1. What are your expectations on GE growing their investment within Indonesia?
Indonesia is an important area for us. It’s a country which clearly offers a market for the things we sell, from lighting to locomotives. Currently Indonesia generates about $1 billion in revenue for GE, one of only 20 markets that reach that figure.
A strong determiner on the full scope of our investment and partnership may well be the wider regional market too, the capacity to export to countries within ASEAN. There’s real potential in Indonesia for that kind of development. In Vietnam, our Hai Fong wind turbine facility has been going for only 5 years, but it’s already able to export a couple of hundred million dollars of machinery each year. If that model works in Vietnam, there’s no reason it can’t work in Indonesia, with the scale of population here behind it.
2. And what industries are you looking at as delivering those opportunities?
We’ve already mentioned power. That’s a key area of partnership for GE and Indonesia. GE’s innovation in gas and steam turbines have already helped power more than 20% of total power plants in Indonesia. That’s only one element of infrastructure though. Indonesia’s transport links are an equally important area. GE is already providing 150 locomotives to power Indonesia’s railways, and Garuda Indonesia are committed to our LEAP-1B engines to support the growth of its next generation 737 fleet.
We talk about Indonesia’s challenges from the geography, and that’s certainly true for transport. It’s also a massive opportunity. Indonesia has the potential to become one of the world’s top five global aviation markets. Here we’ve got a big population, 30 airports, and a real need for air travel. We just need to develop that production base, nurture the eco-system and manufacturing by developing capabilities and applied use of the industrial internet.
3. Obviously you’ve mentioned the Industrial Internet. How important is it, and what does Indonesia need to do?
It’s essential for modern, developing nations to accept the opportunities presented by the industrial internet. There’s huge opportunities provided by this. I’ve already mentioned our prediction that 45% of the global economy will benefit from use of the industrial internet. That’s why GE invested in a USD $5 billion a year software business. It’s why we’ve developed offers like Predix, purpose-built cloud solutions for industry, by industry.
The industrial internet opens up a huge opportunity. It’s the ability to tackle challenges in the virtual world before they become problems in the real one. It’s testing new products, analysing new opportunities, and discovering ways of increasing productivity.
The thing is you really need the infrastructure in place for this. That’s not just internet connectivity, but the basics like well-developed, reliable energy infrastructure. More than that it’s the people. Indonesia needs to invest in innovation, promote it, and develop it. Capitalising on these opportunities is everything from investing in universities down to the basics of electrification. It’s a lot of steps, gradual steps, but it will most certainly be worth it.
4. GE is obviously GE heavily involved in healthcare in Indonesia. Can I ask about GE healthcare, and its role in Indonesia?
If we’re talking about investing in people, there’s no investment more important than healthcare. Indonesia has just 0.2 physician per 1,000 people compared to 1.2 in nearby Vietnam. It’s a country facing significant challenges in healthcare provision.
A huge part of addressing that challenge is developing solutions for local patients, especially in rural areas. Affordable technology solutions such as GE’s V-scan portable ultrasound scan can deliver real, tangible benefits to patients. We need to prioritise those sorts of technologies, the technology that offers early detection and prevention of disease.
But if we’re going to deliver solutions that work, we need to support the staff to deliver them. That’s why our V-scan comes with multiple local language options to ensure they’re utilised by a wide range of practitioners. It’s why GE has invested in training and educating over 2,000 local workers to operate and service these kinds of devices.
Indonesia already accounts for 30% of GE’s healthcare business in Southeast Asia, and we want to double the size of our team to 100 people by the year’s end.
Q&A with Jeff Immelt: Exciting Opportunities in ASEAN (Part 1)