GE Healthcare, a unit of GE (NYSE: GE), announced today the opening of its first factory in Brazil, as well as South America, in the town of Contagem (MG). With a planned investment of $50 million over a ten-year period, the company is committed to the development of the country by increasing access to healthcare technologies for the Brazilian population at more affordable costs, and also to become an export hub for Latin America.
The Brazilian plant has been designed initially to produce X-ray and mammography equipment as well as remanufactured diagnostic imaging equipment. The company is already planning an expansion to other lines in 2011, including Positron Emission Tomography (PET), Computed Tomography (CT), Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) and Monitoring Systems.
"This is a plant that comes with the legacy of GE quality and allows us to act consistently with our commitment to Brazil, to the Latin American region and to the healthcare market in general," said Claudia Goulart, president and CEO of GE Healthcare for Latin America.
Another important initiative planned for 2011, will be the launch of the first training center for GE Healthcare engineers in Brazil and Latin America. This training center will focus on the transfer of knowledge, training of local service employees and the qualification of suppliers in GE’s environmental and work safety standards. Beginning in 2013, the company will initiate the development of equipment geared to meet local market needs, in partnership with GE’s Global Research Center in Brazil.
Investments in the country go beyond financial commitments. With the plant, 750 jobs directly and indirectly expect to be generated by 2015, with 110 of them in direct manufacturing, 440 in indirect manufacturing (i.e., suppliers), 140 in distribution and 60 in services. In line with Brazilian government priorities, GE Healthcare is committed to promoting and financing technologies, and transferring knowledge to local suppliers. This will aid the development of the Brazilian industry, and will help enable local suppliers to provide the components necessary for the production of new products. Because the GE plant will be operating to global quality standards, its suppliers will be positioned to export to other GE Healthcare facilities globally.
The Brazilian health institutions will benefit from the installation of the plant due to local tax incentives and a reduced sales cycle time and simplified logistics for customers. With this, GE strengthens its focus on its global strategy, called healthymagination, which is based on three pillars: increasing access, reducing cost and increasing the quality of health services. The healthymagination strategy includes company investments of $6 billion over the next five years and will launch more than 100 innovations, development projects and partnerships that meet these goals.
About GE Healthcare
GE Healthcare (gehealthcare.com) provides transformational medical technologies and services that are shaping a new age of patient care. Our broad expertise in medical imaging and information technologies, medical diagnostics, patient monitoring systems, drug discovery, biopharmaceutical manufacturing technologies, performance improvement and performance solutions services help our customers to deliver better care to more people around the world at a lower cost. In addition, we partner with healthcare leaders, striving to leverage the global policy change necessary to implement a successful shift to sustainable healthcare systems.
Our “healthymagination” vision for the future invites the world to join us on our journey as we continuously develop innovations focused on reducing costs, increasing access and improving quality and efficiency around the world. Headquartered in the United Kingdom, GE Healthcare is a $16 billion unit of General Electric Company (NYSE: GE). Worldwide, GE Healthcare employs more than 46,000 people committed to serving healthcare professionals and their patients in more than 100 countries.
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