About FedEx Express /JA International Trade Challenge (ITC)

The FedEx Express /JA International Trade Challenge (ITC) is a competition organized by JA Asia Pacific, and sponsored by FedEx Express.  The ITC aims at nurturing the entrepreneurial spirit and business skills of students.  At the ITC, students will work to create international market entry strategy plans for given product to a target market.  Senior high school students are welcomed to join the local workshop(s) and competition, where the 6 most outstanding representatives will be selected to enter the regional finals at a Asia Pacific location.

Since its debut in 2007, the ITC has developed over 23,000 young entrepreneurs in the Asia Pacific region. The first ITC regional finals was held in Hong Kong in 2007; since then, ITC regional finals has traveled to different markets in the region including Singapore, Thailand, and Malaysia.

Into its 13th year in 2019, the 2019 ITC has expanded to 10 Asia Pacific markets. In 2018, the ITC program had:

served 2,705 students from 275 different schools representing 10 Asia Pacific markets including Australia, China, Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam

engaged 95 business volunteers from FedEx Express

Benefits to students participating in the ITC

2019

ITC Regional Finals

With the support from event host JA Malaysia, the 2019 ITC regional finals competition and event is confirmed to be held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia from August 18 to 22, 2019.  Stay tuned to the official FedEx Express/JA ITC social media channels @AsiaPacificITC #FedEx #FedExJAITC2019.

1. Learning of international trade through the local ITC workshops

 

2. Extended learnings experience for the selected final 6 representatives through an all-expense paid trip to compete in the ITC regional finals

3. Recognition and non-monetary prizes will be awarded to the 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winners from the ITC Regional finals

Stages of ITC Workshops and Competitions

The ITC consisted of two main stages of learning.

Stage 1      – local level workshops and competition.

First at each local JA market, students were to sign-up and attend the local  International Trade Workshop(s).  The purpose of the workshop is to introduce the concept  of international trade and how established businesses formulate market entry strategies to expand to overseas markets. Volunteers from local FedEx Express offices are invited as speakers, facilitators  and/or mentors at these workshops to share their knowledge and experience with the students. After attending the local workshops, students will be invited to take part in the local International Trade Challenge.  To enter the competition, students will develop a market entry strategy plan for a given product that was  targeted to enter a specific market. 6 winning students from each market will be selected and awarded the opportunity to participate and compete in the Asia Pacific Finals

ITC 2018 ITC local workshops

Stage 2     - ITC Asia Pacific Regional Finals Workshop and Competition

The ITC regional finals competition is a 4-day competition and event to be held in a Asia Pacific location.

Since 2017, the Asia Pacific Finals had paired students from different markets to compete in mixed teams of two, with the objective to  promote cross-border collaboration and to better reflect how teams and businesses operate in a borderless world.  The ITC Asia Pacific Finals provide a unique and valuable learning experience for young leaders, as they meet, work and learn from like-minded entrepreneurs coming from different Asia Pacific markets. From not knowing one another, each team is given 36 hours to come up with a 7- minute presentation to the judges that detailed their market entry strategy. The regional finals is a great learning experience for students to sharpen their teamwork, decision-making, communications, and problem-solving skills. Feedback from the Asia Pacific Finals evaluations indicated that:

  • 98% of the students feel the event provides a valuable learning experience for students

  • 95% of the students agree the event was challenging

  • 95% of the students agree the event improved their decision-making skills

ITC Regional Finals Agenda

Day One

  • Arrivals and Registration

  • Icebreaking activities

  • Welcome Dinner and Excursion

  • Opening of International Trade Challenge

  • International Trade Workshop Session

Day Two

  • FedEx Express Key Note Presentation

  • Students continue to work on their strategies at workshop session

  • Submission of Market Entry Strategy presentations at end of Day Three

Day Three

  • First-around Presentations in the morning

  • Grand Finals Presentations in the afternoon

  • Awards Dinner and Prize Presentation

Day Four

Spotlights from ITC 2018 Regional Finals Competition and Event

60 national ITC champions from 10 Asia Pacific markets came together at the 2018 ITC Asia Pacific Finals in Singapore from August 12 to 15, 2018. Within these few days, they came together and gained hands-on experience of international trade strategy, formulated business plan and built life-long connections with students from around the region.

