Mr. Dickson Low, President, Franchising and Licensing Association of Singapore
Mr. Chua Wee Phong, Group Chief Executive Officer, Constellar,
Ladies and gentlemen,
1. Good morning. It is my pleasure to be here with you at Franchising & Licensing Asia 2023. I would like to extend a very warm welcome to our international guests.
2. This year’s theme, “Paving the Way for Aspiring Entrepreneurs & Global-Ready Brands”, focuses on empowering aspiring entrepreneurs and brands looking to expand regionally and globally. In the next 3 days, business owners, entrepreneurs, and investors will exchange ideas and explore fresh collaboration opportunities. The exhibition is a valuable platform for knowledge-sharing, networking, and new partnerships.
Asia boasts a thriving Franchising and Licensing Industry
3. In recent years, franchising has been growing in popularity as a business model in the region, particularly in the food and beverage (F&B), education, and health & wellness sectors. In particular, it is one way for small and medium-size enterprises (SMEs) with limited resources to grow regionally or globally.
4. In the education sector, for example, Speech Academy Asia has successfully expanded its operations into countries in the region such as Indonesia and Brunei. Started in 2012 with a mission to equip children with public speaking skills, Speech Academy Asia saw the opportunity for international expansion and embraced franchising to grow its regional footprint three years later. Over the past decade, they have trained over 10,000 students and are continuing to expand across Asia.
5. Meanwhile, the global F&B market is projected to grow by 1.5 times in the next 3 years. The Asia Pacific accounted for 42% of the global F&B market in 2021 which is the largest contributing region. Our homegrown F&B brands are making their mark on the international stage and introducing Singapore's unique flavours to a global audience via the franchise business model. Some well-known examples include Killiney, the Hainanese Kopitiam which expanded into the United States in 2020; Ya Kun, which started as a humble coffee stall and is now well-known for its kaya toast made their first overseas foray into Indonesia in 2001; and pork rib soup restaurant, Song Fa Bak Kut Teh, which expanded into the Indonesian market in 2014.
6. Visitors to FLAsia can look forward to exchanging fresh ideas and forming partnerships with innovative overseas brands. Take GOPIZZA, a Korean pizza chain, as an example. By using a smart-AI-empowered topping table, automated oven and robotic food preparation station, the chain can make, bake and slice six single-serving pizzas in just a few minutes. These are all produced at perfect temperatures! By leveraging technology, this way of production saves labour costs and makes it more attractive and easier for potential franchisors.
7. For this year’s FLAsia, the organisers will hold a special Panel Discussion fielded by experts and representatives from the region. Participants will gain insights into key topics shaping the future of franchising – from the influence of digital technologies and evolving customer preferences to emerging market trends in Asia.
Showcasing of Licensing opportunities at Franchising & Licensing Asia 2023
8. Besides franchising opportunities, this year’s exhibition will also showcase the different licensing options. Two prominent merchandise licensing companies, Bandai Namco Entertainment Asia and Forward Creation, will be participating in Franchising & Licensing Asia for the first time.
9. Bandai Namco Entertainment Asia brings along with it a legacy of blockbusters from the gaming world, such as the iconic PAC-MAN, Elden Ring, Tekken, Taiko no Tatsujin, and more. Forward Creation, a company that focuses on the Korean culture wave, takes pride in serving as the bridge between Korean brands and their supporters in Singapore. It creates platforms for idols and brands to connect with their supporters through events like BTS and LINE FRIENDS pop-up stores. We can look forward to these companies opening up new opportunities for collaboration and innovation in the world of licensing.
FLA Singapore provides holistic support for companies to expand overseas
10. Participants, as you explore the various franchising and licensing opportunities to expand your businesses beyond Singapore and in Asia, you can also look to trade associations like FLA Singapore to be your partner for overseas growth.
11. In recent years, FLA Singapore helped Singapore delegations showcase their businesses in overseas franchise exhibitions in Japan and Vietnam.
12. Supported by EnterpriseSG, FLA Singapore has a digital platform on its website to facilitate business matching all year round. The one-stop online platform allows FLA member brands to showcase their franchise profiles, and potential partners to share leads and opportunities. In addition, job seekers can also find and apply for job openings at FLA member companies through the platform. To date, FLA Singapore has connected more than 350 leads from possible partners with over 100 unique companies.
13. An example of a company that has benefitted is Brotzeit, a German restaurant with a strong regional franchise footprint in Asia-Pacific since 2010. It is currently in the final stages of negotiations for expanding its brand in Korea, Hawaii and Vietnam. These opportunities came from leads at FLA events and the FLA digital business matching platform.
14. Furthermore, to ensure that businesses are equipped with the right skills and knowledge for internationalisation, FLA Singapore also offers Workforce Skills Qualifications Franchising courses. These courses are designed to prepare business owners and their staff on how to position their brands to potential international business partners and improve the management of their offshore businesses. I am confident that FLA Singapore will continue to support businesses well as they foster the growth of the franchising & licensing industry.
15. In conclusion, the thriving franchising and licensing industry in Asia presents immense opportunities for companies seeking to expand and access global markets. The Government, together with FLA Singapore, is committed to supporting companies in their quest to expand their global footprint. I trust FLAsia 2023 will spark many exciting collaborations and partnerships.
16. I wish you all a fruitful time at FLAsia 2023. Thank you.
 Source: Food And Beverages Global Market Opportunities and Strategies Report, The Business Research Company, 2022.