GE Head Slams China over Hostile Approach

July 2, 2010
Immelt also critical of Obama's push toward financial regulation.

The head of General Electric has slammed China, alleging a hostile approach towards foreign companies, the Financial Times reported on July 2, but the group promptly objected to the article, claiming the comments were taken out of context.

I really worry about China, CEO Jeffrey Immelt told a business audience in Rome, according to the article. I am not sure that in the end they want any of us to win, or any of us to be successful.

Immelt added: China and India remain important for GE but I am thinking about what is next.

The GE chief referred to the most interesting resource-rich countries in the Middle East, Africa, Latin America plus Indonesia.

They dont all want to be colonized by the Chinese. They want to develop themselves, Immelt added, according to the paper.

The FT also reported that the CEO was critical of President Barack Obama, expressing concern that excessive U.S. regulation, in the wake of the global financial crisis, would dampen a tepid economic recovery.

We are a pathetic exporter ... we have to become an industrial powerhouse again but you dont do this when government and entrepreneurs are not in synch.

However, GE issued a swift response to the FT story, arguing that some of the quotes were inaccurate.

The comments attributed to GE CEO Jeff Immelt by the FT were taken out of context and, in some instances, inaccurately reported, the company said in a statement.

Mr. Immelts comments at a private dinner focused on the relationship between business and government in general and did not single out President Obama.

Mr. Immelt also discussed the attractiveness and importance of China as a market for GE during a discussion on the complexities of doing business globally.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2010

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