Global Business Development

EGS Biweekly Global Business Newsletter Issue 25, Monday, March 8, 2021

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

“Dare mighty things.”, Theodore Roosevelt. This was in a coded message on the main decent parachute for the NASA’s Perseverance Mars rover when it landed successfully on March 2, 2021

 “The secret of change is to focus all your energy not on fighting the old but on building the new.” — Socrates, father of Western philosophy

“The value of an idea lies in the using of it.” — Thomas Edison, co-founder of General Electric 


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

Highlights in issue #25:

  • Global real GDP growth in 2021 is expected to be 5.3%…..The global recovery is expected to continue in 2022 with real GDP growth of around 4%.
  • More than 299 million (vaccine) doses have been administered across 111 countries, but there is a mixed message in several countries that are being slow to vaccinate their populations.
  • What’s Next For Small Businesses? 4 Trends And Predictions For 2021 And Beyond
  • Milestone: All Apple U.S. stores are back open and Disneyland and other California theme parks can reopen April 1
  • The future of work after COVID-19: A new McKinsey study
  • Chile is leading Latin America in vaccinations
  • Brand News: updates on Carl’s Jr®, Lift Brands®, P.J.’s Coffee®, Sola® Salon Studios and Walk-On’s Sport Bistreaux®

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

‘Dare mighty things” is a great motto for the future of the world. Global business sentiment is rising as proven vaccines penetrate over 111 countries. Global GDP is projected to grow 5.3% in 2021. Global travel is still somewhat mixed with talk of multiple travel vaccine passports. California theme parks are reopening after a year of closures and that is probably the best news for the 25th issue of our biweekly global business update newsletter started way back on April 6, 2020.

Interesting Data and Studies

The future of work after COVID-19: The pandemic accelerated existing trends in remote work, e-commerce, and automation, with up to 25 percent of workers than previously estimated potentially needing to switch occupations.”, McKinsey, February 18, 2021

Global real GDP growth in 2021 is expected to be 5.3% (with a plausible baseline forecast range of 4.3–6.3%). The global recovery is expected to continue in 2022 with real GDP growth of around 4%. Major vaccination campaigns are in progress, and vaccination rates sufficient for herd immunity are likely to be attained in advanced economies in q3–q4 2021, allowing most social distancing restrictions to end by the end of 2021 and leading to a strong economic rebound in the second half of 2021.”, Euromonitor, March 8, 2021

Global Vaccine Update

“More than 299 million doses have been administered across 111 countries, according to data collected by Bloomberg. The latest rate was roughly 7.65 million doses a day. In the U.S., more Americans have now received at least one dose than have tested positive for the virus since the pandemic began. So far, 87.9 million doses have been given. In the last week, an average of 2.16 million doses per day were administered.”, Bloomberg, March 6, 2021

Latest update from Our World in Data.

A New Covid-19 Experiment From Asia: Letting Companies Buy Vaccines: Firms say strategy would allow faster return to full capacity, but public health experts warn it could steer limited shots to the middle class and wealthy. In Indonesia, where Covid-19 infections remain high and many businesses are operating with reduced staff, companies see the plan as an opportunity to return to full capacity faster and reassure workers concerned about contagion.”, The Wall Street Journal, March 8, 2021

Vietnam began vaccinations with medical workers in Hanoi, Hai Duong and Ho Chi Minh City getting the first shots Monday morning, the government website reported. Health Minister Nguyen Thanh Long said Vietnam will receive 1.3 million vaccine doses this month and more are expected in April and May, according to the ministry’s website.”, Bloomberg, March 7, 2021

Global and Regional Travel Updates

“COVID-19 travel insurance becoming a vacation staple: COVID-19 insurance policies are increasingly joining passports and sunscreen as vacation staples, creating opportunities for insurers as more countries require mandatory coverage in case visitors fall ill from the coronavirus.”, Reuters, March 7, 2021

Etihad Airways (EY) today announced an extension of coverage for their global COVID-19 insurance to September 30, 2021. ‘Extending Etihad’s COVID-19 global wellness insurance reinforces the effectiveness of Etihad Wellness, the airline’s health and hygiene [program],’ said EY Senior Vice President of Sales and Cargo Martin Drew. He further added that the extended coverages is ‘an added benefit automatically provided to all guests – no exceptions.’”, Airways Magazine, March 8, 2021

In the thick of the pandemic, it seemed hard to imagine that we would ever travel for business again. Health and hygiene concerns coupled with global lockdowns, conspired to take all our meetings online. However, now the future is looking brighter, will businesses stay loyal to Zoom, or will we return to the old ways of travel and doing business face-to-face?”, Regus MagazineUK, February 2021

