Over 20 local brands eye overseas expansion

Louella Desiderio - The Philippine Star
Over 20 local brands eye overseas expansion
Sam Christopher Lim

MANILA, Philippines — Over 20 Filipino brands intend to expand and bring their products and services overseas, according to the Philippine Franchise Association (PFA).

In a briefing, PFA chairman Sam Christopher Lim said up to 25 local brands want to expand beyond the Philippines and go international.

He said there are already around 20 local brands that have set up their presence overseas.

While there are local brands looking to do business beyond the Philippines, he said it is difficult to set a timeline as there are challenges in setting up operations overseas.

Joey Garcia, chair of Franchise Asia Philippines 2024, said bringing brands overseas through franchising is different from expanding locally.

When expanding overseas, he said it is ideal for brands to have a master licensee in the new market.

“But it’s very difficult to find the right master licensee or master franchisee. That’s the biggest challenge that we face,” he said.

He said brands need to know the dynamics of the market they want to enter.

While the PFA is encouraging Filipino brands to expand not just within the country but also overseas, Sherill Quintana, who serves as chair of the Council of Past Presidents and director for membership of the PFA, said brands in the franchising sector will need government support.

Lim said the Department of Trade and Industry has been assisting in terms of promoting the sector, but the franchise industry would still need financial support to participate in trade shows.

“Financial is what’s lacking. I think at the end of the day, we need financial support to join all these shows  because it is costly (to participate in) these shows  and some of our brands cannot afford it yet,” he said.

He said foreign brands like those from Thailand were able to participate in PFA’s Franchise Asia Philippines Expo held from April 12 to 14, with the help of the Thai government which provided subsidies for the pavilion.

“That’s what we lack. So it’s something we’re trying to get,” he said.

Lim said there are currently around 1,800 to 2,000 franchise brands in the country.

Sen. Mark Villar, who serves as chairperson of the Senate committee on trade commerce and entrepreneurship, said during the expo that 90 percent of franchises in the country are local brands, but international brands are also entering the Philippine market.

In 2022 alone, he said the industry contributed 7.8 percent to the country’s gross domestic product and created around two million direct and indirect jobs.

Franchise Asia Philippines, the premier event organized by the PFA, aims to promote franchising as a way to create businesses and jobs.

This year’s expo showcased over 700 brands, with international exhibitors from Thailand, Singapore, South Korea and the US.

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