World Franchise Council Meeting Bologna Italy
The World Franchise Council (WFC) is the global organisation of franchise associations supporting the development and protection of franchising and promoting a collective understanding of best practices in fair and ethical franchising worldwide.
Its vision is to be the leading source of credible information for and about the global franchise community and preeminent forum for promoting collaboration and cooperation between national franchise associations.
There are currently 43 national franchise associations in membership, together with two regional franchise associations, the European Franchise Federation and our own region, the Asia Pacific Franchise Confederation of which FANZ was a founding member. The work of the Council is carried out by the various Secretariats that are filled by those national associations with both the time and resources to fulfil them and is coordinated by the General Secretariat, a role that FANZ is now in its third elected term of two years.
Its most recent biannual meeting was held in Bologna at the end of April and was attended by nearly 70 senior people representing the franchising sector from around the world. The exchanges of information by member associations are the key functions of the two day meetings and focus firstly, on updates of the economic and legislative issues facing member countries’ franchising sectors and secondly, on the ways in which associations are finding to better serve their memberships.
If you are considering exporting your system to any of the WFC member countries, the FANZ office has resource material and contact details that you can use as part of your due diligence. Some of the highlights from this meeting showed that franchising in India had shown a growth rate of 30 per cent over the last year, Russia and Argentina considered themselves to have great opportunities as a result of the current low cost of entry. The Philippines are still showing solid growth and their 2016 international franchise fair will be their largest ever. Malaysia showed steady franchising growth under a regulated environment that clearly defined the separation between a franchisor and a franchisee. If the Middle East is of interest to you, the United Arab Emirates is in the process of forming a national franchise association, which should become a WFC member by the end of this year.
There are two major issues that are concerning several countries and they are the move by some governments to interfere with the accepted separation between franchisor and franchisee businesses by holding them jointly responsible for franchisees’ employment issues and, coupled with this, the development of trade union collective bargaining for all franchisees’ employees within the system. As a response to this, the WFC is setting up a collaborative network with resource material on lobbying being used by associations currently affected, so that others with this legislation possibly being considered may use it.
The next meeting of the WFC will be in Jakarta in November. This will coincide with the Indonesian Franchise Conference and Expo, so attendance would be a good opportunity for anyone considering exporting to this region. Further information on stand space and special pricing for FANZ members will be available soon.