Global Business Development

EGS Biweekly Global Business Newsletter Issue 23, Monday, February 8, 2021

By William (Bill) Edwards, CEO of Edwards Global Services, Inc. (EGS)

“Success isn’t always about greatness. It’s about consistency. Consistent hard work leads to success. Greatness will come.”, Dwayne Johnson

“Success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day in & out.”, R. Colier

“So often in life things that you regard as an impediment turn out to be great good fortune.”, Ruth Bader Ginsburg


Our biweekly newsletter focuses on what is happening around the worldthat impacts new trends, health, consumer spending, business investment and travel.  

HiiHighlights in issue #23:

  • Vaccine milestone as global Covid jabs pass number of confirmed cases
  • Daily cases of COVID-19 are currently falling across most of the world, and deaths….are also beginning to decrease
  • Which Covid-Related Consumer Marketing Changes Will Last Beyond the Pandemic? In the Articles and Charts section
  • Work-from-home isn’t going away: Only 4% of CEOs plan to add office space. In the Articles and Charts section
  • Lots of positive brand recovery news in the Brands section
  • A global risk assessment in the Articles and Charts section

We daily monitor 30+ countries, 40+ international information sources and six business sectors to keep up with what is going on in this ever-changing environment. Our GlobalTeam™ on the ground covers 43 countries and provides us with updates about what is happening in their specific countries.

Please feel free to send us your input and sources of information. Our contact information is at the bottom of this newsletter.

First, a few Personal Comments

The big news today is the growing initial vaccinations in many key business countries along with an apparent broad decline in the number of new cases. Business leaders are cautiously optimistic about the recovery of business in 2021. The International Monetary Fund recently projected the global economy will grow 5.5% in 2021 versus a -3.5% in 2020. The 2nd half of 2021 may see post-COVID-19 travel passports.

Vaccine Updates from Around the World

“Vaccine milestone as global Covid jabs pass number of confirmed cases: FT tracker shows rapid growth in doses administered around world — but warnings come of long road ahead.”, The Financial Times, February 3, 2021

“Daily cases of COVID-19 are currently falling across most of the world, and deaths — which had been climbing globally until late January — are also beginning to decrease…..this is the first time since the pandemic began where cases are falling in basically every region of the world at the same time. On a global level, virtually the only number that is rising is vaccine doses administered. And in some places — south Asia for example — there’s growing confidence that the worst of the pandemic may be over even before vaccines become widely available.”, Axios, February 5, 2021

Please see specific country vaccine news in the country section below.

Interesting Data and Studies

In our newest McKinsey Global Survey of more than a thousand executives from all industries, the outlook is still positive, though not quite as strong as in early December 2020. Majorities of executives continue to believe that conditions in their home economies and in the global economy will improve over the next six months.”, McKinsey & Co., February 2, 2021

Carlsberg predicts surge in demand similar to Jazz Age boom: World’s third-largest brewer expects ‘normal summer’ as lockdowns lift. Carlsberg is expecting a surge in demand this summer similar to a boom seen a century ago as more people are vaccinated and lockdowns lift, according to the Danish brewer’s chief executive.”, The Financial Times, February 7, 2021

Global and Regional Travel Updates

“Where Can I Travel Internationally and Do I Need the Covid-19 Vaccine? Covid restrictions for international trips are more complicated than ever. Before you dust off your passport, a few words of caution. THE COVID-19 VACCINES have arrived. Does this mean we’ll soon be free to roam the world, guilt- and hassle-free? The short answer is no. While an inoculation protects you from getting sick, it’s not yet known whether the vaccines will prevent an asymptomatic person from passing the virus to others.”, The Wall Street Journal, February 4, 2021

Healthy Passport Apps Under Development in Travel Industry: Travel technology companies are developing health passport apps to allow travelers to verify test results or vaccinations for international flights……SITA, a travel technology firm with its U.S. offices in Atlanta, said Thursday it has started trials of technology enabling airlines and passengers to share COVID-19 test results or vaccination history with authorities to meet government requirements. It has tested it with travelers to the United Arab Emirates and plans for a trial at Milan, Italy’s Malpensa Airport.”, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, February 6, 2021

