Viet Nam and GE – partners in growth for 25 years

Thursday, Sep 13, 2018 07:30

Vietnam is embracing the digital revolution and GE is well-positioned to support the country’s ambitions. — Photo courtesy of GE

As one of the first US companies to enter Viet Nam after embargos were lifted, General Electric (GE) has been supporting Viet Nam’s modernisation over the past 25 years – especially the development of vital infrastructure projects that have improved the lives of many million of people nationwide.

When GE opened its first office in Ha Noi in September 1993, Viet Nam was an emerging nation with big ambitions. Many of these ambitions were realized over the next 25 years, and the results speak for themselves.

In 1993, GDP per capita was approximately $181.74 – a number that rose to $2,343 by 2017. Back then, overseas investors had yet to discover Viet Nam. There were only 274 projects funded by foreign direct investment (FDI), for a total investment capital of $3,037.4 million. Today, FDI-projects attract a record-breaking $36 billion in funding each year.

Humble beginnings

The potential offered by Viet Nam in the early 1990s was immense, so GE established a local presence even before the US trade embargo was officially lifted. The GE office opened a year before diplomatic relations were restored between Viet Nam and the US.

From humble beginnings in Ha Noi, and later in HCM City, GE’s growth paralleled Viet Nam’s impressive development over the past quarter century. GE played a role in building infrastructure and factories, improving health services, enhancing connectivity and nurturing talent and technology.

Powering, curing, and transporting Viet Nam

While turning on a light or charging a device is something we take for granted today, this wasn’t the case in 1993, when only 14 percent of the population had access to reliable power. Generating and distributing dependable, affordable power to cities and towns across the nation was urgent for Viet Nam’s growth.

Responding to this need, GE supplied energy equipment and expertise to establish and support thermal and hydropower plants. Recently, it has also provided innovative renewable energy solutions to support new solar and wind power projects.

GE equipment generates more than 30 percent of the power produced in Viet Nam today. It has also helped upgrade hundreds of national power transmission lines and supplied equipment for many power grid–improvement projects.

These projects are powered by GE’s diverse portfolio of power solutions, ranging from advanced gas turbines (recognized by the Guinness Book of Records as the most efficient in the world) to critical steam power technologies and turbines optimized for all different wind speed conditions.

Innovative equipment and technologies provided by GE Healthcare have also helped improve the health and welfare of millions of Vietnamese people.

On the aerospace front, GE Aviation is connecting Viet Nam and supporting the nation’s growing tourism industry. Many of the planes operated by Viet Nam Airlines and Vietjet are powered by GE engines and advanced GE aviation technologies.

Commenting on GE’s quarter century of contribution and growth, Pham Son, CEO of GE Viet Nam, said, “Our development over the past 25 years has mirrored Viet Nam’s transformation from a newly open market to a lower middle–income country that’s increasing its influence in Asia and around the world.”

“Since our early years with small teams in Ha Noi and HCM City, our footprint has grown deep and wide. We have a 2,000-strong team of highly skilled employees involved in projects nationwide.”

Since 1993, GE has grown in-line with Viet Nam’s impressive development over the same period.

Supporting Viet Nam’s future growth

"GE is as committed to helping Vietnam achieve its future infrastructure and economic growth goals as it was 25 years ago," said President and CEO of GE Asia Pacific Wouter Van Wersch.

“As we expect ASEAN to be one of the fastest growing aviation markets in the world, Vietnamese carriers can look forward to tremendous growth opportunities,” said Van Wersch. “In fact, the purchase of aircraft engines made up a large portion of the 8 billion dollars in deals signed between GE and Vietnamese customers last year.”

“The deals, which include the purchase of new power generation equipment, are expected to create more than 23,000 jobs in the US and help reduce the $38 million trade deficit between the US and Viet Nam.”

Upcoming projects and Industry 4.0

PetroVietnam and GE are developing two gas-fired power plants in Central Vietnam that will produce a combined capacity of 1,500 megawatts (MW) of power. The project will be powered by about 830 million cubic metres of gas from the Ca Voi Xanh (Blue Whale) gas field, operated by ExxonMobil.

“GE will help PetroVietnam find the best technological solutions to ensure the most effective use of fuel and be fully in line with emissions regulations,” said Van Wersch.

GE is also helping Viet Nam advance its renewable energy ambitions.

“GE Renewable Energy is excited to work with our partners to help the Vietnamese Government achieve its goal of producing 1,000 MW of power from new wind farms by 2025,” Van Wersch noted.

“Through our Energy Financial Services Division, we are helping raise capital for these projects,” he said. “We will also research opportunities to use low-speed wind turbines to reduce costs.”

On the medical front, GE Healthcare recently opened Viet Nam’s second Anesthesia and Intensive Care Simulation Center in HCM City. In addition, Quang Ninh General Hospital recently installed a high-performance CT scanner. There are also new GE training programmes for future radiologists, radiographers and clinicians at the Pham Ngoc Thach University of Medicine.

“Important projects in healthcare, energy, aviation and renewables, coupled with Additive Manufacturing and 3D Printing advances at our ‘Brilliant Factory’ in Haiphong, point to another exciting 25 years ahead,” said Van Wersch.

“Based on the tremendous progress we have seen since 1993, and the foresight and entrepreneurial spirit of government and business leaders, we believe Viet Nam will transition seamlessly into the Industry 4.0 world and establish itself as a regional center of excellence.”


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