“‘I even miss the airline delays:’ Meet the business travelers who can’t wait to get back on the road. Some business travelers welcomed the pandemic’s pause. Not these road warriors.”, Washington Post, February 18th, 2021

Australia Extends International Border Closure: To prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the country, Australia announces an extension of the closure of its international borders up to June 17.”, Airways Magazine, March 6, 2021

Singapore Airlines will trial ‘vaccine passport’ app on flights between Singapore and London in coming weeks that could store negative Covid test results and proof of jab: The phone software from IATA stores evidence of a negative Covid test as well as the facility to store evidence travellers have had coronavirus vaccinations. It is being trialled over the next few weeks with Singapore Airlines on a route between Singapore and London.”, Daily Mail UK, March 3, 2021

Qantas To Trial ‘Vaccine Passports’ To Ensure Incoming Passengers Have Covid-19 Jab: Qantas is sticking to its plan to ensure all passengers and crew on their planes are vaccinated against the coronavirus. The Aussie airline was the first in the world to announce a system that would require proof of a Covid-19 vaccination before flying when the jabs were approved and enough of the population had been vaccinated.”, LAD Bible, March 4, 2021


“The reported demise of the nation’s CBDs greatly exaggerated: research: Reports of the demise of Australia’s CBDs appear greatly exaggerated with new research suggesting they should emerge from the coronavirus pandemic as renewed economic powerhouses.”, Brisbane Times, March 1, 2021


“Brazilian Airlines Await Vaccine as Recovery Stalls: While the months that have followed the March and April 2020 demand depression have seen a steady recovery in air traffic in Brazil, the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic — which has been razing most states’ health systems — has made passenger numbers collapse again, especially with several states imposing restrictions that are almost analogous to lockdowns.”, Airline Geeks, March 7, 2021

“U.S. Commercial Service Brazil Country Commercial Guide: The Country Commercial Guide (CCG) is your trusted source about how to do business in an international market. Authored by seasoned trade experts at U.S. embassies and consulates, the guides provide insight into economic conditions, leading sectors, selling techniques, customs, regulations, standards, business travel, and more.  Updated 2021


Vaccination is going well in Chile. Why not its neighbours? Jabbing is politicised in much of Latin America. Having vaccinated nearly 20% of its adults, the sixth-best performance in the world, Chile is on track to meet its target of covering 80% of its 19m people by June 30th.”, The London Economist, March 6, 2021


“Manufacturing Recovery Slows as Employment Comes Under Pressure, Caixin PMI Shows: The Caixin China General Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI), which gives an independent snapshot of the country’s manufacturing sector, fell to 50.9 in February from 51.5 the previous month…”, Caixing Global, March 1, 2021

Marriott plans to open over 60 new hotels in China in 2021: The operation of these new hotels, as well as Marriott’s existing businesses, will prioritize China’s domestic market as international traveling has not fully resumed due to COVID-19. It will cater to holiday travel demands as well as short-distance travel and staycations. The company also plans to incorporate ways to attract younger guests.”, Shine, March 4, 2021. Compliments of Paul Jones, Jones & Co., Toronto

China is the world’s most populous country with an astounding 1.44 billion citizens. Altogether, the size of the population of China is larger than nearly four regions combined: South America, Europe (excluding Russia), the U.S. & Canada, and Australia & New Zealand. Using data from the United Nations, this unconventional map reveals the comparative size of China’s population next to a multitude of other countries.”, Visual Capitalist, February 22, 2021

Tim Hortons China raises fresh cash plans to add 200 shops in 2021: Tim Hortons China has completed a new fundraising round from Sequoia Capital China, Tencent Holdings and Eastern Bell Capital, and plans to add more than 200 shops to its network this year, the coffee chain operator said on Friday.”, Reuters, February 25, 2021. Compliments of Paul Jones, Jones & Co., Toronto


France lifts restrictions on Oxford/AstraZeneca jab for over-65s: New data bring about policy shift as other EU countries likely to abandon age limits. France is to expand its use of the Oxford/AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine after additional clinical data proved its efficacy among people aged over 65, reversing the position Paris took a month ago.”, The Financial Times, March 1, 2021


In major about-face, Germany to give AstraZeneca COVID vaccine to those 65 and over: Germany and Sweden joined countries widening guidelines for AstraZeneca Plc’s coronavirus vaccine, saying recent data now support giving the shot to the elderly.”, Fortune Magazine, March 5, 2021


“India’s Covid-19 Vaccine Is Found Effective, Boosting National Efforts: India’s Bharat Biotech said its Covid-19 vaccine has proven 81% effective at protecting people in a large clinical trial, a report that could invigorate India’s inoculation drive and vaccine-diplomacy efforts.”, The Wall Street Journal, March 3, 2011


This Economy Grew Faster Than China’s Thanks to Big Tech, Pharma: Ireland lured big tech and pharma companies to its shores with its low taxes. When the pandemic struck, that paid off handsomely. Today, the booming profits from those sectors are generating taxes that are helping the Irish government to pay for the costly lifelines it has thrown to much of the rest of the economy, which has been hammered by the pandemic.