ICE-BREAKING AND TEAM BUILDING ACTIVITY

Vivian Lau, President and CEO of JA Asia Pacific led the students in a series of intensive yet fun ice-breaking and team building exercises. The activities were designed to enable the students to have a better understanding of their teammates from other markets.

DINNER AND EXCURSION AT LOCAL MARKET

DINNER AND EXCURSION AT LOCAL MARKET

Participants were treated with some local delicacies including Chili Crab before a walk down the famous Bugis Street Market to experience local Singaporean cultures.

OPENING OF ITC

The ITC 2018 Asia Pacific Finals was officially open by Audrey Cheong, Managing Director of FedEx Express Singapore; Patrick Liew, Board Chair of JA Singapore; and Vivian Lau,  President of JA Asia Pacific. The challenge topic was also announced: “Create a market entry strategy for an elderly wellness product.  The market to enter is France”.

WORKSHOP SESSION

Student teams had 2 full days to research, discuss and develop their market entry strategy plan. At the same time, 9 dedicated FedEx Express volunteers joined both workshop sessions to answer questions from the students, provide support and mentoring.

FEDEX EXPRESS SOUTH PACIFIC HUB VISIT

With the support of FedEx Express South Pacific Hub’s Operations team, students and chaperones were given the opportunity to visit the FedEx facility that is located beside the Airport Logistic Park of Singapore and within Changi Airport’s free trade zone. The Hub  is a restricted area which made the visit even more valuable and special.

 

Guided by FedEx representatives, students witnessed first-hand on how an on-site facilitation of cargo shipment clearance by the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority and Singapore Customs translates into faster, more convenient customs clearance for FedEx customers. They also learnt how FedEx leveraged  on technologies to achieve their commitment to customers every day.  It was an eye-opening experience  for all.

GUEST SPEAKER SESSION

After the Hub visit, students were transported back to the competition venue to gain executive insights on international trade from our special guest speaker – Ms. Kawai Preet, Senior Vice President, Operations, North and South Pacific, FedEx Express. Ms. Preet encouraged our young people to take advantage of being in Asia Pacific, one of the most connected regions in the world and a leading global hub for entrepreneurs, to keep learning and seize the opportunity to be innovators of the world.

FIRST ROUND PRESENTATION

After 2 days of hard work, the 30 student teams were ready to present their market entry strategy plan to the judges in the first-round presentation.  6 teams were selected to advance to the Grand final presentations on the same day.

Teng Zhen Fa (Malaysia) (L) & Rainbow Yuhong Yang (Australia) (R)

Hayoung Kim (Korea) (L) & Ken Roque (Philippines) (R)

Chung Hee Won (Singapore) (L) & Erin Tiu (Philippines) (R)

Philippe-Hari de Manny (Hong Kong) (L) &  Han Kyeol (Singapore) (R)

Dalilah Katherine Bridges (Thailand) (L) &

 Terry Yung (Hong Kong)

Seungwon Lee (Korea) (L) & Duong Ha Anh (Vietnam) (R)

GRAND FINAL PRESENTATION

The Grand Final Presentation was opened to all students, chaperones, JA members and FedEx Express volunteers. The final 6 teams presented their market entry strategy to 4 judges, who decided which teams were the 1st, 2nd and 3rd places of the ITC Asia Pacific Finals.

AWARDS DINNER

The highlight of the ITC Asia Pacific Finals was the Awards Dinner, where everyone gathered to celebrate the achievements of all participants. The 60 students were presented  with  certificates as a recognition for their hard work. JA Asia Pacific also took the opportunity to express our appreciation for the unwavering support from FedEx Express, Judges, FedEx Facilitators, and event host  JA Singapore plus their volunteers.

The result is as follows:

 

1st Place: Team Ratoon

Seungwon Lee (Korea) Duong Ha Anh (Vietnam)

 
2nd  Place: Team Teilah

Terry Yung (Hong Kong)

Dalilah Katherine Bridges (Thailand)

3rd  Place: Team Wrinkle

Philippe-Hari de Manny (Hong Kong) Han Kyeol (Singapore)

Please click here to view the press release on 2018 ITC Asia Pacific Finals results.

