SINGAPORE - An annual trade show that brings together the franchising and licensing community kicked off on Wednesday (Nov 18), going virtual for the first time in its 15-year history.
Organised by Sphere Exhibits, the Franchising and Licensing Asia (FLA) exhibition will bring businesses, entrepreneurs and investors from countries such as China, South Korea, Japan and the United States.
President of FLA Singapore Andrew Khoo said: "Having a virtual show opens up possibilities that never existed before.
"We are no longer restricted by geography, as the entire world is now the target audience."
Some brands looking to expand their franchise network include European yogurt brand Yole, French contemporary furniture manufacturer Gautier and Singapore restaurant operator Tung Lok Group.
This year's iteration has 53 exhibitors and 77 international brands participating.
Businesses hail from the food and beverage, beauty and wellness, and health and fitness sectors, among others.
"Franchising and licensing are key modes of internationalisation that can help companies capture growth opportunities, expand and diversify revenue streams.
"This is critical in making businesses more resilient to the unforeseen uncertainties caused by the pandemic," said Minister of State for Trade and Industry Low Yen Ling.
Noting that the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership signed on Sunday will smoothen the trade in goods and services and the flow of foreign investments, she hoped that these advantages would usher in more franchising and licensing opportunities for home-grown companies.
During the three-day trade show, participants will be able to attend webinars on intellectual property and the legal aspects of franchising.
Other topics that will be discussed include food and beverage trends, pitfalls to avoid when signing a franchise contract and reasons for investing in a franchise during a pandemic.
Attendees who have queries about franchising and licensing can pose them to brand representatives via live text and video chats during the virtual event. Attendance is free.
After the event, webinars will be recorded and available to attendees on the event's website until Dec 20.
Sphere Exhibits is a wholly owned subsidiary of Singapore Press Holdings.