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American Express opens Shanghai Business Travel Center

Search ASIA Travel Tips .com 14 January 2003

American Express has witnessed a growing demand for corporate travel management within the People's Republic of China since it established its first corporate travel joint venture in mainland China a year ago. To better meet the demand, American Express announced today that it opened its Shanghai business travel center - CITS American Express Air Services Limited on December 18th, 2002 and that American Express has now received the necessary licenses to open a business travel center in Guangzhou.

CITS American Express Air Services Limited is located in the Bund Center, Yan-an Road. CITS American Express is the only travel management company in China to have received all the necessary licenses to offer travel management services and to issue both domestic and international air tickets in Beijing and Shanghai.

The Company also announced the appointment of Mr. Yam Goh to the newly created position of Head of Corporate Travel, China. Currently, Mr. Goh is the Managing Director of the Company's joint venture in Beijing and Shanghai. In his new capacity, Mr. Goh will oversee American Express' corporate travel operations and development in China.

Mr. Goh's appointment represents another step towards American Express' commitment to the corporate travel market in China. Since establishing its first corporate travel joint venture in Beijing, the Company is now servicing over 30 multinational and local corporations operating in mainland China, including Ford, AT&T, SAP, McDonalds, British American Tobacco, Budweiser, Corning, Veritas, Halliburton, China Netcom Corporation, Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley.

"Despite the currently turbulent global economy, China stands out as one of the few economies to witness strong and steady growth, and demand from corporations to manage their corporate travel services has increased significantly," commented Mr. Goh. "We estimate that the corporate travel & entertainment market in China is worth US$ 10 billion annually, of which $4 billion to $5 billion is business travel expenses. We believe that this market will continue to enjoy double-digit growth annually in the next five years. In addition, according to a recent study conducted by American Express on global travel trends, 35% of the respondents in China expected an increase in the level of their business travel this year. We anticipate a heightened need in China for the global purchasing savings and process savings, along with local market expertise American Express is uniquely prepared to deliver," Mr. Goh said.

American Express is one of the leading corporate travel agencies throughout the world in the area of travel and entertainment management services. The Company plans to expand its corporate travel business into forty other cities in China during the next twelve months as the market develops.

Mr. Goh added, "I am delighted with our progress in China, and our unique ability to service both multi-national and local companies. We have also received the necessary licenses to set up a business travel centre in Guangzhou and we plan to open that office in February."

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