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Philippine franchisers told to gear up for Asean integration

Publication Date : 31-03-2014


Homegrown franchisers will enjoy more opportunities for overseas expansion once the Asean Economic Community goes into full swing in 2015, but such ventures will also entail more preparation amid greater competition, Philippine government officials said.

During the induction of the board of directors of the Association of Filipino Franchisers Inc. (AFFI) last month, Department of Trade and Industry-Bureau of International Trade Relations (DTI-BITR) senior specialist Raymond Astillas said that, in the Asean integration scenario, there could emerge an “immense business and economic potential.”

Astillas said he “personally witnessed the huge interest in the Philippines both as an investment destination and a source of new brands for Asean markets” during meetings abroad.

In the same event, Sen. Paolo Benigno Aquino IV urged AFFI members to prepare well for the Asean Economic Community, “as only the strongest and most effective organizations can take full advantage of the opportunities” to be presented by regional integration.

After the initial wave of integration among big industries such as finance, services and tourism, that for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) will follow, Aquino said.

However, the senator noted that “while Asean would open the door to major business opportunities for all, Philippine SMEs would certainly come up against major challenges as well, such as capital sourcing, technology preparedness, and even management quality and skills.”

“Expect, for example, your people to be pirated by Asean companies, as all barriers will now be brought down,” he warned.
As for the 80-member AFFI, its new president and chief executive officer Victor M. Fernando of Big Apple Express Spa said the group would prepare for the economic integration by improving operational efficiency as well as promoting best practices.


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