General Electric Company (NYSE:GE) CEO, Jeff Immelt sat down with Bloomberg Television’s Tom Keene this morning on “Bloomberg Surveillance” and said, he was bullish on Africa and the Middle East and ideal organic revenue growth is around 5%-10%.

Jeff Immelt on EM, Politics, Activism [TRANSCRIPT]

Immelt went on to say “All of the business world has orchestrated their business to be able to operate assuming nothing happens in Washington. In other words, we can sit and hope for immigration reform and tax reform and things like that but none of us are counting on it anymore. For all the lip service, if we just had a pro-growth agenda, if there was just this government if people just got up every day and talked about how we can grow the economy. I think it helps all of us. But none of us are counting on that. We are all trying to orchestrate our companies around it.”

Jeff Immelt On advice to the Tea Party and President Obama:

“What I would say to the tea party is, the country will never be great, unless it has fantastic infrastructure and the extent to which you guys think anything the government does is wrong, including infrastructure, we will never be able to compete with China and places like that. And I would say to the president we have regulating on steroids right now, there is no country that follows us anymore from a regulatory stand point. We need to simplify this gosh darn place.”

Jeff Immelt On the importance of talking to middle-market business leaders:

“These are the guys everyone ought to be talking to about what’s working, what’s not working, this is where the growth is, this is where the jobs are and it is a combination of family businesses, start-up businesses, growth companies, divisions of companies. This is really who I talk to when I want to figure out what is going on.”

Jeff Immelt On delivering more than financing to customers:

“We try and bring General Electric Company (NYSE:GE) to our GE Capital customers. These are guys running factories, running franchisees, working on lean manufacturing, working on succession, leadership development. They need the business context. A lot of them are trying to grow in China. We try and bring more than the financing. That is more of a commodity business. And we try and bring depth of understanding in the industrial world”

Jeff Immelt On the globalization of middle-market America:

“Completely sophisticated. They are dealing in every industry. They are exporting. They are trying to plant flags around the world. We have the benefits of size and scale and having done it for one hundred years but these guys are on the cusp of everything that is going on in the economy today.”

On where he is looking outside the company to bring new skills to GE:

“I would say, Silicon Valley Start ups…. There is no case in life today for big and slow. We are trying to be a big fast company. You have to have lean management. You have to be very focused on markets and every process we have in the company is really focused on speed.”

On worst practice he learned coming out of financial crisis:

“Never confused tailwind with good management. In other words, when things are going well, when the country in levering everybody looks smart. Ideas look smart. And the time when you should ask the most questions is when things are going the best.”

Jeff Immelt On a new normal future:

“What I would say, you got to go out and capture growth we are in a 160 countries around the world and so we have very intense localization plans in terms of where we are going. Last week I was in China, Korea, Japan. We have growth opportunity in all those countries. Algeria, Saudi Arabia, Abu Dhabi, Russia, Vietnam. I think you got to have this global context if you want to be successful these days.”

Jeff Immelt On organic revenue growth:

“When I look at 14’ and over time, we would love to have a company that can grow 5%-10% organically. We think maybe two times GDP. That is kind of what we would like to be doing. We are cautious about the developing world. We are cautious about US and Europe and Japan. But we still see China and the resource rich companies and Africa, we still see benefits there.”

On GE’s best practices vs. competitors:

“I think the ability to localize globally. In other words, these businesses are about technology. They are about globalization. They are about services. It is those three things. It is high R&D, it’s sustained services and outcomes but it is the ability to bring solutions across a broad way of different countries. It takes scale. It takes big scale. And that is what we can bring”

On the importance of strong manufacturing in developing new technologies:

“Today the product and process are the same thing. Without that supply chain you can’t develop these new technologies. In many ways manufacturing is more important today, than it’s been anytime in my career.”

On whether activists’ investors, like Carl Icahn are important:

“We always take our critics seriously. I think you are crazy if you do not take your critics seriously. At the end of the day, we are who we are. We need to execute over the long term and every year during the financial crisis we doubled our R&D in aviation. I took a tone of heat for that, but now investors can look at it and say ‘look we see what it delivered. We see the competitive position its delivered.”

“We take all these guys seriously. We listen to what they say. We have a good board. We have investors that are very concerned with how we allocate our capital. The people who own the stock; the Fidelitys, the Wellingtons, they want to see us winning in aviation in energy and that organic growth.”

Jeff Immelt On the new growth economy:

“The biggest theme that people miss is these resource rich countries, Middle East, Russia, Africa places like that, and they are trying to take their natural resource wealth and convert it into an industrial base. And this is a massive trend going on across a huge amount of the economy and GE has positioned itself to be successful in Latin America, Africa, Russia as this takes place.”

On which emerging market is going to do best besides China:

“I like the ASEAN countries. There are 6 or 7 countries in Africa, Angola, Mozambique, Nigeria that I am keen on. And I am still bullish on some of the countries in the Middle East, Saudi, Algeria, some of those.”

On whether the United States is energy independent:

“Could be. I would say North America, if you look at Canada, Mexico, US, very complementary fuel types. So you have gas in US, oil in Canada and Mexico. If you build a pipeline structure you will have unbelievable energy strength.”

On thoughts on the kind of leadership we need

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