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Reuters-Jacky Maeder planning to op

Subject: Reuters-Jacky Maeder planning to open in  Burma

By Kristina Zetterlund
08:30 a.m. Nov 03, 1998 Eastern

By Kristina Zetterlund

HONG KONG, Nov 3 (Reuters) - Swiss-based forwarding and logistics company
Jacky Maeder, said on Tuesday it plans to expand its operations in China,
opening up an office in Qingdao in December this year and one in Xian in
March, 1999.

Jacky Maeder, a unit of Swiss SAirGroup (SWSZn.S), has offices in Shanghai,
Beijing, Guangzhou and Dalian and expects to be fully licensed in China by
end 1999.

``There (in China) we will try to grow about 20 to 30 percent per year,''
Andreas Speiser, Jacky Maeder's Managing Director for Asia Pacific, told
Reuters in a telephone interview. ``We are very small at the moment so the
potential is quite big for us.''

Jacky Maeder's volume of Chinese exports had increased by nearly 20 percent
this year,  but imports were relatively stable, Speiser said.

In most Asian countries, imports were hit by the region's financial crisis
and it might take two to three years for regional cargo traffic to recover.
But Speiser said none of Jacky Maeder's Asia businesses were operating at a

``They (the customers) have a lot of stocks so it's not anticipated they
will place big orders,'' Speiser said.

Hong Kong air freight exports have dropped by 10 percent from last year but
Speiser said Jacky Maeder's export volumes were largely unchanged.

For imports, Hong Kong as well as Jacky Maeder have suffered a 15 percent
decline in volumes.

``We noticed in our business a 15 percent decrease compared to last year,''
he  said. ``Most noticably are consumer goods which have declined up to 35

``Maybe we'll see another drop of about five percent in the next three to
six months,'' Speiser said.

Jacky Maeder said it reduced its staff in Hong Kong by 12 percent to 66
employees in October and might cut by another five percent in 1999.

It also cut back in Taiwan, South Korea and Thailand, but except for Hong
Kong  the company had no plans for further downsizing in Asia and in fact
hopes to enter new markets.

``We are planning to open up in Indonesia, we're trying to do something in
Burma (Myanmar) and in the Philippines.''

``We will probably acquire a company (in the Philippines),'' Speiser said,
adding talks were under way with a Philippine freight forwarder about a
possible acquisition with the aim of starting business in second half of

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