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Franchising is the Key to Development

The franchising industry could prove to be a key link in the development of countries, given the right combination of private sector push and government support, a son of former Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad said here Thursday.

Mukhriz Mahathir, who represented his country in the 15th Philippine International Franchise Conference held at the Dusit Hotel Nikko in Makati City, said this was why Malaysia was committed to being seen and regarded as a “franchise-friendly nation.”

Mukhriz, chairman of the nongovernmental organization Malaysian Franchise Association, said in an interview that the lack of government support made franchising or any business venture a greater ordeal than it already was, which is why Kuala Lumpur had laid down from the start policies to promote the sector.

The third son and fifth child of the former Malaysian Premier, the 42-year-old Mukhriz has a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Sophia University in Japan and a graduate degree in marketing from Boston University in the United States.

“While franchising offers less risk compared to other kinds of businesses, it is still a difficult struggle for the kind of entrepreneurs who engaged in it — those with young businesses or who are first-time business operators,” he said. “That is why we have the kind of support programs that we have.”

“In the Malaysian experience, the government looks at franchising as a way to increase the size of the middle class, a means of doing away with economic disparities,” he added.

“For countries like Malaysia and the Philippines, franchising is an effective way to promote economic development,” he said.
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