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Taipei chain and franchise exhibition showcases 250 brands

TAIPEI -- The Taipei International Chain and Franchise Exhibition began yesterday, with a display of hundreds of brands from home and aboard, the organizers said.

Companies participating in the trade show range from breakfast stores and restaurants to tea shops and retail stores that sell body lotions, books and jewelry, said the Association of Chain and Franchise Promotion Taiwan, which is co-organizing the event.

The services industry is an engine for Taiwan's economy, and chain and franchise operators have played a pioneering role in that industry, said Tom Hsu, chairman of the association, at the opening ceremony.

“A total of 2,100 chain and franchise companies have their headquarters in Taiwan,” he added.

The event, which will run through April 7, also represents an opportunity for Taiwan chain and franchise companies to promote their international presence, Hsu said.

Vice President Wu Den-yih also attended the opening ceremony and lauded Taiwan's thriving chain and franchise industry. He expects the association to continue its efforts of helping domestic companies in the sector, which will spur the country's economic development, he said.

The trade show, one of the biggest of its kind in Asia, features 620 booths, set up by 150 local and foreign companies that represent 250 brands, the association said.

One of the foreign exhibitors is the Canada-based Walnut Group, which manufactures candy machines.

This is the first time the company is exhibiting its machines — which carry M&M products — in Taiwan, said Naomi Stroud, marketing manager of the company.

“We're looking to set up 25 new dealers here,” she told CNA, adding that the company has a presence in 30 countries, including Australia, Canada, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand and Ireland.

Franchise associations from Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines, among others, have also set up their booths at the exhibition, the organizers said.

The event is expected to draw 130,000 visitors over four days, and foreign visitors are estimated to touch 300, according to the organizers.

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Vice President Wu Den-yih, right, talks with participants of the Taipei International Chain and Franchise Exhibition at the Taipei World Trade Center, yesterday. (CNA)

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