FedEx Chairman Frederick W. Smith calls for further global customs reform
GUANGZHOU, CHINA, July 13, 2005 – “It’s not just tariffs that deter global trade, it’s government bureaucracy too,” Frederick W. Smith, chairman and CEO of FedEx Corp. (NYSE:FDX), said today, addressing business leaders and Chinese government officials at Zhongshan University in Guangzhou, China.
However, Smith – speaking in the southern Chinese city where FedEx announced plans to build its new Asia-Pacific hub – praised China for recent reforms in its customs procedures, moves he claimed had helped “make significant progress in facilitating the flow of goods across borders.”
He cited the country’s recent abolition of 1,800 approval requirements, its standardization of license applications and the modernization of its logistics system as ways in which China is implementing reform.
But Smith also called for more reform around the world to further simplify global trade. “Complex customs procedures; lengthy clearance times; a lack of warehouse capacity and an inadequate transportation infrastructure all conspire to inhibit commerce, large-scale foreign investment, economic stability and prosperity,” said Smith.
“I hope that soon, national borders will cease to be a barrier to trade, commerce and communications,” Smith told the audience.
Earlier today, FedEx announced plans to build a new Asia Pacific hub at Guangzhou Biayun International Airport in southern China. Guangzhou is a strategic site close to the geographic center of Asia. In addition, Guangzhou is a gateway to the Pearl River Delta, the Mainland’s manufacturing engine and a major economic center. The Guangzhou hub, the largest hub in Asia Pacific, is expected to begin operations in December 2008.
According to recent forecasts, transportation within Asia remains the world’s fastest-growing regional air freight market and is expected to grow each year at 8.5 percent over the next 20 years.
The Guangzhou hub is the latest FedEx investment in Asia. In March, FedEx launched the industry’s first express direct flight from mainland China to Europe. FedEx already has the largest express transportation network in the Asia-Pacific region, having entered China in 1984.
About FedEx Corp.
FedEx Corp. (NYSE: FDX) provides customers and businesses worldwide with a broad portfolio of transportation, e-commerce and business services. With annual revenues of $29 billion, the company offers integrated business applications 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 250,000 employees and contractors to remain "absolutely, positively" focused on safety, the highest ethical and professional standards and the needs of their customers and communities. For more information, visit fedex.com.