PFA intensifies efforts to promote Asean as investment destination

With the economy in Southeast Asia seen to continue growing in the coming decades, the Philippine Franchise Association (PFA) expressed optimism that the region’s franchise sector will mirror this growth.

The PFA was given the opportunity to give a presentation about franchise opportunities in ASEAN during the World Franchise Council (WFC) meeting in Jakarta late last year. The meeting was attended by representatives from more than 40 national franchise associations around the world.

PFA chairman emeritus Samie Lim gave the said pre- sentation which highlighted ASEAN’s robust economy, the 6th largest in the world with an average growth of five percent annually. Lim said that over 50 percent of ASEAN’s population are under 30, higher than that of East Asia and Europe which is 40 percent and 34 percent respectively.

The opportunity to promote ASEAN as an investment destination for international franchise brands presented itself anew when the British Franchise Association hosted the spring meeting of WFC. As the Secretariat of the Asia Pacific Franchise Confederation (APFC), PFA was asked to give an update of franchising in the Asia-Pacific region and the report noted of the strong potential of ASEAN as an export destination for franchise brands from North America and Europe.

Lim also presented the emerging trends and opportunities in the region. In the area of franchise opportunities, food and beverage continue to dominate in all countries with coffee shops and restaurants lording it over all food concepts in the region. For the service sector, child care, education and after school services are the favored business concepts in countries with a younger population while elderly services continue to grow in aging countries. In the area of retail, convenience stores remain the strongest players.

For franchise trends, more advanced countries are using more sophisticated technology like virtual reality and augmented reality to sell products and services. Online to offline commerce is also used as a strategy.

Lim also noted that the composition of APFC is almost similar with the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), whose membership backbone is composed of ASEAN countries. He said the region is considered one of the fastest growing regions in the world accounting for 46 percent of world population and 26 percent of world GDP.

Aside from Lim, Mark Berrisford-Smith, head of Economics of HSBC-UK, also stated that emerging economies in Asia-Pacific remain the glimmer of hope amid the gloomy outlook of the global economy. Smith was a guest speaker during the WFC meeting in London where he gave a briefing about the prospects of the world economy. He commented that – with the Trump win and Brexit as the backdrop – the prospects of economies in the West do not look good. It is a different story, however, for countries in Asia-Pacific particularly the Philippines, Indonesia and Vietnam.

“That is why one of the highlights of our annual franchise show – Franchise Asia Philippines 2017 – this July are the franchise sectors in ASEAN,” said Alan Escalona, PFA president. He said PFA is busy preparing business missions to several ASEAN countries including Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar and Vietnam.

Because of its international linkages, PFA is usually given a complimentary booth in the franchise shows organized by its co-WFC or APFC members. “We take advantage of this opportunity to promote Philippine franchise brands in these franchise shows,” Escalona emphasized. He added that interested Philippine franchise brands who want to explore overseas expansion opportunities may get in touch with the PFA Secretariat.


-The Philippine Star - May 15, 2017

Tags: PFA, Franchising, ASEAN,
Date: May 18, 2017