United Parcel Service expects to have its Guangzhou and Shanghai joint ventures in place by June through a restructuring of its original plans, the company's Asia-Pacific vice-president Charles Adams says. He said while the company had established its joint venture in Beijing with Sinotrans-Pekair in June, complications had developed in its joint-venture proposals for Guangzhou and Shanghai. 'After the [September] 15th Party Congress, it was decided that a foreign company can only establish one joint venture every five years, and we can't wait for that length of time,' he said. He did not elaborate on the restructuring process. Ronald Wallace, UPS president for international operations, said UPS' business in China, which grew by over 20 per cent last year, was expected to increase by a similar percentage this year. UPS entered into a joint venture in New Zealand last week with Fliway Express and hopes to conclude another in Indonesia by February 26. The express company also plans to set up a joint venture in India by the end of the second quarter of this year, with the approval of the Financial Investment Planning Board. 'When we finish, our wholly-owned or joint ventures in Asia will be completed,' Mr Adams said, adding that 1998 would be a watershed year for UPS. Mr Wallace said India and China had parallel potential for business growth. Turning to the United States, Mr Wallace said the company had managed to capture about 95 per cent of the business it lost during the UPS strike last year. UPS had experienced its best fourth quarter in the company's history last year. It had grown 20-25 per cent despite the strike, which had not affected its international business. Asked about the Asian financial crisis, Mr Adams said the company had to monitor the situation and adjust rates where possible. The crisis had brought opportunities in US and Europe as they were likely to order more products due to lower prices, while intra-Asia trade would slow. He expressed confidence that governments of the affected economies would be able to engineer a turnaround soon. Mr Adams said UPS was strengthening its business through significant investment in vehicles and technology. The company, for example, invested US$1 billion in technology in Europe last year. Since the establishment of its Taipei hub, set up in May at a cost of $400 million, UPS could see tangible benefits in terms of security and speedier service. Using imaging technology at this hub, UPS was able to send documents to destinations in advance, speeding up customs clearance. Mr Wallace said UPS, which had invested $130 million in technology and vehicles in Mexico, was expanding in the market with its partner Challenge Air Cargo. UPS also plans to invest a further $250 million in Mexico in the next four years.