The first franchise fair “Tunis-Medfranchise” was held in Tunis by the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Tunis (CCIT), jointly with the Association of Chambers of Commerce and Industry of the Mediterranean (ASCAME) and in partnership with UTICA. It aims at promoting and developing the network of franchise in Tunisia and bringing franchises (or future franchises) closer to the Euro-Mediterranean, Arab and Africain spaces.
It is also meant to better publicise the legal, financial and fiscal framework of the franchise activity through workshops as part of this event.
It will allow Tunisian and foreign companies to identify their future trade partners and establish lasting relations among themselves on a win-win basis, while taking into account the country’s economic and social reality.
This technique (franchise), quite common across the world, involves 15,000 firms operating in 110 sectors, pointing to the high interest shown by Tunisia which has taken today the first step in developing this technique. Over thirty national firms showed their will to adopt this approach.
CCIT Chairman Mounir Mouakher underlined the importance of franchise in establishing a new entrepreneurial culture, likely to boost trade activity.
To develop the franchise network, Mr. Mouakher proposed the creation of a Mediterranean franchise association similar to others already existing in Algeria, Morocco, Egypt, Brazil, etc.
On the agenda of this first edition, an exhibition of participating companies operating in ICTs, pastry, furniture, furnishing, ready-to-wear, etc. and individual meetings between businessmen.
A great first in Tunisia, franchise is developing a legal framework. In August 2009, the Tunisian Government adopted a new law to regulate domestic trade, which includes a new legislative framework for franchising – a concept that until now was only granted to businesses on a case-by-case basis. We expect that this new law will allow franchises to set up shop like any other business serving the Tunisian market, though the implementation decree, which is expected by early 2010, will provide further clarifications.
Observers say that this new law may be a signal from the Tunisian government that franchises will have a space in this economy. Although some issues still need to be clarified, such as the details of royalty repatriation, the law is set to encourage investment, create additional jobs and boost knowledge transfer. Many Tunisian business groups have already started looking for international franchisors and are confident the market exists for franchises to thrive.
It is worth noting that franchising has the advantage, compared to other more traditional forms of business, of experiencing a high rate of success. It is a proven model of the transfer of know-how, risk sharing and co-investment. Companies show an increasing interest in this formula. The main advantage, is that the franchisee, while being the owner of his business, and legally independent, benefits from the know-how and the reputation of a brand. He gains time and money. Recourse to the master franchisee per country offers solutions for the development of national distribution chains for world brands. The majority of the Mediterranean countries (Cyprus, Malta, Israel, Tunisia, Morocco…) have joined in.
Franchising is a commercial development strategy based on an interdependent partnership between independent commercial entities, the franchisor and the franchisees;
The franchisor and the franchisee commit themselves reciprocally in view of their common and mutual success;
To attain this objective, the commitments of both parties, throughout their relationship, are based on fundamental ethical principles;
These principles apply to the relationship between franchisor and franchisee, as well as to the relationship between master-franchisee and sub-franchisee.