FLAsia 2014 Exhibition Attracts Record Numbers

Entrepreneurs and prospective franchisees met face-to-face with representatives of international brand concepts for three days during the 9th annual Franchising & Licensing Asia (FLAsia).

The exhibition, presented by the Franchising & Licensing Association (FLA) Singapore and organised by BizLink Exhibition Services Pte Ltd, a subsidiary of Singapore Press Holdings, was held from 16–18 October 2014, at Marina Bay Sands Expo and Convention Centre in Singapore.

This event was the largest show to date, attracting a record 300+ brands from 22 countries and regions, marking a 20 per cent increase from the previous year.

One visitor, Ms Serene Ang, commented on the participating brands at the exhibition: “There are a number of exhibitors from various countries around the world, with several established brands available for referencing.”

At the opening ceremony of the exhibition, Minister of State for Trade and Industry, Mr. Teo Ser Luck, mentioned how franchising and licensing both continue to be vital in Singapore’s retail trade, as well as food and drink industries. In 2013, the nominal value added (VA) of both sectors were 5.1 billion and 3.3 billion Singapore dollars respectively, with the franchising industry alone accounting for approximately 1 billion Singapore dollars.

This year's show has seen increased interest from international brands seeking to use Singapore as a launch pad, with South Korea and Malaysia having their largest pavilion in FLAsia’s history.

With regards to the question of “Why choose to bring your local brand concepts to Singapore?” Ms. Yuseon Eom, Manager of the Food Service Promotion Team of the Korea Agro-Fisheries & Food Trade Corporation (aT), and organiser of the Korea Pavilion, together with the Korean Franchise Association (KFA), remarked that Korean franchisees are extremely keen to expand overseas and bring their brands to Asia. Their plans are to use Singapore as the hub of expansion.

A good example is Beesket from South Korea, one of the participants at the Korea Pavilion at FLAsia. Beesket offers a unique business concept which allows customers to select up to three different combinations of fruit and vegetable ingredients for their fresh beverage, made of 100 per cent natural juice with no sugar and additives.

Beesket recently secured a Master Franchise for Singapore, and exhibited at FLAsia 2014 so as to help to obtain more sub franchisees for Singapore and the region. Mr. Kevin Cho, CEO of Beesket Global Inc, commented that through FLAsia, they have garnered much positive interest for regional franchises, including – Malaysia, Indonesia, and the Philippines.

Organiser of the largest Malaysia Pavilion at FLAsia, Mr. Mohd Nadmin Bin Ramlan, Senior Assistant Director of the Ministry of Domestic Trade, Co-Operatives and Consumerism (KPDNKK) said that the Singapore market was chosen out of the other ASEAN countries due to the high purchasing power of its citizens. All the Malaysian franchise concepts that were showcased currently have no presence in Singapore, thus KPDNKK chose these brands for promotion. A number of enquiries had been received from international visitors and Mr. Mohd Nadmin is pleased with the results.

FLAsia 2014 has been the most exciting franchising and licensing exhibition thus far, showcasing numerous international business concepts. Executive Director of BizLink Exhibition Services, Mr. Chua Wee Phong is pleased that the many years of hard work has paid off that FLAsia has become the largest edition, and the largest event in the region. Mr. Chua says, “It’s our belief to make sure we bring in quality franchisees for the exhibitors, and we will do so continually.”