Asia Pacific, Middle East & Africa (AMEA)

Empowering The Next Generation of Entrepreneurs: Winners of Annual FedEx / JA International Trade Challenge Emerge from 60 Finalists and 5,000 Student Participants

Winners of the FedEx / JA International Trade Challenge 2023 AMEA Finals

Winners of the FedEx / JA International Trade Challenge 2023 AMEA Finals

Hong Kong SAR, China, August 24, 2023 FedEx Express (FedEx), a subsidiary of FedEx Corp. (NYSE: FDX) and one of the world’s largest express transportation companies, together with Junior Achievement (JA) Asia Pacific, announced the top three winning teams of the 17th annual FedEx /JA International Trade Challenge (ITC) finals. Six students from Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Thailand, and Vietnam comprised the winning teams.

Close to 5,000 participants representing 10 AMEA markets – Hong Kong SAR, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Korea, Thailand, and Vietnam – competed for the 60 places in this year’s regional finals. The finalists presented their ideas to a panel of distinguished judges following three days of intense competition held virtually from August 21 to 23.

This year, the student teams of two were tasked with creating a market entry strategy for a product to address sustainable delivery solutions with Poland being the target market. With growing discourse among consumers on how products affect the environment, and the role corporations should play in shaping a sustainable future, the challenge was particularly relevant.

“We are operating in a vastly different environment today. Businesses are balancing new opportunities brought by rapidly advancing technologies like AI with challenges posed not only by economic uncertainties, but also by climate change. These fresh young minds bring disruptive and innovative solutions to real-world problems,” said Kawal Preet, president of the Asia Pacific, Middle East, and Africa (AMEA) region, FedEx Express. “Nurturing entrepreneurs has long been a key focus for us at FedEx. By providing the next generation entrepreneurs with the right platform and tools, we are providing experiences that will fuel the pipeline of creators, innovators, and future leaders for what’s next.”

The winning team TAVI, comprised of Nguyen Ngoc Linh from Vietnam, and Napat Worrasangasilp from Thailand were awarded for their bio-degradable corn starch packing product BUFFERPUFF, which helps companies reduce plastic wastes in their delivery process.

Team SUSTAINOVATE that included Tsaqif Ammar Sakti from Indonesia, and Jeongwoo Lee from South Korea were named first runners-up for their eco-friendly packaging material – Flexiwrap made of upcycled memory foam to protect ceramic products during delivery.

Lastly, Team CRESCO comprised of Itsuki Son from Japan and Elyshia Alodia Binarto from Indonesia were named second runners-up. Their idea EcoFlow - a durable and versatile bio-styrofoam made from locally sourced rick husks, helps companies reduce plastic usage and meet local regulatory requirements.

“We are thrilled to be selected as the winners of the competition. It’s our great honor and privilege to contend with top talent in the region. Taking part in the competition has truly been an eye-opening experience – it helped us understand that any great venture needs bold thinking, thorough planning and great collaboration with peers and industry experts. Winning this competition gives us the confidence to continue exploring what’s possible on our path to becoming future entrepreneurs,” said Nguyen Ngoc Linh from Vietnam, and Napat Worrasangasilp from Thailand of the winning team TAVI.

“A very important element of the ITC program is that participants go from traditional classroom learning to learning by doing. My hope and expectation are that this commitment to real-life, hands-on experience will prove valuable to our students for the rest of their lives. JA’s goal of preparing young people for the 21st century workplace has never been more relevant, and FedEx’s steadfast and passionate support of ITC since 2007 has inspired and nurtured tens of thousands of young entrepreneurs across the Asia Pacific region,” said Maziar Sabet, President and CEO of JA Asia Pacific

The FedEx / JA International Trade Challenge program is jointly organized by FedEx and JA Asia Pacific, a member of JA Worldwide. Nearly 45,000 students across AMEA, have benefitted from this program in the last 17 years. This year, over 150 FedEx volunteers from 16 AMEA markets mentored the students. In addition to supporting young entrepreneurs through JA ITC, FedEx has been organizing the Small Business Grant Contest (SBGC) to support small-and-medium-enterprises (SMEs) across AMEA.

Judges of the competition, comprised of entrepreneurs and business leaders, were impressed by the organization of the virtual competition and the efforts made by the students.

