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U.S. Franchise Trade Mission to Southeast Asia, including stops in Manila, Philippines and Bangkok, Thailand:  


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The U.S. Franchise Trade Mission to Southeast Asia, including stops in Manila, Philippines and Bangkok, Thailand: is brought to you by IFA and Franchise Times, and is designated as a Certified Trade Mission by the U.S. Commercial Service.  From July 15 - 19, 2014, a select group of franchise companies will receive valuable briefings and research and the opportunity to explore growth in expanding markets in Southeast Asia.   Visits are planned to Manila, Philippines and Bangkok, Thailand.  The stop in Manila will coincide with Franchise Asia 2014. Itinerary items include country briefings with U.S. Embassy officials and U.S. Commercial Service officers, meetings with government ministries, site visits, one-on-one matchmaking meetings with pre-screened local investors.        



The Philippines, with its population of approximately 100 million, is one of the largest franchise markets in Southeast Asia.  The Philippines has increasingly become a consumption-led and service-oriented economy, and the franchise sector is a powerful tool for local economic development.  The Philippine Franchise Association (PFA) reports that franchising accounts for 15% of total retail sales, and estimates total employment by franchised businesses 1 million. 


The Philippine market offers solid opportunities for franchise operators: a large consumer base, the English language is widely used, a very strong cultural affinity with America and American goods, low labor costs, a large pool of skilled labor and management talent, and a strategic location in the region.  Foreign, particularly American franchises, are very popular in the Philippines.  Filipino consumers love products made in the U.S.  Not long ago, the number of U.S. franchises exceeded all foreign franchises combined, including home-grown concepts, by a 60%-40% ratio.  Currently, with the improvement of local franchise concepts, the ratio has improved in favor of Filipino franchises by a 45%-55% ratio.  New entrants innovate and adapt quickly to the market in order to succeed.  Foreign franchises in the Philippines usually partner with a Filipino group or individual appointed as its Master Franchisee. 


The best franchise opportunities are in the areas of food and beverage.  There is an insatiable demand for U.S. food outlets and food choices.  The majority of new franchises that opened recently are food and beverage served in various outlets such as kiosks, fast food centers, and restaurants.  With regard to U.S. food and beverage franchises, Filipinos are familiar with U.S. franchise brands even if they are not in the market, due in part to the large number of Filipinos who have lived in the U.S.  



Thailand’s franchise industry has been expanding approximately 20 percent annually and is expected to grow further.  This is mainly driven by young aspiring entrepreneurs who favor the franchise model.  Currently, there are 368 franchisors in Thailand. The number is expected to reach 460 over the next three years.  


American franchises have a majority share of the import market segment. U.S. franchises include McDonalds, Burger King, Starbucks, Au Bon Pain, KFC, Pizza Hut, Krispy Kreme, Baskin Robbins, A&W, Subway, Outback Steak, Sizzler, Dunkin' Donuts and Gymboree.  Most successful American brands have been in the food service sector, non-food brands, such as child development centers, and education and car-detailing services have also experienced success.  


As a global tourist destination, Thailand offers good opportunities for franchising.  The country’s growing affluence and a consumer base with a preference for the American lifestyle, will further enhance growth potential of American franchises.  In addition to offering products or services that are well-received by local consumers, a local partner is one of the key success factors.  


U.S. Franchise Trade Mission to Manila, Philippines and Bangkok, Thailand    

Who: 12-15 franchise companies    

When: July 15-19, 2014  

July 15   arrive Thailand/briefing/reception

July 16   Thailand GKs

July 17   transfer to Philippines/briefing/reception

July 18   Philippines GKs

July 19   Visit Philippines Franchise Expo, depart, and/or potential Gold Keys in Vietnam,Malaysia, or Korea 

WhereBangkok, Thailand and Manila, Philippines      

Why: To investigate partnership opportunities with master franchisees and area developers in the Philippines and Thailand.   


Large companies  $4,750   

Small and medium companies  $3,650 
Each additional executive traveling with a participating firm - $750 

Trade Mission price includes:        

•All in-country transfers and transportation to/from airport and special events (does not include airfare or hotel)
•Briefings, selected PR events and site visits, US Embassy hotel rate, refreshments/Coffee Breaks/Lunches during meetings, consultations, one-on-one meetings.

Take advantage of this opportunity to check out two important, growing markets in Southeast Asia. Here are just a few of the benefits:  
A customized schedule of one-on-one meetings with key partners/regional investors;  
 • Nationwide advertising, promotion and exposure for your brand in three countries;  
 • First-hand opportunity to assess the culture, political climate and market;
 • Special networking events with key government officials and local franchise industry movers and shakers;

 Download Application Form - Please download the application and email the completed application as an attachment to  If you submit an application and do not receive confirmation within 48 hours, please email Josh Merin at  

Download Trade Mission Flyer  


The application deadline is Friday, April 4th, 2014.    


US Commercial Service Commercial Country Guides:   


Thailand market overview  

Doing Business in the Philippines