FedEx has long viewed engagement through AmCham China as an essential part of our operations in China, and I am pleased to offer my nomination to continue the tradition of FedEx leadership on the AmCham board of governors.
There has rarely been a more important time to support the stabilization and development of the U.S.-China relationship. Paradoxically, bilateral tensions have reached their highest point in decades even though there have never been more significant opportunities for cooperation – in trade, pandemic relief, and the environment, to name a few. FedEx and the American business community have an obligation, now more than ever, to lean into our engagement in China and the United States to shape the relationship and deliver on the promise of connecting people of both countries with the possibilities of closer partnership.
FedEx has been in China since 1984 and now has over 12,000 employees in China. Our connectivity and services have helped China’s economy achieve its impressive export growth over the past 30 years. While trade has always been the ballast of the bilateral relationship, the pandemic has allowed us to perform some of most important work in our company’s history. We used our global network – with key support from AmCham – to deliver some of the first medical supplies to Wuhan. And, at the height of the pandemic, with passenger plane capacity severely constrained, we flew nearly 250 flights in and out of China every week to maintain vital supply chains. With deliveries of more than 100 kilotons of PPE and over 2.2 billion masks, this is truly who we are and what we do.
Our team members are proud of our efforts to support the communities where we operate in China, and there is much more we can do through great programs like the AmCham Social Impact Initiative. As AmCham members look to Tier 2 and 3 cities for new opportunities, our support for SMEs, economic development, and longer-term social issues is the right way to do it. Acting with purpose is a competitive advantage of the American business community, whether by donating to Henan flood relief or the way we support our employees. I am especially proud of the strong diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives at FedEx. Efforts like these make our companies great places to work, motivate employees, and routinely rank us among the world’s most admired businesses.
Like others, we have always valued our close relationships with China and its leaders. We recognize that the environment has changed since then-President Jiang Zemin hosted the FedEx Board of Directors for a meeting in 1998. Nevertheless, we have continued to engage in that same spirit ever since, through the Joint Commission on Commerce and
Trade, the China Development Forum and, more recently, the Bloomberg New Economy Forum. We value AmCham’s track record of success in creating trusted relationships – I believe that the personal relationships we build on the ground in China can frame how political leaders view the future of this relationship. In our industry, the Aviation Cooperation Program is a perfect example of this – it has provided some of the best opportunities for people-to-people engagement with key regulators, and for capacity building that has meaningfully benefited the air cargo industry. I would seek to promote those and similar efforts as a key pillar of AmCham value to members.
FedEx is a true believer in global trade and has been a consistent and vocal advocate for increased trade with China. We have used our voice and influence within many U.S. administrations to emphasize the need for constructive relations with China and to highlight the important interdependencies between the two economies. We did this through Congressional testimony in support of China’s entry into the World Trade Organization, and FedEx has long supported the rules-based trading system. Today, we remain active in many China-focused boards and business associations. FedEx has served on the board of the U.S.-China Business Council since 1996, including as chairman.
Beyond trade, FedEx is also committed to climate action and has pledged to make our global operations carbon neutral by 2040. This is such an important opportunity to work together with our Chinese counterparts to achieve meaningful results in environment sustainability. I have established a task force within FedEx China to lead this objective, and I am excited to bring our experience to AmCham efforts in this area.
With that rich history operating in China and experience advocating in Beijing and Washington for a stronger, deeper bilateral relationship, I am excited for what we can achieve through the AmCham China platform.
Vice President, Operations FedEx Express China
Koh Poh-Yian is the Vice President for China Operations at FedEx Express. As the head of FedEx China Operations, Ms. Koh is responsible for the strategic and tactical Ground and Gateway Operations and various initiatives in China.
Ms. Koh started her career with FedEx in Singapore. In 1994, she moved to China and led the company’s efforts to open the market, shape customs procedures, and support many of the FedEx strategic projects (i.e. Pudong and Guangzhou Hub), network, and service expansion in the country. During her 30 years with FedEx, she developed an impressive breadth of experience from her directorship roles in Hong Kong, Shanghai, and Beijing. Her contributions for laying the groundwork for FedEx’s continuous growth in China and the Asia Pacific have been recognized with several awards, among them FedEx’s most prestigious 5-star Award, of which she is an eight-time recipient.
She also holds an Executive MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University in conjunction with the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology.