January 2016 - ‘We justified the creation of the Central Eastern European (CEE) GE region. I look forward to a lot more growth here, as we move forward, if you think about the new GE beliefs, whether it is customers or speed or delivering results in uncertain time there is a lot in that takes place in this region,’ - said John Rice, Vice Chairman and President & CEO GE Global Growth & Operations at a Q&A session with MBA students and GE Foundations Scholar-Leaders upon his arrival in Poland last weekend. His 4-day CEE tour covered Poland, Romania, Hungary and Croatia. We visited many customers, met with governments, journalists and had several employee sessions. We also debated with stakeholders on the future of renewables in Poland as that country is just passing a new regulation that will secure future investments in this area. We had discussions in Hungary with GE leaders from all over the region on how customers could benefit from the synergies of our manufacturing and technology development capacities in the region.
Today CEE is viewed by GE as a faster growing part of a well-developed European market with a special need of infrastructure modernization. Our 2014 data shows major developments: our wind business grew significantly in Poland. We have reached a historic high in selling LM6000 gas turbine engines - made in Hungary- in Poland and Romania. We have also sold our first ultra-high field GE 7.0T MRI scanner in Poland enabling top service to patients as well as technology development by the clinic - a major step in tackling the healthcare challenges and new technology development opportunities that this region has.
In addition to these developments CEE continues stay a favorable investment location for manufacturing and new technology development for GE for global markets. Our combined scale in the region with 21 manufacturing facilities, 5 R&D centers, 5 business headquarters and3 banks with 27,000 employees has made both the region’s economy more competitive and better integrated in the global economy while contributing to GE’s global competitiveness and growth.
We continuously update our existing manufacturing and service capacities in the region: GE’s Industrial Solutions business is now investing $54 million to build a new brilliant factory with a regional customer experience center in Bielsko-Biala, Poland. In Romania, the newly acquired LUFKIN plant is a state of the art manufacturing plant as well as a modern aftermarket and re-manufacturing facility. In Hungary, we have doubled the capacity of our Oil & Gas plant in Fót, just to mention recent examples.
Our current journey takes manufacturing to next level and complements it with technology development. It has already started: GE’s EDC in Poland, GE Healthcare technology team in Hungary and our GE Aviation team in the Czech Republic serve as best practices of innovation ecosystem creation in the region.
During GE’s journey in CEE in the past decade we have started industries, further developed existing competencies and added capacities. These major steps have led to common growth and contributed to the transformation of economies. Now, after a thriving quarter of a century, GE is again playing a role to reshape the region working together with our partners, governments, customers and academia. While cherishing what was achieved so far we are ready to take GE and the region to the next, “CEE as an innovation & manufacturing hub” level.
So again here we are in the process of reshaping and rediscovering CEE with you.