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.
This optimism was shared by Samie Lim, PFA Chairman Emeritus at the International Franchising Symposium held recently in London in time for the recent meeting of the World Franchise Council (WFC). The international gathering was organized by the British Franchise Association (BFA), the International Franchise Association (IFA) of USA, the European Franchise Association (EFF), and the French Franchise Federation (FFF).
Lim provided a glimpse of Franchising in Asia Pacific at the session on “The Changing Face of Franchising from Around the World’’ where he was joined by BFA’s Brian Smart, IFA’s Josh Merin, FFF’s Chantal Zimmer and EFF’s Carol Chopra, all franchise leaders worldwide. Lim represented the Asia Pacific Franchise Confederation (APFC) where the Philippines through the PFA currently sit as the Confederation’s Secretariat.
Taking advantage of the opportunity to promote ASEAN as an investment destination for international franchise brands, Lim highlighted ASEAN’s robust economy which is the 6th largest in the world with an average growth rate of 5 percent annually. He said that the region is considered one of the fastest growing regions in the world accounting for 46 percent of world population and 26% of world GDP. He also said that over 50% of ASEAN’s population are under 30 higher than that of East Asia and Europe which is 40% and 34% respectively.
Lim noted that the composition of APFC is almost similar with the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), whose membership backbone is composed of ASEAN countries.
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 amidst 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 Dr. Alan Escalona, PFA President. He also revealed that PFA is busy preparing business missions to several ASEAN countries including Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar and Vietnam.
Because of its international linkages and bilateral arrangements, PFA is usually provided with a 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,” Dr. Escalona remarked.
He added that interested Philippine franchise brands who want to explore overseas expansion opportunities may get in touch with the PFA Secretariat.