MANILA: About 60 international brands want to establish franchise operations in the Philippines to gain from its economic growth and next year's evolution of ASEAN into a full economic community, the Philippine Franchise Association (PFA) has said.

The global brands are expected to attend a franchise expo to be hosted in the country from July 16 to 20 and they include regional brands as well as others from the UK, the US and elsewhere, The Philippine Star reported.

PFA chairman Alan Escalona said the organisation would like to help franchise companies to prepare for ASEAN integration in 2015, which aims to turn the ten-member trade organisation into a single-market economy allowing the free movement of goods, services, capital, investment and skilled labour.

"Instead of having a clientele 100m Filipinos, all of a sudden these companies will have 600m clientele," he said.

The Franchise Asia Philippines 2014 International Franchise Expo will include nine brands from Korea, ABS-CBN news reported, as well as 12 each from Indonesia, Malaysia and the US plus two brands each from the UK and Hong Kong.

It is thought others will include Japanese convenience store chain Lawson, Canadian burger chain Triple O and the Alfa Mart supermarket group of Indonesia.

The franchise expo will also provide an opportunity for Filipino companies to learn how to adapt and become globally competitive, the PFA expected.

PFA chairman emeritus Samie Lim said the Philippines is one of the top three franchising locations in the world and its small retailers need to become competitive.

In comments reported by the Business Mirror, he said: "Because of the AEC [ASEAN Economic Community], a lot of foreign establishments are coming in with thousands of units all over the world, and our small mom-and-pop stores think they can compete. That's not going to happen if we're not globally competitive."

Data sourced from The Philippine Star, ABS-CBNnews, Business Mirror; additional content by Warc staff