“It was very rewarding to be a judge for this event. The student presenters were very inspiring, and we all learnt a lot from them.” - Asha Murphy, CEO, Edu-fy (Australia)

“I feel very positive about the future and truly inspired by all of the youth that presented at the event.” – Antoinette Jackson, Founder and Creative Director, SuperBee (Thailand)

“Very much enjoyed learning from each presentation - the passion was palpable! Well done all.” - Bobak Tavangar, CEO, Brilliant Labs (Singapore)

“It is lovely to see young spirits coming up with a sustainable approach to day-to-day problems, showing that the future is bright and better.” – Biswadeep Ghosh, Founder, Mon Exports (India)

“The ITC is a fantastic platform which facilitates the fostering of aspiring young leaders, refining their business acumen, and enhancing intuition to adeptly tackle future challenges. Guiding them in presentations brought immense joy and learning from these impressive young leaders!” - Calvin Ray, Consultant, Strategy & Business Design, Monitor Deloitte South-east Asia (Indonesia)

“Just look at this year’s ridiculously hot weather! Unfortunately, even though the younger generation is the least responsible for putting CO2 in the air or plastics in our oceans, we will have the most incentive to solve the environmental problems caused by the older generation. Let us weave eco-conscious choices into our lives and nurture nature’s gifts. Let’s protect the planet, embrace renewable energy, reduce waste, and foster harmony. Let us share a commitment to a greener, brighter tomorrow.”- Calvin Lai, Director of Otaku House (Singapore)

“Truly honoured to take part as a judging panel and in the development of the students from the 10 participating markets as they develop the plans, strategies, & the innovative delivery solutions for the topics given. The process walkthrough is step by step and I was able to have a very smooth experience from the orientation to the judging proper. Congratulations FedEx Express & JA International Trade Challenge Asia Pacific Team!” - Christopher P. Cañadella, MBA-TEP, Chief Marketing Officer, LUNA Academy (Philippines)

“It is refreshing to see how great the presentations were given the time pressure and the collaboration needed for this competition. I love their ideas, how they used technologies and sizing the opportunities available, and creating a full plan to support their ideas. I feel more confident of our future knowing our young achievers are going to lead it.” - Dr. Donald Patrick Lim, COO - DITO CME Holdings Inc. (Philippines)

“Being involved in this event, I’ve marvelled at students crafting incredible plans. Their ingenuity and dedication reaffirm the limitless potential of young minds when given the opportunity.” - Ms Joanna Cantwell, Chief Development Officer, SolarBuddy (Australia)

“Nurturing and investing both time and resources, in our youth today builds endless capacities that in turn can benefit all. Their vigour and enthusiasm along with a sense of altruism if allowed the space to explore has far reaching effects. FedEx’s commitment to this year’s theme, focusing on sustainable Delivery Solutions, is truly commendable. It is an honor for me to witness the dynamic synergy of these young minds in action within this remarkable arena.” - Lani Choo, Director, LAANi & U Pte Ltd (Singapore)

“The event was very insightful as a judge for me as I learnt about the different ideas that these participants have. Everyone gave a good presentation worth pondering as we aim to steer the world towards a sustainable future. Honoured be part of the judging rounds.” - Lim Yuet Kim, CEO and co-founder of PichaEats (Malaysia)

“It was an absolute privilege to witness the exceptional talent and passion of these future leaders and change-makers. It served as a powerful reminder of the boundless potential that resides within every individual.” - Lyanne Park, CEO. TYKE Co. Ltd (Korea)

“It was eye opening, to see the Innovative ideas, passion and the commitment in the presentations. The next generation defiantly have a lot to offer and make a huge Impact to our society.” - Nikhil Rai, Senior Manager, Providence Healthcare (India)

“This event is beyond competition… it is a meaningful platform for raising, consciousness, awareness on sustainability and building deep beautiful human connections.” - Dr Tan Po Li, Global Leadership Coach (Malaysia)

“These students were amazing. They were able to grasp a complex challenge, collaborate and create an innovative solution. Looking forward to seeing them grow into future leaders and innovators.” - Reno Rafly, CEO, Catalyst Global Consulting (Indonesia)