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Local brands eye franchise in China

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Several local brands are looking to enter the mainland China market through franchising, the Macao Trade and Investment Promotion Institute (IPIM) president told Macau Daily Times yesterday. After the opening of the three-day 2010 Macao Franchise Expo (MFE), Jackson Chang said many business opportunities were available, particularly for young entrepreneurs.
In its second year, the number of participants in the event increased by 60 percent, with companies coming from Hong Kong, mainland China, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan, Portugal and USA. Chang believes the numbers show a growing interest in the local market. “We have a small population but so many tourists; almost 22 million just last year,” he recalled.
The interest is felt mostly in the service and clothing retail areas, the IPIM president added. The introduction of more well-known international brands can “further promote moderate economic diversification” in Macau, Chang said.
Some companies are even willing to forego the usual licensing fee, he revealed. As such, it could be a “very good opportunity for the young generation of entrepreneurs, straight out of university, to develop a business,” Chang said. The operation of a franchise is a safer way to start, he said, because “the brand is already created.”
For overseas companies, Macau can also be a stopover before an expansion into the Chinese market, the head of IPIM said. In fact, he added, the SAR has become a platform also for mainland Chinese brands looking at internationalisation, especially in Portuguese-speaking countries.
In the first event, around 4,000 people visited MFE but Chang hopes even more young entrepreneurs and Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) will drop by this year. The Expo “could give SME an opportunity to expand their business into mainland China,” he concluded.

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