KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 10— Rather than confining its business expansion aspirations to the local or ASEAN market, the Malaysian Franchise Association (MFA) spurred by the significant portion allocated to the sector in Budget 2021 is setting its sights on Africa, the Balkans and the Middle East.
Its chairman Dr Radzali Hassan said the initiatives outlined in Budget 2021 would also allow the local franchise business to sustain and remain competitive while recovering from the devastation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
He noted that the budget had taken into account the needs and sustainability of the business, giving MFA members the opportunity to contribute to the country’s economic recovery.
“MFA appreciates the RM25 million allocation for the micro franchise and low-cost franchise development programme. It gives hope to entrepreneurs that they could venture into the franchise business in the RM20,000 to RM100,000 scale,” he said in a statement Tuesday.
He said the MFA is also confident that the RM35 million allocated to promote goods and services produced by Malaysia under the Trade and Investment Mission will increase the export potential for local franchises particularly the halal and other franchise sectors, to ASEAN countries.
“With this allocation, the MFA hopes that the franchise sector can penetrate new markets such as in Africa and the Balkans as well as the Middle East,” he said.
Radzali said franchise entrepreneurs and MFA members could also capitalise on the employment recruitment incentive programme (PenjanaKerjaya); targeted wage subsidy programme; apprenticeship programme under youth development; and Human Resources Development Fund levy exemption for the tourism industry.
“Although these initiatives and programmes are short-term employment support from the government, they can help traders retain their workers for business continuity and sustain in the current difficult environment,” he said.
Meanwhile, he said MFA is also appreciative of the loan and financing accessibility under Budget 2021 for small and medium enterprises, and Bumiputera entrepreneurs including women and retirees.
“These loan and financing facilities will not only improve the entrepreneurs’ business cash flow but also help them to expand their businesses either through the franchise business model or other business models.
“This indirectly also helps to generate the economy of the local community, create employment opportunities and other business networks,” he added.
MFA was formed in 1994 to support the implementation of the Malaysian government programme to promote entrepreneurship through franchising.