lot of room in manufacturing now compared to previous years. 

"If you are a long-term investor in India, then you will be optimistic," Immelt said. "These are exciting times for the country and GE definitely wants to be here. Sectors like renewable energy and aviation offer future promise, which is why India for us is a strategic market going forward," Immelt said.

The GE chairman played down China worry, saying that it was not all that bad. "We (GE) have a huge presence there and we would not want a slowdown there. Having said that, things are not terrible by any means." 

Immelt pitched for an infrastructure and transportation boom, saying his firm wanted to do a lot more in the sectors for India. "These efforts will have a ripple-effect on the overall economic growth in India and beyond," he added. 

The firm this year announced a $200 million investment in the multi-modal manufacturing facility in Pune. This facility delivers localised products and solutions to Indian customers while also feeding GE's global supply chain. 

The company is now also partnering with various states across India to form public private partnerships (PPP). In healthcare, GE already has such PPPs with seven state governments.