NEW YORK -- General Electric (IW 50/18) said Dec. 13 that it was moving its corporate headquarters to Boston to gain a technology edge from the city's concentrated pool of talent.

"Greater Boston is home to 55 colleges and universities. Massachusetts spends more on research and development than any other region in the world, and Boston attracts a diverse, technologically-fluent workforce focused on solving challenges for the world," said Jeff Immelt, GE chairman and CEO.

The media suggested there were tax motives behind the move, since corporate taxes were raised last year in the neighboring state of Connecticut, where GE has had its headquarters in Fairfield for more than 40 years.

GE said though that it had been mulling the relocation for more than three years, and in June 2015 launched a formal review of 40 potential locations.

"Boston was selected after a careful evaluation of the business ecosystem, talent, long-term costs, quality of life for employees, connections with the world and proximity to other important company assets," GE said.

It said it already employs nearly 5,000 people across Massachusetts, in various businesses including aviation and energy.

GE said the relocation would have no significant impact on its finances, citing incentives provided by Massachusetts and Boston.

It said it also would sell its offices in Fairfield and at 30 Rockefeller Plaza in New York to help offset the cost of the move.

About 800 employees will work at the Boston headquarters. The relocation will be done in stages, with the full move completed by 2018.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2016