“The future of business travel: Digital nomads and “bleisure” define the new high-tech take on work trips: The coronavirus pandemic served as a temporary kill shot to the business travel industry. A tech-savvy and adaptable hospitality industry is rising from these ashes in the remote work era.”, Tech Republic, January 29, 2021

Delta Air Lines Launches First Domestic Digital ID Test: As the COVID-19 pandemic changes the way people travel by air, possibly forever, growing attention is being paid to systems and procedures aimed at eliminating opportunities for close personal contact and the exchange of objects and papers that can lead to disease transmission.”, Airline Geeks, February 1, 2021

“Delta and Alitalia To Codeshare on COVID-Tested Flights: That gives customers the ability to produce a negative COVID-19 test before flying to avoid quarantine in either country. Effective immediately, travelers can book to fly on Alitalia’s dedicated COVID-tested service from New York’s John F. Kennedy International and Delta’s COVID-tested service from Atlanta’s Hartsfield Jackson International Airport with both flying to Rome’s Fiumicino Airport.”, Travel Pulse, February 2, 2021

Delta Plans to Bring 400 Grounded Pilots Back to Active Flying Status by Summer: Earlier this month, Delta’s senior vice president of flight operations John Laughter detailed in a memo to staff that the airline plans to return 400 pilots to regular flying status by summer 2021, so they are ready to fly again by summer 2022, according to a report from CNBC. ‘As we looked at ways to better position ourselves to support the projected recovery, we saw an opportunity to build back additional pilot staffing in advance of summer 2022 by bringing 400 affected pilots back to active flying status by this summer,’ Laughter said in his staff note, per the publication.”, People, January 28, 2021

Copa Will Become the First American Carrier to Have IATA Travel Pass: The International Air Transport Association (IATA) is partnering with the Panamanian government and Copa Airlines to trial the IATA Travel Pass – a mobile app to help passengers easily and securely manage their travel in line with government requirements for COVID-19 testing or vaccine information.

Australian PM’s New Hope for Country’s Airlines: Australia’s Prime Minister, Scott Morrison has announced that the country’s international arrival caps would return to a higher rate. However, the PM also argued that for the near future, the hotel quarantine process would proceed as before irrespective of vaccination process.”, Airways Magazine, February 7, 2021

“San Diego Airport rolls out on-site COVID-19 testing: Carbon Health, a major player in COVID-19 testing, will now extend its footprint to the San Diego International Airport (SAN). It’s offering “travel clearance visits” that include a COVID-19 test that is sufficient for domestic travel. San Diego joins other West Coast airports such as Portland, San Jose and Los Angeles that all offer similar testing.”, The Points Guy, February 6, 2021


Retail and fast-food workers to receive increase in minimum wage from today: The retail and fast-food award wage is now $21.78 an hour.”, Smart Company Australia, February 1, 2021

Restaurant owners increasingly optimistic about business this year, Deliveroo report says. 81% of restaurant owners are planning to hire more staff. Restaurant sector confidence has grown going into 2021, with hiring and building out a strong workforce becoming a major focus.”, QSR Media Australia, January 21, 2021

Temporary restructuring relief for small business directors: The Australian Government introduced insolvency reforms for small businesses that came into effect on 1 January 2021, including temporary restructuring relief. These reforms extend some of the temporary measures introduced in March 2020 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.”, News Hub Asic Australia, January 18, 2021

The three articles om Australia are compliments of Jason Gehrke, Managing Director of the Franchise Advisory Centre, Brisbane, from their February 5, 2021 franchise newsletter.

