About 60 foreign brands are seeking local partners or master franchise holders in the Philippines, which is deemed one of the best destinations for overseas expansion for franchising firms.
Samie Lim, chair emeritus of the Philippine Franchising Association (PFA), said in a briefing on Wednesday that the foreign companies would be in the country this month to showcase new concepts in food, retail and service industries at the upcoming Franchise Asia Philippines 2014 in a bid to break into the local market.
According to Lim, this year’s expo, reportedly one of the top franchising shows in the world, would host a huge international pavilion featuring concepts from Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Indonesia, Taiwan, United States, Hong Kong, United Kingdom and even from Sweden and Ukraine, among others.
Lim explained that the Philippines remained an attractive destination for franchising due largely to the country’s huge and young population, strong domestic consumption, a robust economy as well as its skilled, English-speaking labor force.
Lim said the entry of the foreign brands would also be beneficial to local entrepreneurs as the companies would be looking for Filipino franchise holders.
However, he called on the government to provide more support for the franchising industry and the rest of the micro, small and medium-sized enterprise (MSMEs) to ensure that local businesses would remain competitive amid the forthcoming Asean economic integration.
“This is the time that government should wake up and realise that if they don’t up the ante (in terms of support), the SMEs will suffer. The government has to remember that franchising is an industry that floats the underground economy, which previously were probably not paying the right taxes. But with franchising, they now have to pay the right taxes. And using these taxes, the government should be able to go back and help the retailers and franchisers,” Lim explained.
For this year, the upcoming Franchise Asia Philippines 2014, with the theme, “Conquering an Integrated Asean,” is set to help the local franchising sector become globally competitive and ready for an integrated region through the presentation of various strategies, solutions and opportunities to help the sector take the full advantage of the Asean Economic Community (AEC).
“While the AEC will pose challenges to the Philippine franchising sector, we believe that the opportunities far outweigh the challenges provided the sector prepares for this new chapter in our history. We have to raise our global competitiveness so that we can continue to grow—not only domestically—but even beyond our borders,” said PFA president Franklin Go.
“In fact, the AEC is an opportunity for Philippine franchises to expand in the Asean region and eventually across the globe.”
The three-day one-stop-shop international franchise expo is expected to gather more than 50,000 visitors to the SMX Convention Center to explore the myriad of business opportunities in the food, retail and service sectors being showcased by some 500 home-grown brands, both emerging and successful, and international brands that desire to penetrate the Philippine market.
Amy R. Remo
Business & Investment Opportunities
Saigon Business Corporation Pte Ltd (SBC) is incorporated in Singapore since 1994.