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Bright Future Ahead for General Electric’s Investments in India


GE struck its largest-ever deal with India in November 2015 when it won a bid to supply 1,000 diesel locomotives as part of India’s ongoing infrastructure development, a project worth $2.6 billion. The deal will create a joint venture between GE and Indian Railways and involve a $200 million investment by GE to construct a locomotive plant in Bihar where the locomotives will be built. This deal is especially significant as it follows the recent decision by the Indian government to allow 100% Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in the country’s railway sector beginning in 2014. The first locomotives are expected to be operational in 2017 and will be used to haul freight.

In February 2015, GE formally opened its first multi-purpose manufacturing facility in India to serve as both an expansion of its domestic production there, supporting the country’s “Make in India” initiative, and as a hub from which to send half of the factory’s output to the company’s other factories around the world. Locomotives, power equipment, and aviation equipment are now locally sourced at 20%, 30%, and 15% respectively, in keeping with the initiative. Over 1,000 local suppliers in India have benefitted from this $200 million investment, bringing products faster to Indian consumers and streamlining GE’s global supply chain.

Since 1902, General Electric (GE) has worked in numerous sectors in India to create innovative products for both the Indian domestic market and the international market. The company has doubled its investment in India over the past 5 years, now totaling $3 billion, and has increasingly worked with Indian partners and through public-private partnerships to develop localized solutions and products. In the field of research, GE’s Research & Development Center in Bangalore is GE’s first such center outside of the United States and its largest overall. Over the last decade, the center has contributed to the filing of over 2,000 patents by GE scientists.

Sarah Wang is the Event Coordinator and a Project Assistant at the East-West Center in Washington.