GE to open plant in Brazil

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GE Healthcare has decided to create a new production facility in Brazil, its first in South America.

Scheduled to open in 2009, the company said the facility will be dedicated to the production of its new line of products, created exclusively for the region. GE said the opening is the first step in its “In Latin America, For Latin America” initiative, investing in local production to produce quality products that meet the needs of local customers.

“Building a factory in Brazil and the development of a line of equipment tailored specifically to the needs of customers in Latin America support our commitment to increasing access to diagnostic medicine for the broad population,” said Claudia Goulart, general manager for GE Healthcare in Latin America. “Offering locally developed equipment allows us to get closer to our customers and to increase the options for affordable solutions that better meet their expectations.”

The equipment from the regional line of products will unite GE’s standards with the clinical requirements from doctors and radiologists in Latin America, the company said. The company said that local production will allow it to offer new solutions at an affordable price, thus being able to meet the needs of different segments of the healthcare market, ranging from large and well-established hospitals and diagnostic institutions to small clinics looking for their first imaging equipment.

While the exact location of the facility has yet to be determined, GE said it is analyzing its options and following criteria. The focus is on finding qualified professionals and a structure that can support logistics including production for export to other Latin American countries, according to the company.