Norwich-based Franchise Development Services (FDS) is expanding its global reach by opening new offices in Lebanon and Iraq.

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The franchise consultancy group, located in Surrey Street, is providing support to Mahmoud and Ibrahim Chahrour who plan to set up an office in Beirut this year, before kick-starting their operations in Iraq and Lebanon next year.

It comes after the FDS group forged a partnership with Rana Hafeez, who plans to launch his own franchise consultancy business in Lahore, Pakistan, after opening franchises across the country for fast-food outlet Subway.

The move is part of a long-term strategy by FDS to capture new markets in Lebanon, Iraq and Pakistan, as well as exploring opportunities to bolster its franchising presence across Europe and Asia.

Mahmoud Chahrour spent 21 years franchising for the fast-food retailer Subway across France, the Middle East, India and South Africa, and said: “I feel I have played a major role in the global development of Subway.

“When I first joined the franchise it was only at the very beginning of reaching its full potential.

“In working across the company in an array of different roles and eventually becoming regional director at Subway, I have witnessed the Subway growth from the start and I know what it takes to make a successful international brand.”

Meanwhile, Mr Hafeez added: “Franchising is booming in Pakistan, especially European brands wanting to come into the market across the fashion, clothing and cosmetics sectors.

My aim is to develop the franchising industry even further and I am already expecting a lot of interest and mutual work with the government of Pakistan, which will only increase opportunities.”

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