GE Healthcare (NYSE: GE) plans to add 200 engineers to its Chinese operations over the next year to support new product launches and research & development efforts.
The health products giant also plans to bolster its R&D budget, which may account for as much as 8% of the year’s Chinese sales revenue, GE Healthcare China president & CEO Rachel Duan told ChinaDaily.com.
“Investment in China is expected to increase faster because the industry may grow by over 20% a year in the next couple of years, mainly thanks to the rapid business expansion in smaller cities,” John Dineen, GE Healthcare president & CEO, told the news source.
GE expects to launch more than 40 new products in China next year, compared to 10 products in 2010. The plans ties into the company’s development strategy, which intended to inject $134 billion into China’s fast-growing medical sector between 2009 and 2011.
The company will also open its fourth Chinese facility next month, the Chengdu Innovation Center, with plans to expand innovation and set up joint ventures. It’ll be the first facility in China to include high-tech labs, an exhibition center and a marketing innovation center all in one.
China remains a promising prospect for medical device makers thanks to a market that’s expected to average 30% growth in coming years.
GE in August announced a partnership with with Beijing-based Concord Medical Services Holdings Ltd., which operates the largest network of radiotherapy and diagnostic imaging centers in China.
That same month Medtronic Inc. (NYSE:MDT) unveiled big plans for China, expecting mergers and acquisitions and predicting twice as many China employees, as many as 2,0000 total, in the next four years.
In September Covidien (NYSE:COV) announced plans for a 100,000-square-foot research & development center in Shanghai, which should be fully operational by July 2012.