MIRF to build innovative retail and franchise industry

(From third left) Tan, Zamri, Sharan and guests at the MIRF 2022 launch event held at Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre. — LOW BOON TAT/ The Star

KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysia International Retail and Franchise Exhibition (MIRF) is expected to generate almost RM90mil in potential investments for the country this year, says Entrepreneur Development and Cooperatives (Kuskop) Minister Tan Sri Noh Omar.

He said MIRF 2022 is expected to receive 15,000 visitors.

Kuskop deputy secretary-general (entrepreneurship development) Datuk Zamri Salleh, in representing Noh, read out his speech and launched the MIRF 2022 held at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre (KLCC).

This year’s exhibition features over 400 booths across three halls with over 22,000sqm of floor space, covering a wide spectrum of the retail and franchise industry, with participation from more than 200 companies from 15 countries.

The foreign exhibitors included from South Korea, Singapore, Taiwan, India, Pakistan, Japan, Cyprus and the Philippines.There is also a dedicated section to promote halal products, providing a platform for quality business matching.

Organised by the Malaysia Retail Chain Association (MRCA), the three-day expo focuses on the theme ‘Retail and Franchise: Reboot’ and will run until July 16.

“As an agency that is responsible for the development of the country’s franchise sector, I welcomed the participation of Pernas (Perbadanan Nasional Bhd) in MIRF 2022 to promote its role, products and services for the targeted groups.

“Malaysia is a strategic location and capable of being the platform for foreign franchises in developing new products, as our country has the sustainable business environment and potential to be the franchise hub for Asean,” he said.

Noh said franchise businesses receive demand from the entrepreneurs and the public because of their competitive concepts and popular brands.

“With the franchise system, businesses can develop fast through the biggest networking services. This can help to speed up the domestic economic activities, especially the food and beverage sector, retail, education and services.

“I am confident that with the strong support of Keluarga Malaysia for local franchise brands, we are capable of penetrating and expanding more Malaysian franchise brands in the international arena,” he added.

He also said the government was honoured by the cooperation given by MRCA strategic partners to ensure the success of the MIRF programmes this year.

“Continue to support to achieve the higher goals to build an innovative and competitive retail and franchise industry.

“The Government will continue to support the development and growth of the franchise sector to revitalise the country’s economy and increase the entrepreneurs’ income,” he shared.

Zamri also witnessed the memorandum of understanding signing between MRCA and the Busan Franchise Association after the launch, which will foster collaboration between two regions in promoting the franchise industry. In addition, he also visited the exhibited booths and listened to briefings by the exhibitors.

On the sidelines of his visit at the booth, Unionet Technologies Sdn Bhd sales manager Wayne Lim Wei Keat also briefed Zamri on KettyBot and BellaBot robots.

Zamri (centre) checking on the KettyBot robot on the sidelines of his visit at the exhibition booth upon a briefing by Lim (far left), in the presence of Sharan (right) at KLCC.Zamri (centre) checking on the KettyBot robot on the sidelines of his visit at the exhibition booth upon a briefing by Lim (far left), in the presence of Sharan (right) at KLCC.

Lim told The Star that KettyBot was launched in 2020 by manufacturer Pudu Robotics Private Limited in China, with UT Robotics (the brand under Unionet Technologies) being the distributor for the robot in Malaysia.

“We have sold 30 units of KettyBot in Malaysia,” he said, adding that KettyBot is designed for food delivery and customers could also advertise about their products and services through the robot.

Meanwhile, the company has sold over 200 BellaBot robots from China for food delivery.

MRCA president Sharan Valiram, in his speech, said: “We remain investment-friendly. We warmly welcome franchisors globally to do businesses in Malaysia.

“We are your home away from home. This is in line with our aim to establish Malaysia as the franchise hub in Asean.

In the same vein, Christine Tan, the organising chairperson of MIRF 2022, urged all to take advantage of the exhibition “to do serious business” in Malaysia.

“We trust that MIRF is more than capable to create and facilitate business opportunities not only for the retail sector, but also provide a platform where business communities congregate for serious and vast opportunities. This year's event is also a historic milestone as the industry emerges from the Covid-19 pandemic.”

In his speech, Busan Economic Promotion Agency (BEPA) president Jin Yang Hyun said that MIRF 2022 has a strong commitment for the revitalisation of the retail ecosystem in Malaysia.

“Malaysia and Korea have a strong trade relationship.The trade relations reached $20bil last year. This is the greatest volume in the last 10 years,” he added.

Jin hoped that companies from both companies would reach fruitful business outcomes from the exhibition this year.

“BEPA is committed to help companies, including supporting overseas expansion (plans). I hope MIRF will be a helpful and beneficial meeting platform for global (visitors) to form partnerships and reach productive results,” he added.

Zamri (ninth from left), Tan (sixth from left), Sharan (seventh from left) and guests together with the MRCA 2022 corporate patrons.Zamri (ninth from left), Tan (sixth from left), Sharan (seventh from left) and guests together with the MRCA 2022 corporate patrons.

The exhibition is supported by MRCA corporate patrons, namely Maxis, Fusionex and RHB and supported by the Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation (Matrade), the Malaysia Convention and Exhibition Bureau (MyCEB), the Franchising and Licensing Association (FLA) Singapore, BEPA, the Taiwan External Trade Development Council and others.

MIRF is also proud to have Pernas as the gold sponsor; China Mobile, Infra Bunga, Shopline, UT Robotics and ZCITY as silver sponsors and Malaysia Airlines and Time.com as bronze sponsors.

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