The 12th Middle East & North Africa International Franchise Exhibition – MIFE 2014 has started today in Cairo.
MIFE 2014, the largest franchise exhibition in the Middle East and North Africa, has been inaugurated on Thursday in the presence of Dr. Khaled Hanafi – Egyptian minister of Supply; Dr. Ghada Wali – Minister of Social Solidarity; Hanaa Al Hilali – Acting Secretary General of (SFD); and Eng.Tarek Tawfik, Chairman of the Egyptian Franchise Development Association (EFDA).
The event is being held from May 22-25th, organized by the Egyptian Franchise Development Association (EFDA), a member of the World Franchise Council since 2005.
The size of direct investments for companies operating under the franchise system in Egypt is EGP 80 billion.
According to Tarek Tawfik, the exhibition is set to shed light on the opportunities in the Egyptian market and give a boost to national economy, as investors from the Middle East in Europe are attending the event.
“The great importance taken of businesses operating under the franchise system must be taken into account,” Tawfik said, pointing out that there are more than 600 franchises, both local and international, operating in Egypt. These franchises compete with one another for annual sales estimated at EGP 12 billion and provide approximately 800,000 direct jobs and 1.5 million indirect jobs from the food industries alone. Direct investments for these companies are estimated to be approximately EGP 80 billion.
50 exhibitors from Egypt and five foreign countries namely the United States, Malaysia, Greece, Italy and Germany are taking part in the exhibition.
EDFA chairman Tarek Tawfik said in a recent statement on the event “Despite the exceptional circumstances experienced by Egypt and the region, we (EFDA) are able to hold the annual franchise exhibition in a timely manner.
Tawfiq further noted that the 12th edition of the event will provide an opportunity for small investors to purchase a small or medium sized business, with the provision of soft financing provided by the Social Fund for Development, which provides funding and guarantees. A number of projects will also be on display in a special area of the exhibition.
EFDA represents and serves the franchise industry in Egypt, promoting investments through franchising, encouraging training, and working to solve common problems in the franchise industry.
A diverse set of participants are taking part in the exhibition, varying among others from food and beverage suppliers to information technology and educational services, real estate investors and marketing companies.
The exhibition also provides an opportunity for local businesses to expand both nationally and internationally, through the granting of primary franchising rights to visiting investors.
The statement mentioned that the African Development Bank provided financing of $40 million specifically for the development of small and medium enterprises based on franchises, with individual loans of up to EGP 5 million available carrying simple interest rates and a 5-year tax exemption for certain types of projects, with appropriate safeguards. The Social Fund for Development is managing the loans.
According to data from the association, local brands in Egypt account for 42% of the market, whereas 58% are foreign brands. Most are concentrated in the fields of clothing, fashion, hypermarkets, household products, furniture, leathers and restaurants.