Fri, Jul 13, 2012 - Page 13 News List

GE Taiwan to partner with LED makers

JOINING FORCES:The firm plans to source LED lighting production to unnamed local firms, and is also seeking to expand in smart grids, ‘green’ energy and medical tourism

By Crystal Hsu  /  Staff reporter

The local branch of General Electric Co (GE) plans to partner with local LED producers as part of its efforts to strengthen its business in Taiwan, GE Taiwan chief executive Jason Hsu (許朱勝) said yesterday.

“We intend to join forces with local firms in exploring the LED market here and abroad,” Hsu told the first media briefing since he assumed his position in February last year.

There is ample room for sales improvement as the visibility of GE lighting products evidently lags behind Philips and Osram in major local retail outlets such as B&Q, a do-it-yourself chain store, he said.

GE, ranked the sixth-largest firm in the US by gross revenue last year, has 468 employees in Taiwan and its businesses include the generation, transmission and distribution of electricity, lighting, medical imaging equipment, aircraft engines and aviation.

GE Taiwan plans first to source LED lighting production to local producers and explore the possibility of jointly developing chips and other cooperation ventures, Hsu said. He refused to name would-be partners, but indicated the talks should bear fruit this quarter or before the end of the year.

“Together, we and our partners aim to take up a bigger market share in Taiwan and later elsewhere,” Hsu said.

GE Taiwan also sees opportunities to deepen its presence in the fields of smart grids, “green” energy and medical tourism, Hsu said.

To that end, GE would pursue closer ties with Gibsin Engineers Co (吉興工程), CTCI Corp (中鼎工程) and Chung-Hsin Electric and Machinery Manufacturing Corp (中興電工), he said.

Hsu raised doubts over plans to build wind-power plants on the outlying island group of Penghu until the issue of maintenance could be overcome.

Sea erosion would pose a serious problem for wind-power plants, which are very expensive to establish in the first place, he said.

In March last year, the Ministry of Economic Affairs unveiled a five-year, NT$8.09 billion (US$273.6 million) project to turn Penghu into a world-class low-carbon island centered around the installation of 96 megawatt wind-power generators.

The undertaking is part of Taiwan’s effort to cut carbon emissions from their level in 2005 by more than 50 percent by 2015.

GE Taiwan also plans to strengthen cross-selling of medical equipment to local hospitals and cash in on the nation’s efforts to boost medical tourism, Hsu said.

GE, whose broad business interests include financial services, retains a sizable stake in Cosmos Bank (萬泰銀行), although the conglomerate has lowered revenue contributions from its capital arm in recent years, Hsu said.

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