GE sees 10-15 pct infrastructure growth in emerging markets


By James Pomfret

NUSA DUA, Indonesia, Oct 6 (Reuters) - General Electric Co vice chairman John Rice said on Sunday that despite theshaky global economy, he expected the firm's infrastructurebusinesses in emerging markets to post 10-15 percent growth inthe next five to 10 years.

GE's presence in most parts of the global economy, includingenergy, finance, manufacturing and transportation, makes it anindicator of macroeconomic trends.

China, GE's biggest single market for infrastructure outsideof the United States, would continue to have "healthy doubledigit" growth in the coming years, having grown some 15 to 20percent growth in recent times, said Rice on the sidelines of anAsia-Pacific leaders summit in Bali, Indonesia.

Shrugging off the impact of the U.S. government shutdown onGE's businesses, Rice remained bullish on GE's renewed focus oncore infrastructure areas including oil & gas, power generation,aviation, healthcare and transportation.

"In the mid-to-long term the demand for infrastructure isgoing to be as acute as ever," Rice told Reuters at theAsia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) conference, where a keytheme is sustaining the region as an engine for global growth.

"We see significant double digit growth ... in what we callgrowth markets. We think we should see 10-15 percent growth,"said Rice of this projection for its composite infrastructurebusinesses in markets outside of the U.S. and Europe.

He noted, however, that the financing of infrastructureprojects by banks was getting more complicated amid greatereconomic uncertainty, including concerns the U.S. FederalReserve will soon begin reducing its stimulus that has alreadyweakened some Asian currencies like the Indonesian rupiah.

"When you have the currency swings you have to be evenbetter in connecting capital to infrastructure projects," saidRice.

The oil and gas equipment business was also singled out asone of GE's key growth areas, signalling the importance ofenergy to the conglomerate as it retreats from finance andreturns to its industrial roots.

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