Please click here to view the 2018 ITC regional finals short video.

Feature interview with Seungwon Lee, member from Korea of  Team Ratoon 1st place winner of 2018 ITC

2018 ITC 1st Place:# winner Team Ratoon. From L to R: Seungwon Lee (Korea) Duong Ha Anh (Vietnam)

1. Please introduce yourself.

Hello. My name is Seungwon Lee, and I am in my third year at Korean Minjok Leadership Academy. As a student in the international track, I’m currently preparing to study abroad. Winning this award is especially significant for me because the FedEx/Junior Achievement International Trade Competition (FedEx/JA ITC) was my last competition as a high school student.

2. Are you interested in trade or business start-up?

It’s a little embarrassing, but I’ve only had general interest in trade and start-up business. My school does not offer business classes, so I had never studied this field properly. Most of my family works in medicine, and start-ups and business were areas I chose in order to try my hands at something different. I never thought that a good opportunity like this would come so soon.

3. What made you participate in the FedEx/JA ITC?

I wanted to test myself. Before this competition, I didn’t have a lot of confidence in myself. I had performed well at other similar competitions, but I always attributed the positive results to my teammates’ efforts and luck. By entering a competition in a field to which I was totally new to, I wanted to actualize my abstract interest in start-up and business and test my limits. I remember submitting my application feeling like I was jumping in at the deep end, but I’m so glad that I decided to try it out because I’ve gained a lot more than I expected from this experience.

4. Explain about the idea that you won this time.

The item that my partner and I developed is ‘iBalance,’ a device designed to predict and prevent falls in the elderly. The existing “fall prevention” devices in the market lacked the adequate mechanisms to prevent falls in the elderly, to the point where I don’t think they can be called “fall prevention” devices. They were rather systems that recognize a fall after it happens and automatically call for help—thus, they did not “prevent” the falls. To address this need, we designed a device that uses accelerometer to monitor balance, predict a potential fall and prevent it from happening in the first place.

5. Describe how you came up with the idea.

The topic of this competition was “Developing Products for Elderly Social Care in France.” Because “Elderly social care” is such an abstract and extensive topic, we began by narrowing our focus to something more specific. We excluded elderly mental health and loneliness issues, which we thought would be difficult to resolve with a single physical product, as well as issues that require complex user learning, since the target population is likely to have difficulties with using brand-new technology. As we thought about an existing need that could have an easy-to-use solution, I remembered my grandmother who battled Parkinson’s Disease. She experienced mobility issues for a very long time because of Parkinson’s, and there were a few dangerous accidents where she would suddenly fall backwards while walking. Because I had witnessed these kinds of incidents first-hand, I knew that a single fall could lead to terrible injuries in an elderly person. Thus, I came to view falls in elderly as an underestimated problem that deserves more attention and decided to focus on this particular issue.

6. What do you think is the secret of winning the FedEx/JA ITC Asia Pacific finals?

I think that continuously trying to persuade myself of this product’s use was a helpful approach to take. Throughout the product development process, I always tried to view the product from the consumers’ perspective by constantly asking myself the reasons why this product was needed and, on the flip side, why it could be inconvenient to use. This approach was actually very helpful and led us to change our product concept from the initial idea over five times, all of which was part of our constant efforts to improve our product and marketing strategy.

7. What did you learn and what did you find helpful in participating in the competition?

Because I didn’t know anything about this field when I joined the challenge, it wouldn’t be an exaggeration for me to say that I learned everything I know about this field from this experience alone. I’ve participated in many competitions in high school, but there hasn’t been a competition where I learned as much during such a short period of time and had as many opportunities for growth as I did here. The jury and the FedEx mentors who helped facilitate the challenge played a very important role; for example, a FedEx mentor who currently works in marketing would offer warm advice and ask sharp questions, all of which helped each team to view the question at hand from a new perspective. Like the saying “give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime,” the FedEx mentors helped the students to develop independent critical thinking skills. Thanks to these mentors, all the participants, including myself, were able to grow from this experience.

