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Press Release

Infrastructure key to Attraction and Growth of Business in Remote Communities

October 12, 2011

Elyse Allan, President and CEO of GE Canada presents findings of GE's report "Shaping Economic Growth in Canada's Remote Communities" at Canada's North Beyond 2011 Conference

Edmonton, Alberta -- Elyse Allan, President and Chief Executive Officer of GE Canada, presented GE Canada's findings of its "Shaping Economic Growth in Canada's Remote Communities" initiative at the Conference Board of Canada's "Canada's North Beyond 2011" conference in Edmonton, Alberta.

In January this year, GE announced a partnership with the Canadian Chamber of Commerce to place a business lens on the country's remote communities to understand business challenges, success stories, and investment intentions. Responses from over 500 business stakeholders who participated in 11 cross-country roundtables and an online survey point to the fact that Canada is at a "tipping point" with respect to the development of its resources, largely located in remote communities, and how they will shape the Canadian economy. The report found that 93 percent of respondents believe that remote communities will play an important role in the future of Canada's economy. The Canadian Chamber of Commerce has also released a report and policy recommendations: "Building a Business Case for Investing in Remote Communities" incorporating findings from GE's consultations.

"Canada's remote communities can pack a powerful economic punch. There is great optimism. Business investment combined with progressive public policy will unleash significant opportunities for remote communities and for Canada as a nation." said Elyse Allan in her address.

The prevailing sentiment based on the report's research is that Canada has the products the world wants, has great experience as global traders, and has a future that is bright -- provided we make the right investments in order to nurture our advantage. For example, 70 percent of respondents ranked infrastructure as the single most important criteria for the attraction and growth of business in remote communities. This includes affordable, efficient and reliable energy; dependable connectivity; effective and efficient transportation; and a clean and abundant supply of water. The report notes the importance of embracing new technology solutions to address infrastructure requirements and new funding approaches to public private partnerships.

The findings of GE's initiative complements the work being undertaken by the Conference Board of Canada's Centre for the North (CFN), which has been established to provide insights into how Canada can best address the enormous challenges and opportunities in its northern regions.

"How far-flung northern communities develop will have a real impact on Canada's economic future," said Conference Board President and Chief Executive Officer Anne Golden. "Centre for the North research being unveiled this week shows how governments, businesses, communities and aboriginal organizations can work together to drive innovative approaches to resource development, transportation infrastructure and labour force capacity."

In the coming months, GE will continue discussions with business and stakeholders. To read the summary report: "Remote. Resource Rich. And Ready", the Canadian Chamber of Commerce report "Building a Business Case for Investing in Remote Communities, and to join the dialogue, please visit

About GE

GE (NYSE: GE) is an advanced technology, services and finance company taking on the world's toughest challenges. Dedicated to innovation in energy, health, transportation and infrastructure, GE operates in more than 100 countries and employs about 300,000 people worldwide. For more information, visit the company's Web site at and

Kim Warburton
GE Canada
VP Communications/Public Affairs
C 905-858-5678
M 416 561-8316
[email protected]

Kim Warburton
GE Global Growth Organization
[email protected]
+1 905 8585678
+ 1416 5618316

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