Franchise industry set for robust growth this year


MALAYSIA’S franchise industry is expected to see robust growth this year as reflected by its 24% expansion to RM10.7bil in 2002 from RM8.6bil in 2001, Malaysian Franchise Association chairman Datuk Adzmi Abdul Wahab said. 

In a statement in conjunction with the upcoming Global Franchising & Licensing 2004 (GFL2004) international conference and exhibition at Suntec City in Singapore from Sept 15 to 17, he said franchising had been identified as one of the fastest and effective mechanisms to produce more local entrepreneurs, particularly from among bumiputras. 

During the Eighth Malaysia Plan (2001-2005), the government aims to help establish 1,200 more franchisees. It nurtured 1,000 during the Seventh Malaysia Plan (1996-2000). 

Adzmi said the more successful Malaysian franchisors and licensees are likely to move into overseas markets as they capitalise on bigger opportunities abroad and GFL2004 would provide a suitable platform for them to meet potential business associates. 

“GFL2004 will help them attain greater global exposure. This annual trade event provides companies with an excellent avenue to increase their regional profile and export their brands globally,” he said.  

A Malaysian company that is seeking to have a bigger footprint on the international scene through GFL2004 is England Optical Group, the largest optical chain in Malaysia. 

Its chairman, Datuk Dr Chin See Keat, will also share his expertise and experience on how he had successfully penetrated the China eyewear market in 2000 at a conference held in conjunction with GFL2004. England Optical now has 13 eyewear stores in China. 

GFL2004, which is supported by the MFA and organised by Singapore Exhibition Services Pte Ltd (SES), expects more than 10,000 trade visitors while hosting more than 230 companies from 22 countries, including national groups from France, Indonesia, Singapore, Spain, Thailand and the United States. 

Among the Malaysian companies keen on further expansion is footwear retail franchiser Harian Shoes Sdn Bhd, whose affordable range of shoes saw the home-grown company recording revenue of RM20mil last year. 

Other Malaysian exhibitors are Maximum Recall IT, a learning centre promoting memory techniques, and Cambridge English for Life, a leading provider of English language courses. 

Brands and characters up for licensing include Vanity Fair, Arrow, B.U.M equipment, Pepsi, Hallmark, Blush!, Jeep, Rochas, Spiderman, Charlie’s Angles, Terminator III, Star Trek, The Simpsons, Felix The Cat, Zorro, Christina Aguilera, Eminem, and Beyonce. 

More information on GFL2004 can be obtained from www.gfranchising.com. – Bernama 

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