Mainland China – Chinese New Year is February 12th

“China Services Activity Expands at Slowest Pace in Nine Months, Caixin PMI Shows: China’s services sector expanded at the slowest pace in nine months in January as growth in total new business and new export business softened, a Caixin-sponsored survey showed Wednesday. The Caixin China General Services Business Activity Index, which gives an independent snapshot of operating conditions in the services sector, fell to 52 in January from 56.3 the previous month.”, Caixin, February 3, 2021

US fast food giants turn to the taste of Chinese: From Chinese burgers to ice cream doused in chili oil, US fast-food giants are infusing their offerings with a Chinese flair. McDonald’s and KFC have long localized their menus to appeal to the Chinese palate, but their latest takes on traditional dishes and ingredients seem to be causing quite a buzz, and not always the good kind.”, Shine, January 27, 2021. Submitted by Paul Jones, Jones & Co., Toronto

China wins a boost for international luxury brands: The COVID-19 pandemic has had sweeping repercussions on almost all sectors of the worldwide economy. The fashion industry has been among the hardest hit because it is, in essence, under the non-essential spending category. Yet there is light at the end of the tunnel — for some.”, Shine, February 3, 2021. Submitted by Paul Jones, Jones & Co., Toronto

China’s Car Sales Rose 25% in January: It was the strongest growth since September 2016. Retail sales of passenger cars rose 25.7% to 2.16 million vehicles last month compared with the same time a year before, the China Passenger Car Association said Monday, the strongest growth since September 2016.”, The Wall Street Journal, February 8, 2021


Iceland opens up after success of Covid testing regime: ‘Cautious steps’ will see return of personal training in gyms and opening of bars until 10pm. Iceland became one of the first European countries to start opening up society again after the second wave of Covid-19 as it reaped the rewards of having the region’s lowest infection rate.”, The Financial Times, February 8, 2021


“South Korea eases curfew on businesses outside Seoul: South Korea on Saturday eased curfews on more than half a million restaurants and other businesses outside the capital Seoul, letting them stay open an hour later, amid a public backlash over tight curbs to contain COVID-19.”, Reuters, February 5, 2021

South Korea Leads World in Innovation as U.S. Exits Top Ten: South Korea returned to first place in the latest Bloomberg Innovation Index, while the U.S. dropped out of a top 10 that features a cluster of European countries. Korea regained the crown from Germany, which dropped to fourth place.”, Bloomberg, February 2, 2021

New Zealand

“’Hard and early’ lockdown was the right economic strategy: Economist. Going “hard and early” with a strict lockdown to stop the spread of Covid-19 has proved to have been the best tactic for the economy, too, Infometrics chief forecaster Gareth Kiernan says. The economics consultancy has updated its forecasts and now expects GDP growth to accelerate to 4.6 per cent in the second half of 2021. Kiernan said the country’s economy had now almost recovered to pre-Covid levels. In the year to December 2019, GDP growth was 2.3 per cent.”, Stuff New Zealand, February 5, 202i, Compliments of Simon Lord. Franchise New Zealand

The Philippines

“This hotel in Metro Manila has multifunctional pods for safe outdoor dining, massage. Sheraton Manila is offering the first-ever luxury outdoor dining pod in the Philippines called “Vubble Pods.”, GMA News Online, January 5, 2021


“Singapore approves Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine in Asia first: Singapore has become the first country in Asia to approve Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine as it begins rolling out its immunisation programme to the wider population.”, Reuters, February 3, 2021

Our COVID-19 cases have been low since last fall — here’s what we’re doing right: Dr. Lim Hui Ling, 51, is the medical director for the International Medical Clinic in Singapore. Lim says going through the 2002-2003 SARS pandemic helped prepare her and other healthcare workers to deal with COVID-19. She also credits fellow Singaporeans for helping stop the spread of the virus by willingly wearing masks, social distancing, and using a contact tracing app.”, Business Insider, February 8, 2021

South Africa

South Africa halts AstraZeneca vaccine rollout: South Africa stopped the distribution of the AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine on Sunday, after researchers found that the vaccine ‘provides minimal protection’ against infection from the new strain first identified in the country, Reuters reports.”, Axios, February 8, 2021

United Kingdom

“Vaccines minister ‘confident’ everyone over 50 will be offered coronavirus jab by May: Nadhim Zahawi says that at one point on Saturday, the UK was administering COVID-19 jabs at a rate of almost 1,000 per minute. The pace of the vaccine rollout indicates the UK is on track to meet its target of offering a jab to everyone in the top four priority groups – about 15 million people – by the middle of this month.”, Sky News, February 7, 2021

Scientists raise hopes of March meetings and normal summer: The country could be back to near normal by summer, with people able to meet relatives as early as next month, senior scientists have said.”, The Sunday Times of London, February 5, 2021

