Speech by MOS Alvin Tan at 17th Franchising and Licensing Asia (FLAsia)

Speech by MOS Alvin Tan at 17th Franchising and Licensing Asia (FLAsia)

Mr. Andrew Khoo, President, Franchising and Licensing Association of Singapore,


Mr. Chua Wee Phong, Chief Executive, Constellar Venues,


Ladies and gentlemen,


1. A very good morning.


2. I am pleased to join you at the 17th Franchising & Licensing Asia. I can see the excitement to connect again after two years of virtual exhibitions.


3. Many of you have flown into Singapore specially for this exhibition. Very warm welcome to our international guests.


4. Over the next three days, over thousands of business owners, entrepreneurs, and investors like yourselves will be gathered here to exchange ideas and explore new partnerships. In fact, I understand that there is a 40% growth in number of exhibitors this year, compared to the last physical edition in 2019.


5. The theme for this year’s exhibition is “Franchising Reset: Seizing New Franchise Opportunities in Asia Pacific”. This theme is particularly apt as we transition to a post-pandemic era. The pandemic has accelerated the pace of digitalisation, and therein lies new possibilities for growth and internationalisation.


Impact of digitalisation on consumer preferences


6. With technology, everything is now available at a touch of a button. COVID-19 has accelerated this trend. Digitalisation has transformed the way consumers access and consume products and services. In Southeast Asia alone, 70 million more people, or 10% of Southeast Asia’s population, became online consumers since the pandemic began.[1]


7. This growing demand for digital goods and services in the region presents opportunities for businesses to access new markets and create new ways of doing business.


8. As we embark on franchising and licensing discussions over the next few days, I urge all of you to consider how we can strengthen our approach to seize these new digital opportunities.


Franchising and Licensing as modalities for growth


9. Franchising and licensing are key modalities for companies to pursue market entry and expansion efforts, allowing companies and brands to diversify risks and revenue streams. It is a proven business model which has allowed many aspiring entrepreneurs to scale internationally.


10. Take the ubiquitous bubble-tea for example. When we introduced Circuit Breaker in Singapore, we found out that Singaporeans really love their bubble tea. Many waited for hours queuing for their beloved bubble-tea ahead of the Circuit Breaker measures.


11. Many of these bubble-tea brands did not originate from Singapore. Rather, the brand owners adopted franchising as a business model to grow their brand presence worldwide. Their success is epitomised by their strong brand presence in Singapore and many cities around the world.


12. Many of these brands have decided to exhibit at Franchising & Licensing Asia this year. This demonstrates the brand owners’ continued confidence in franchising and licensing as modalities to take their brand to the region and beyond.


13. Other examples of companies successfully leveraging franchising and licensing for growth include Tung Lok Group, a familiar name in the F&B industry, and Speech Academy Asia, a public speaking school for both children and adults. Both companies have successfully expanded into Asia Pacific and are here today to continue pursuing new partnerships and opportunities.


Many helping hands for companies seeking to internationalise


14. The pandemic has been challenging for many of us, with various expansion efforts put on hold. I applaud your efforts and resilience in steering your businesses through the challenging times.


15. As we enter a post-pandemic era, it is now time for businesses to seize new opportunities for expansion, both locally and overseas. There are many helping hands for those seeking to internationalise.


16. For example, trade associations like the Franchising and Licensing Association of Singapore (FLA Singapore) support businesses by organising training, capability building, and overseas missions.


17. During the pandemic, FLA Singapore continued its active engagement and encouraged members to pursue novel approaches to grow amid global headwinds. For example, FLA Singapore launched a franchising course to equip Singapore companies and entrepreneurs on franchising and licensing know-how. FLA Singapore even organised two virtual editions of this exhibition. This is no mean feat, and I thank FLA Singapore for your hard work and resilience.


18. The growth in membership numbers, despite the pandemic, is testament to the good work done. I am confident that FLA Singapore will continue to support businesses and the growth of the franchising & licensing industry.


19. The government will also support companies in their internationalisation journeys. For example, companies may tap grants administered by Enterprise Singapore, such as the Enterprise Development Grant and Market Readiness Assistance Grant, as they pursue their internationalisation ambitions.




20. With borders reopening, opportunities for businesses to expand their global footprint have emerged. FLA Singapore has done well to scale up this year’s edition of Franchising and Licensing Asia to provide a platform for businesses to seize these new opportunities. I hope that many exciting collaborations and partnerships will be catalysed over the next few days.


21. I wish all of you a fruitful time ahead. Thank you.



[1] Southeast Asia, The Home for Digital Transformation report by Facebook & Bain.

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