Thai Students Showcase Their Innovation at the FedEx Express/Junior Achievement Regional International Trade Challenge
Seoul, August 26, 2011—A pair of teenagers from Thailand scooped the top prize in the FedEx Express/Junior Achievement International Trade Challenge (ITC) regional finals, a three-day competition designed to educate and build entrepreneurship and business skills in young people from Asia-Pacific.
The students, Phimpakarn Songsantiphap and Patsachon Kriengwatana, beat twenty-three other teams from Hong Kong, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea and the Philippines with an outstanding and innovative business idea in response to this year’s challenge, which was to develop a market entry strategy for promoting tourism services in Guam.
The team from Thailand came up with a comprehensive integrated program to launch a ‘Sabai Thai Spa’
The second place went to the team from Singapore represented by Lee Qi Ni and Darren Ong. Their service promotion involved launching the “Love Rite” wedding and honeymoon service aimed at young American couples.
Third-prize winners Daniel Chew Jiawang and Chow Ken Hong from Malaysia also created a service offering for honeymoon couples, this time targeting the Japanese market.
FedEx Express, a subsidiary of FedEx Corp. (NYSE: FDX) and the world’s largest express transportation company, and JA Worldwide®, the world’s largest nonprofit organisation dedicated to inspiring and preparing young people to succeed in a global economy, joined forces to organize the event. The annual ITC launched in 2007, supported by a US$1.63million grant from FedEx Express over a five-year period, involving major markets in the Asia-Pacific region.
“At FedEx, we recognise that entrepreneurship is a fundamental building block of economic growth. The International Trade Challenge helps identify and develop the entrepreneurial instincts of the young people who take part. Much of the growth of FedEx can be attributed directly to our commitment to innovate and try new things, so we are pleased to be part of a competition which inspires young people to become the entrepreneurs of their generation. It is a great experience which encourages their entrepreneurial spirit, shares global
business knowledge and develops their life skills,” said David L. Cunningham, Jr., president, FedEx Express Asia Pacific.
This year, 48 students between 15-19 years of age from eight markets across Asia Pacific were selected to represent their markets at the regional finals in Thailand after competing at the local challenge in their respective home markets.
The panel of judges comprising successful entrepreneurs and business leaders evaluated the teams on their business acumen, concept and presentation. The students were measured on their thoroughness, creativity and professionalism in developing and executing their business entry strategy.
“We are very impressed with the quality of the market entry strategies presented this year. We have seen great ingenuity, creativity, teamwork and communication skills from the finalists, and we hope that this experience will help them prepare for the challenges of the business world in the future,” said Mr. Cunningham.
Sean C. Rush, president and chief executive officer of JA Worldwide, added, “These JA students represent the next generation of business leaders. They are developing the competitive skills they need to position their companies for success in the global economy, as well as building a network for expansion of their organization’s footprint. JA Worldwide is proud to work with FedEx to provide students with access to experiences like the ITC where they can apply entrepreneurial innovation.”
Now in its fifth year, the ITC has provided more than 5,750 students in Asia Pacific a firsthand experience of world trade; enhanced their knowledge of product distribution, promotion, and sales; and developed traits of competition, teamwork, risk-taking, and self-confidence. FedEx employees volunteered as mentors or to help students understand the concept of international trade and guide them in the development of their plans.