NHS plans for annual coronavirus vaccinations: UK government aims to copy flu prevention programme as model for control of new variants. The NHS is planning a mass campaign of booster jabs against new variants of coronavirus as early as the autumn, in what the vaccines minister suggested would become an annual effort to prevent Covid-19 as the virus keeps mutating.”, The Financial Times, February 7, 2021

UK applying to join Asia-Pacific free trade pact CPTPP: The UK will apply to join a free trade area with 11 Asia and Pacific nations on Monday, a year after it officially left the EU. Joining the group of “fast-growing nations” will boost UK exports, the government says. The Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership – or CPTPP – covers a market of around 500 million people.”, BBC News, January 31, 2021

United States

“Johnson & Johnson Asks U.S. Regulators for Emergency Approval of Its Covid-19 Vaccine: The potential third vaccine could jump-start a slower-than-expected vaccination rollout…. J&J’s shot wouldn’t only boost the overall supply of Covid-19 vaccine doses, but also could simplify vaccinations for many because it is given in one dose.”, The Wall Street Journal, February 4, 2021

“Business Travel Deductions in the Post COVID-19 World: Tax expert Bonnie Lee offers some tips on what to claim, what not to claim and what’s changing on 2020 taxes.”, Business Traveler, January 27, 2021

“Technology Adoption: This visualisation details the rates of diffusion and adoption of a range of technologies in the United States, measured as the percentage of US households with access or adoption over time.”, Our World In Data, February 2021

Brand News

’We’re delivering iconic pizzas and blockbuster moments’: Pizza Hut talks digital. Last year, Pizza Hut decided to launch its first global campaign in 20 years to celebrate the 40th anniversary of its iconic Pan pizza, delivering a digital-first campaign in 55 markets around the world and declaring October ‘Global Pizza Month’. This campaign also saw Pizza Hut use its ‘now that’s delivery’ brand story globally for first time, after seeing how successful the message was in the UK alongside the restaurant chain’s ambassador character, Parker.”, MobileMarketing, February 4, 2021

What Lies Ahead for Restaurant Franchising: Franchise experts weigh in on the opportunities for the industry in a post-pandemic environment. big reason for many quick serves to be excited is the state of franchising. All signs point to franchises surviving the pandemic better than others, and there is significant potential in franchising moving forward; economic downturns typically lead to more people looking for a second career, and would prefer the safety net of a proven concept.”, QSR Magazine, January 29, 2021

Chipotle’s Recovery Has Come From Its Digital Business. Here’s How Operations Kept Up. The company announced its Q4 results Tuesday afternoon, which included a comp sales increase of 5.7%, a revenue increase of 11.6% and digital sales growth of 177.2%. This is compared to Q2–in the depths of government-mandated shutdowns and unprecedented consumer anxiety–when comp sales dropped nearly 10%.”, Forbes, February 3, 2021

This Chicken Chain Is Opening 100 New Locations This Year: Church’s credits its success to strong delivery sales and a mega successful chicken sandwich….. A Southern chain with a fried chicken legacy spanning almost seven decades is planning a major expansion this year as it rides the momentum of the chicken category.”, Eat This, Not That, February 2, 2021

Everyone Wants Sushi to Go, and It’s Saving Some Restaurants: Eateries and grocers are selling more takeaway sushi during the pandemic, while supermarkets rush to train chefs. Sushi was the most searched takeout cuisine on restaurant-reservation platform Tock during the last three months of 2020.”, The Wall Street Journal, February 6, 2021

How Two Franchisees Are Affected by Covid, and How They’re Responding: We asked a wide range of multi-unit franchisees about the biggest impacts Covid-19 has had on their business, how they’ve responded, and which changes they think will be permanent. This week we hear from a longtime restaurateur Del Taco operator and a 13-year franchisee of The Learning Experience.”, Franchising. Com. February 8, 2021

