International brands are identifying Hong Kong as the prime location to set up their franchise network in order to tap into the mainland China market, recent studies have found.According to the latest study by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC), which surveyed 70 international franchisors and 80 Hong Kong and mainland franchise owners, 87 per cent of the international franchisors questioned set their eyes on the vast mainland China market.
Hong Kong is being seen as the best springboard entering into the mainland China market – 90 per cent of the respondents see it as the springboard to the mainland market.
Coinciding with the rapid increase in wealth creation and middle class population growth, the Asian region is expected to post double-digit growth in franchising business in 2014-2019, outnumbering the combined total of franchise brands in the US, European Union, Australia and New Zealand.
In light of the tremendous industry interest, HKTDC will organise the first Hong Kong International Franchising Show in coming December, side by side with the World SME Expo which drew over 60 franchise brands and close to 10,000 visitors last year.
The show will serve as a marketplace to help franchisors and franchise owners from around the world to expand in the region. It will also explain Hong Kong’s role as a strategic partner.
According to the survey, the biggest challenges faced by international franchisors in Asia include: finding qualified franchise owners, franchise owner management, license application procedure, foreign exchange control, localisation of brand and products, and intellectual property/patent registration and protection.
Hong Kong provides the perfect solutions. First, it is an ideal testing ground or showcase for new business concepts or products. Tens of millions of mainland tourists visit Hong Kong every year to shop and to experience the cosmopolitan lifestyle the city offers. This enables Hong Kong to provide insight into the sentiments of mainland customers.
On professional services, Hong Kong has the unique advantage of being able to provide international standard services, as well as experience in business dealings in mainland China. Its service providers are readily available to meet the various needs of international franchisors. It also provides a large talent pool in terms of capable, trustworthy trading companies and brand managers: some 31 per cent of international franchisors polled have appointed a master franchise owner or an area developer in Hong Kong, and most of those who have yet to make such an appointment will likely do so.
Those enthusiastic local and international franchising brands and professionals will gather together at the Hong Kong International Franchising Show. The highlighted sectors are: food and beverage, personal services, education, business consultancy, retail, retail and catering supplies, as well as health and beauty.
It will also offer a range of practical seminars on franchising opportunities and latest market trends, as well as business matching and networking events. A wide range of franchise support will also be showcased.
The Hong Kong International Franchising Show will take place on December 3 to 5 2015 at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre, Hong Kong. Exhibitors and buyers from all around world are welcome, simply go to www.hktdc.com/hkifs and click “apply booth” or “visitor registration”.
Published: 23 September 2015
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