8. Is there anything you want to say to the students who are participating in the competition next time?

I want to tell the future participants that they should enjoy the experience. I remember when I first started the challenge within the Korea competition, I was intimidated by the competition’s size. But after I went to Singapore for the Asia Pacific Regional Finals, I realized that there was nothing to be afraid of. I hope the future participants wouldn’t hesitate to enter just because they feel like they don’t have as much knowledge or experience in this field as other participants might. Instead, they should just go ahead and give it a try. I had a much more memorable experience at the Asia Pacific Regional Finals, where I just let go and tried to enjoy the experience, than at the Korea competition, where I was experiencing a lot of internal conflicts because I didn’t have as much confidence in myself. I think that, when you truly enjoy the experience that an opportunity offers, your efforts will pay off in some shape or form.

9. Tell me about your dream or future goal.

Right now, I would like to be an environmental scientist. I will have to figure out how to apply an environmental science major to a career once I get to college, but for now, I want to contribute to effecting long-term improvements in global health through better environmental policies. One personal aspiration I have is becoming an ‘appropriately sensitive person.’ It might be natural for everyone to pay less attention to the people around them as they get busier in life. But I don’t want to legitimize my tendency to do that with excuses of being busy; instead, in a world where we don’t pay a lot of attention to those who fall behind, I want to become a person who possesses the sensitivity needed to respond warmly to the voices of the disadvantaged. 

10. If you have anything to say, please feel free to share it.

Because the topic of this FedEx/JA ITC challenge was about the elderly, who are disadvantaged in society, I was able to think about issues beyond business and management and have the time to self-reflect. In that sense, this challenge impacted me in ways that reach beyond the end of the competition, as though a small splash of water returned as a big wave. I would like to recommend this experience to other students who want to have a meaningful summer break.

11. What do you think about FedEx in general? What is the image of FedEx to you?

I first became familiar with FedEx when I went to study abroad in the U.S. for two years in 5th grade I recently became aware that FedEx offers a lot of support for small- and medium-sized enterprises. Through this challenge, I also learned that the company supports youth in diverse ways, and I would like to thank FedEx for making this opportunity available. Additionally, realizing the hidden meaning behind the FedEx logo (the hidden arrow between E and x) led me to perceive FedEx as a company that is attentive to details.

12. You have formed a team with Vietnam and did well. How did you work together with another person you just met for the competition?

I remember Duong Ha Anh, my Vietnamese teammate, and we learned to adapt to one another to find the best way to work together because of our different sleep patterns. I study late into the night like a typical Korean high school student, whereas she likes to sleep at around 11pm and wake up early in the morning. We struggled over whether I should wake her up late at night or she should check multiple times if I had woken up in the morning. But in retrospect, I realized that because we had less time to work together in the early mornings and late nights compared to the other teams, we were more motivated to work efficiently during the daytime we had together.

About the Sponsor

FedEx Express is the world's largest express transportation company, providing fast and reliable delivery to more than 220 countries and territories.  FedEx Express uses a global air-and-ground network to speed delivery of time-sensitive shipments, by a definite time and date supported by a money-back guarantee.

 

FedEx Corp. (NYSE: FDX) provides customers and businesses worldwide with a broad portfolio of transportation, e-commerce and business services. With annual revenues of $69 billion, the company offers integrated business solutions through operating companies competing collectively and managed collaboratively, under the respected FedEx brand. Consistently ranked among the world's most admired and trusted employers, FedEx inspires its more than 450,000 team members to remain focused on safety, the highest ethical and professional standards and the needs of their customers and communities. To learn more about how FedEx connects people and possibilities around the world, please visit http://about.fedex.com

About the ITC Organizer

JA Asia Pacific is a member of JA Worldwide, one of the world’s largest youth-serving NGOs dedicated to preparing young people for employment and entrepreneurship. For 100 years, JA has delivered hands-on, experiential learning in work readiness, financial literacy, and entrepreneurship. We create pathways for employability, job creation, and financial success.

 

Home to 60% of the world’s youth, JA Asia Pacific aims to empower young people to benefit from the region’s economic development and to create a positive impact in their lives and communities. The 17 members JA Asia Pacific network is powered by over 46,000 volunteers and mentors from all sectors of society, reaching more than 789,000 students around the region. Each year, the global JA network of over 465,000 volunteers serves more than 10 million students in over 100 countries. To learn more about JA Asia Pacific, please visit www.jaasiapacific.org or visit @jaasiapacific on Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn.