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Franchisers to get leg-up in overseas expansion

South Korea is poised to lend greater support for the overseas expansion of 10 local franchise chains, including well-known names such as Mr. Pizza and Cafe Bene to help bolster service-related exports, the Ministry of Knowledge Economy said Monday.

“Due to their standardized quality of products, service and stores, franchises are easy to globalize. Also, they are highly prospective exports drivers as they fuel those of construction materials, machinery equipment and food while creating more jobs,” Park Chung-won, head of the ministry’s industrial development office, said.

“We hope this project will contribute to expanding the country’s service-related exports.”

The selected franchises span mostly retail and food-services. They will receive coupons worth 10 million won ($9,190) from state-run Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency, which can be used for diverse services related to the firms’ offshore business, the ministry said.

The coupons will be redeemed through Korea Business Centers, KOTRA’s overseas branches, which will support the firms to conduct market research, receive administrative and legal services, find local business partners, hire workers and place advertisements.

The list of selected companies includes Kyochon Chicken, Mr. Pizza, Caffe Bene, Kraze Burgers and Leekaja Hair Bis.

Some of them are completely new to overseas business while others are seeking entries into fresh markets, according to the ministry.

Of the firms selected, six said they wanted to launch overseas operations in China, targeting rich local consumers. Others were eying countries such as Australia, the United States, Thailand, Vietnam and India.

Seoul started backing the globalization of local franchises in 2010 by selecting 13 to receive support that year.

As a result, Chaesundang, a local shabu-shabu franchise, and Ink 1009, a provider of office supplies, opened their first stores in Jakarta on Friday.

Ink 1009, in particular, has gained $500,000 in franchising in and material exports to Australia, Indonesia and the U.S. last year and is expecting to raise the figure to $2 million this year, the firm said.

By Koh Young-aah (youngaah@heraldcorp.com)
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