GE to invest SR 3.75 bn in Kingdom

Updated 06 October 2012
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GE to invest SR 3.75 bn in Kingdom

General Electric (GE) yesterday announced that it would invest SR 3.75 billion ($ 1 billion) in innovation, health care and energy partnership initiatives supporting the Kingdom’s Vision 2020.
The announcement was made at a press conference attended by GE’s Vice Chairman John Rice, Steve Bolze GE president and CEO of power plant and water, and Karim Karti, president and CEO of health care for Eastern and Africa growth markets (EAGM).
Chairman and CEO of GE Jeffrey Immelt, who was in Jeddah at the time of the press conference, met with Crown Prince Salman. Later in the day, he was slated to meet with Health Minister Dr. Abdullah Al-Rabeeah.
"Being in the Kingdom for more than eight decades, we are making this commitment in line with the Kingdom’s Vision 2020 and Ninth Development Plan to diversify the economy, strengthen manufacturing capabilities, and rapidly build human resources," Rice told reporters here.
The investment will focus on initiatives in three core areas that are central to the Kingdom’s current developmental thrust — innovation, health care and energy. It will also build capacity among Saudi’s young talent in key growth sectors and double GE’s work force in the Kingdom to over 2,000 by 2015.
"Today’s investment is the culmination of multiple strategic partnerships and initiatives that GE has worked with key ministries, customers and academic institutions over the years. As the Kingdom enters a new realm of growth under the visionary guidance of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah, we look forward to this investment making a positive difference to the socioeconomic progress of the country and the people," Rice said, indicating that it is a demonstration of GE’s commitment to work and partner on things that matter."
"With this investment, GE will promote innovation and human capital development to strengthen the country’s manufacturing capability and supply chain in health care and energy. We are committed to work in partnership with key ministries and customers to support the Saudi Vision of boosting the country’s competitiveness and building a knowledge-based economy. Today, we live in a world where multi-way partnerships can better unlock potential, empower a strong local work force and stimulate the SME sector to build local technologies and solutions that address pressing challenges."
"From supporting Saudi Arabia’s first oil discovery expedition in 1942 with turbo machinery equipment for its first refinery, to delivering over 500 gas and steam turbines for power generation, GE has been a major player in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for many decades," Bolze said.
GE’s operations accounts for the largest GE workforce in the Middle East with over 1,000 employees driving the health care, transportation, power, oil and gas, water and aviation businesses, he added.
One of the strategic initiatives by GE as part of the investment commitment is a new GE Innovation Center to be based in Dhahran Techno-Valley in the Eastern Province. This follows the strategic agreement signed by GE and King Fahd University of Petroleum & Minerals (KFUPM) in 2011 to build a full-fledged GE technology center and office in Dhahran Techno-Valley. The GE Innovation Center will focus on co-creating local solutions, with customers, universities and industry organizations, to address the Kingdom’s priorities in driving cleaner and more efficient energy solutions, as well as sustainable and affordable healthcare solutions.
Planned for inauguration in early 2013, the Innovation Center underlines the company’s commitment in cultivating a culture of homegrown innovation and Research and Development led by Saudi talent. Featuring laboratories, training rooms and an interactive customer experience, the Center will display GE’s breadth of advanced technologies and solutions, reiterating its thought leadership in innovation. It will be a place for GE and its partners to work together, share knowledge, collaborate and co-create — thus building localized solutions.
It is also launching a new global HFO (heavy fuel oil) technology program for the first time in Saudi Arabia. The advanced technology will considerably enhance efficiencies in the use of heavy fuel oil and conversion for power generation.
Karti pointed out that GE is expanding its partnership with the Ministry of Health to further boost the Kingdom’s healthcare sector competencies. The health initiatives include establishing a dedicated Healthcare Learning & Simulation Center in partnership with King Fahd Medical City (KFMC). The company also aims to support the MoH in setting up a dedicated Performance Improvement Unit designed to continue enhancing operational efficiencies of various MoH clinics and departments. Supporting the Kingdom’s leadership on the advancement of a comprehensive e-health information system, the MoH will partner with GE Healthcare to enable interoperability standards between different IT systems and divisions of the health care system.
GE is a partner with the MoH on the Breast Cancer Screening Program in Riyadh launched by Princess Hessa Al-Shaalan, wife of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah.


Air France to keep flying to Cairo

Updated 8 min 43 sec ago
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Air France to keep flying to Cairo

  • British Airways, a unit of IAG said on Saturday it was suspending flights to Cairo for seven days “as a precaution”
  • Germany’s Lufthansa later said it had canceled its flights to Cairo from Munich and Frankfurt and would resume its connection on Sunday

PARIS: Air France is maintaining its flights to Cairo, a spokesman for the airline said on Sunday, following the decision by rivals British Airways and Lufthansa to suspend flights to Egypt’s capital over security concerns.
British Airways, a unit of IAG said on Saturday it was suspending flights to Cairo for seven days “as a precaution” as it reviews the security of the airport in Cairo.
Germany’s Lufthansa later said it had canceled its flights to Cairo from Munich and Frankfurt and would resume its connection on Sunday.
“In liaison with the French authorities and the local authorities in Egypt, Air France has decided to maintain its service to Cairo,” Air France’s spokesman said in a written statement sent to Reuters.