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IFA Addresses World Franchise Council and Franchise Asia 2011

IFA Chairman Jack Earle provides insights to international partners on what U.S. franchisors are doing in a tighter economy.  

Franchising World November 2011  

By: Scott Lehr  

Franchise association executives from 26 countries, who are members of the World Franchise Council, gathered in Manila, the Philippines in late September to share information and discuss trends in worldwide franchising.  

As a World Franchise Council member, the International Franchise   Association has been involved since its founding in 1995 and IFA President and CEO Steve Caldeira, CFE, is chairman of the WFC Strategic Planning Group.  

The WFC, a global organization of franchise associations, supports the development and protection of franchising while promoting a collective understanding of best practices in fair and ethical franchising worldwide. There are currently more than 40 country franchise associations that are WFC members. The group meets regularly at points around the globe and Manila was the latest stop. Areas for collaboration for the future include worldwide research projects, legislative and regulatory threats and opportunities, and the general promotion of ethical franchising worldwide.  

IFA Chairman Jack Earle (a McDonald’s multi-unit franchisee) and I also participated in the Philippine Franchise Association’s Franchise Asia 2011 which included its Annual International Franchise Conference and Franchise Expo.  

The conference included welcomes from PFA Chairman Robert Trota, CFE, who is also president of Max’s Restaurant Group and a master franchisee of Krispy Kreme Donuts; PFA Pres. Elizabeth Pardo-Orbeta, CFE, chairman of Wendy’s of the Philippines; PFA Chairman Emeritus Samie Lim, CFE, president of La-Z-Boy in the Philippines; and Franchise Asia 2011 Chairman Bing Sibal-Limjoco, CFE, CEO of Francorp Philippines. A highlight of the conference included a speech from Tony Tan Caktiong, chairman and CEO of Jollibee Foods Corp., one of the Philippines largest franchised restaurant   companies, which has more than 600 stores and over 50 international stores. 7-Eleven International Sr. Vice Pres. of International Operations Chris Tanco, who has more than 30,000 units operating in the Philippines, Japan, Thailand, Taiwan, South Korea, China, and Malaysia, discussed the company’s strategy for selecting the right partner internationally.  

The following day, the Franchise Asia 2011 Franchise Expo, which is produced by the Philippine Franchise Association, began with a session on “Challenges and Opportunities in the Developed Economies: U.S. and Europe.” The speakers–IFA Chairman Jack Earle, British Franchise Association General Director Brian Smart, French Franchise Federation Executive Director Chantal Zimmer and German Franchise Association Board Member Rolf Kirst–were cautiously optimistic about the prospects for growth in their regions for the next several years with debt and slowing economies the main factors in sluggishness.  

Scott Lehr is vice president of U.S. and international development for the International Franchise Association. He can be reached at 202-662-0785 or slehr@franchise.org.