Articles and Charts About Doing Business in The Times Of COVID-19 and Beyond

“2021 International Development Goes Online in the Pandemic: 2020 has been a challenging year for the entire global franchise community as the Covid-19 crisis has changed how we seek new international licensees. International travel to countries stopped in May. To meet new licensee candidates, we had to resort to videoconferences. Due diligence on candidates became remote. Discovery days to have candidates meet the franchisor team and see face-to-face the resources the franchisor would provide either did not happen in 2020 or were done virtually.”, article by William Edwards, CEO of Edwards Global Services, Inc. (EGS), February 2021

“Expanding Your Business Internationally in 2021: If you have been thinking about expanding your business internationally, the decision to move overseas is both challenging and rewarding. Whether it has always been part of your long-term business plan or you are responding to a current international opportunity, there are critical considerations you need to make for your project to be successful.”, ArtOne Translations by Olena Polissky, Vancouver, January 29, 2021

“Which Covid-Related Consumer Marketing Changes Will Last Beyond the Pandemic? Looking at what’s changed in 2020 because of Covid – and what changes might be permanent – let’s start with the biggest driver of economic activity: consumers. A majority of the more than 2,000 people surveyed by Jones Lang LaSalle said they want to continue working away from the office at least two days a week; only 26% want to do it full-time after the pandemic passes.”,, Darrell Johnson, CEO of FRANdata, February 2021

Work-from-home isn’t going away: Only 4% of CEOs plan to add office space: Once the vaccine is fully rolled out, we’ll find out what the future of remote work is. To get a sense of where we’re headed, Fortune conducted a survey of CEOs in collaboration with Deloitte.”, Fortune, February 4, 2021

“A Global Risk Assessment of 2021 And Beyond: Risk is all around us. After the events of 2020, it’s not surprising that the level and variety of risks we face have become more pronounced than ever. Every year, the World Economic Forum analyzes the top risks in the world in its Global Risks Report. Risks were identified based on 800+ responses of surveyed leaders across various levels of expertise, organizations, and regional distribution.”, Visual Capitalist, January 25, 2021

“Mapping Global Income Support During COVID-19: Income loss has impacted many during the COVID-19 pandemic. Unemployment, reduced hours, office closures, and business shutdowns have prompted the need for mass income support. Income support, in this case, is defined as governments broadly covering lost salaries, or providing universal basic income or direct payments to people who have lost their jobs or cannot work. Levels of income support are changing over time.”, Visual Capitalist and Our World In Data, January 26, 2021

“The UN projects that the global population increases from a population of 7.7 billion in 2019 to 11.2 billion by the end of the century. By that time, the UN projects, fast global population growth will come to an end.”, Our World In Data, November 2019

Business cards are going online in Asia: But traditionalists miss the feel of paper and ink. Networking is difficult when white-collar workers have fled to home offices, business lunches have been cancelled and conferences have migrated online. Orders for business cards from Vistaprint, a multinational printing company, plummeted by 70% in late March and early April and have yet to recover fully.”, The Economist, February 6, 2021

Who We Are and How We Help Companies ‘Go Global’ Successfully

Edwards Global Services, Inc. (EGS) provides a complete International solution for U.S. businesses Going Global. From initial global market research and country prioritization, to developing new international markets, providing in-country operations support and problem solving. around the world. Our U.S. based executive team has experience living and working in many countries. Our Associate network on the ground overseas covers 40+ countries.

Founded in 2001, Edwards Global Services, Inc. (EGS) takes businesses global and currently has activity in 25 countries.  Our Clients are consumer-faced brands.  Edwards Global Services, Inc. (EGS) has twice received the U.S. President’s Award for Export Excellence.

Find out more about the services we provide companies Going Global at:

Download our 4th quarter 2020 GlobalVue™ 40 country ranking chart at this link:

William Edwards, CFE, is CEO and Global Advisor of Edwards Global Services (EGS). He has 46 years of international operations, development, executive and entrepreneurial experience and has lived in 7 countries. With experience in the franchise, oil and gas, information technology and management consulting sectors, he has directed projects on-site in Alaska, Asia, Europe and the Middle and Near East.  Mr. Edwards advises a wide range of companies on early to long term global development of their brands.

For market research, operations and development support on taking your business global successfully contact Mr. Edwards at or +1 949 224 3896. 

Comments are closed.

©2013 - 2024 GeoWizard Inc. All Rights Reserved.