Philippines Trade Mission Enjoys Historic Start
The latest franchise trade mission kicked off in the same ballroom where Japanese war criminals were tried after World War II.* Representatives of 14 brands attended a briefing at the U.S. Embassy to the Philippines in Manila before sitting down—and we do mean sitting—the next day to a full schedule of one-to-one meetings with qualified candidates.
Brands attending the Franchise Times/International Franchise Association/U.S. Commercial Service Franchise Trade Mission to the Philippines were: Edible Arrangements, Global Franchise Group (Great American Cookies, Pretzelmaker and Marble Slab Creamery), Jan-Pro, Panda Express, PJ’s Coffee, RadioShack, Russo’s NY Pizzeria, The Tilted Kilt, Title Boxing Club, Tutor Doctor, World of Beer and WOW Café. William Edwards of Edwards Global Services, along with his Asian representative Sean Ngo, represented six of the brands.
After a private briefing from staff, the delegation attended a reception hosted by U.S. Ambassador to the Philippines Philip S. Goldberg. The original guest list of 80 prominent business people was down slightly since many of the guests had to deal with the aftermath of Typhoon Glenda, which wreaked havoc on the city the day before.
Power was out in pockets of the city, affecting both the attendance at the reception and the ability of exhibitors of the Franchise Asia Philippines 2014 to ship their booth and supplies to the educational conference and expo. But the show did go on, as did the air conditioning in the Ascott hotel where the delegation stayed.
More coverage of the mission will be posted in future blogs, as well as appear in the September issue of Franchise Times.
* After the Fall of Bataan in World War II, the current U.S. Embassy to the Philippines was the residence of the commander–in-chief of the Imperial Japanese Army in the Philippines. Allied Forces and Filipino guerillas recaptured the compound and at the end of the war it served as the courtroom for the Japanese war crime trials. As a reminder of the embassy’s past, the original flag pole still sports the bullet holes from enemy fire, an embassy intern told us during a brief tour.