GE Will Move Some Operations to Malaysia

Will move to new economic region

General Electric plans to move some of its operations to a special economic region being developed in Malaysia's southern Johor state, company officials said Sept. 27. Stuart Dean, president of the conglomerate's GE International Inc. unit, said the move was tied to plans by a major customer to relocate to Nusajaya City in the Iskandar Development Region.

"We will follow one of our major customers who may invest in Nusajaya and support them there, so that business has to be relocated here," he said. "One of our businesses, GE Water probably will be the first one to move into Nusajaya." GE Water and Process Technologies is involved in water and wastewater treatment and systems.

GE may also seek investment opportunities in the development region, a special economic zone which will be 2.5 times the size of neighboring Singapore when completed. The zone is part of Malaysia's plan to turn Johor into a major metropolis to rival Singapore. "I think Southeast Asia is developing nicely, economies like Malaysia are flourishing and coexisting well with China and India," GE chief executive officer Jeff Immelt said.

"The Malaysian infrastructure is supportive of having both regional and global investments. So I think the timing is good, right now, in Malaysia," he said.

The GE executives were in Kuala Lumpur for the signing of a three-year agreement with Nusajaya City's master developer UEM Land, a wholly owned unit of Malaysian-listed UEM World. GE and UEM Land will jointly develop a blueprint for safety and security systems for Nusajaya City, which will serve as a guide for all current and future developers there.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2007

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