South East Asia

Key Socioeconomic Data:


  • ASEAN population exceeds 625 million people, projected to grow by 19% adding another 115 million people by 2030
  • 3 ASEAN countries in world’s top 20 in total population: Indonesia (4), Philippines (12) & Vietnam (13).
  • More than 40% of population lives in urban areas.
  • ASEAN has 3 of world’s largest cities (Bangkok, Jakarta & Manila).
  • Almost 100 Million visitors annually and increasing annually by almost 10%.
  • GDP:
  • ASEAN GDP approximately US$ 2.4 trillion
  • GDP Per Capita of US$ 3,800 (2012)

Additional Data:

  • Positive inflation trends with 7 of 10 ASEAN countries maintaining inflation rates below 5%.
  • Services sector becoming main driver for growth in ASEAN as countries shift from agricultural driven economies. Services sector accounts for the highest share of GDP in 8 of 10 ASEAN countries exceeding 50% of GDP in Singapore, Malaysia and the Philippines.
  • Sustained improvements in adult literacy rates with adult literacy in 8 of 10 ASEAN countries exceeding 90%.
  • Availability of affordable and productive workforce coupled with increase in availability of skilled talent identified as key advantage for doing business in ASEAN.


South East Asia including the 10 countries that make up the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) namely Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam is a culturally diverse and economically dynamic region with a population of approximately 625 million people accounting for almost 9.0% of the world's total population and a GDP of approximately US$ 2.4 trillion. If ASEAN were a single entity it would rank as 8th largest economy in the world.

Presenting at the 2013 IFA Convention a panel of experts identified 6 of ASEAN’s 10 member countries in the top 20 countries to franchise including Singapore, Indonesia, Vietnam, Malaysia, the Philippines & Thailand based on a composite index of factors including projected GDP, market size, legal concerns, ease of market entry, ease of business establishment & political risks.

Key Reasons for Franchisors to Look at Opportunities in ASEAN include:

  • Positive and sustained economic growth
  • A large and growing urban middle class with increased spending power and higher expectations
  • The rapid development of modern retail (malls & shopping centers)
  • The competitive cost of doing business
  • A highly productive workforce and increased availability of skilled labor
  • Favorable intra-ASEAN trade policies and platform to build regional scale

WFA’s presence in South East Asia provides its existing portfolio of world class brands greater access to South East Asia and the Asian region at a time when many franchise brands are recognizing that the continued emergence of an affluent and informed middle class across the region is creating a substantial opportunity for development and growth.

It also allows WFA to support the many successful home grown franchise brands across the region as they look to use international franchising as a means to expand to neighbouring countries and into other regions where WFA has significant experience and an excellent track record of success in bringing franchisors and franchisees together.

Why franchise in ASEAN?