"Year 2014 is the time for Vietnam to fully open up the retail market, and accordingly, commercial franchises will bloom in Vietnam," said Vo Tan Thanh, Director of Ho Chi Minh City Branch of Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI- HCM).

Thanh made the remarks at "Exchange and Share Experience about Franchising between Vietnam and Thailand" meeting co-organised by the VCCI-HCM and Kenan Institute Asia (Thailand) in HCM City.

The Vietnam Business Forum Magazine (VBF) quoted Thanh as saying that franchise has been becoming a general trend, an optimal choice and business opportunities for businesses as well as individuals who want to apply forms of franchising in Vietnam – a broad market of 90 million people.

Economic crisis have been affecting most businesses and Vietnam. The tough economic period creates favourable conditions for franchise development. Economic recession slows down the stock and real estate markets; as a result, enterprises and individuals seek safer investment such as the franchising model. The fact that 90 percent of franchise businesses in 110 countries gain much profit even in times of economic fluctuation expressed the efficiency of this potential investment model.

According to statistics from the Ministry of Industry and Trade, as of April, 2014, Vietnam, in particular, has had over 120 international brands obtaining franchise registration; in which the average annual growth rate is over 30 percent with annual sales of over 30 million USD.

The presence of foreign brands not only creates opportunities for domestic consumers to access to high quality goods and services, but also creates competitive pressures pushing domestic enterprises to constantly innovate to effectively meet increasing needs and requirements of consumers.

Sompong Nopsuvan, from the Thai Ministry of Business Development Department, Thai Ministry of Commerce, said cooperation on franchises between Vietnam and Thailand still holds high potential. Most Thai business delegations to Ho Chi Minh City this time are famous franchise brands operating in the field of food and beverage, healthcare, education and training, services and restaurants. Apart from meeting and directly exchanging with Vietnamese investors, Thai enterprises hope to gather more information about the Vietnamese market and partners, share experiences, advice and cooperate in the field of franchise.

At the meeting, trade experts from Vietnam and Thailand have shared valuable experience in franchising for businesses. Wiwat Chutiwanichayakul, Senior Consultant in Business & Economics Development Programme, Kenan Institute Asia assessed: "With these unique advantages, and high safety, more and more Vietnamese enterprises actively take advantage of franchises to leverage market development and enhance the added value of goods, bring economic benefits to enterprises. And this is also the direction of the majority of enterprises in the context of global economic fluctuation".-VNA