“South Korea’s central bank says the country’s economy shrank for the first time in 22 years in 2020 as the coronavirus pandemic destroyed service industry jobs and depressed consumer spending. Preliminary data released by the Bank of Korea on Thursday showed the country’s gross domestic product last year contracted 1% from 2019.”, ABC News, March 4, 2021

New Zealand

“Franchize Consultants’ January 2021 Franchising Confidence Index sets the stage for the year, with 30 franchisors providing a window into current and more long-term opportunities and challenges. In terms of sentiment, the franchising community is more positive on most indicators compared to 2020.”, Franchising Confidence Index, February 12, 2021


“Singapore’s economy is slowly recovering as income and spending tick upwards, DBS data shows: Analysing anonymised customer data, the island nation’s largest bank has noted salary improvements among lower-paid workers, and fewer customers showing wage cuts.”, South China Morning Post, March 2, 2021


“Thailand starts COVID-19 vaccination campaign: Thailand kicked off its COVID-19 inoculation campaign on Sunday, with cabinet ministers, health officials and medical professionals among the first in the queue to receive vaccinations.”, Reuters, February 28, 2021


“Gross Domestic Product obtained by addition of four quarters with chain linked volume index (2009=100), increased by 1.8% in 2020 compared with the previous year. Gross domestic product at current prices increased by 16.8% and reached 5 trillion 47 billion 909 million TRY in 2020 compared with the previous year. The gross domestic product per capita was 60 537 TRY and 8 599 US Dollars at current prices in 2020. Financial and insurance activities increased by 21.4% in 2020.”,, March 1, 2021

United Kingdom

“Early vaccine data suggests Britain won’t need another lockdown: Vaccination will stop people passing on the coronavirus “almost completely”, the Public Health England head of immunisation has forecast. Dr Mary Ramsay said evidence was mounting that vaccination worked to prevent infections and stop people transmitting the virus, something that would make it much easier to ease lockdown quickly and permanently.”, The Sunday Time of London, March 3, 2021

“Huge rise in holiday bookings as Britons dream of the sun: Spain and Greece top the destinations as firms report 600% increase in a week.”, The Times of London, February 23, 2021

Schools to reopen across England tomorrow – here are the new safety measures and the key dates in other UK nations. Students have spent months learning remotely and those returning to secondary schools will find several safety measures.”, Sky News, March 7, 2021

BP’s Office Staff to Work From Home Two Days a Week Under Hybrid Model: BP PLC said Monday that it is introducing a new hybrid model of working for staff who had previously been fully office-based, under which around 25,000 employees will typically work from home two days a week.”, The Wall Street Journal, March 8,  2021

United States

“U.S. Businesses Optimistic About Economy Due to Vaccines and Hiring, Fed Beige Book Says: Most businesses are optimistic about the economic recovery this year as coronavirus vaccines are more widely distributed and hiring picked up slowly across the country, a Federal Reserve report said Wednesday.”, The Wall Street Journal, March 3, 2021

U.S. Set to Power Global Economic Recovery From Covid-19: For the first time since 2005, America may make a bigger contribution to growth than China…After the 2008 financial crisis, the global economic recovery was powered by China, as the U.S. experienced the weakest revival since the Great Depression. The world economy is likely to grow by around 6% this year, according to Oxford Economics, the fastest rate in almost half a century, as vaccine campaigns allow pandemic restrictions to be lifted and businesses to snap back.”, The Wall Street Journal, March 8, 2021

“Disneyland and other California theme parks can reopen April 1 — but it will be different than before: After being closed due to the coronavirus pandemic since March 2020, Disneyland received conditional approval from the state of California to reopen. Other in-state theme parks, such as Universal and Knott’s Berry Farm, can also open as soon as April 1.”, The Points Guy, March 5, 2021

Apple says all U.S. stores open for the first time since start of pandemic: The milestone is a sign that the pandemic is winding down in the U.S. The stores closed nearly a year ago as COVID-19 first began to spread rapidly across the country. After two stores in Mexico reopen on Tuesday, there will only be 12 Apple stores in France and two stores in Brazil that are still closed, per CNBC.”, Axios, March 1, 2021

Brand News

Ty Menzies and Andy Peat of Snap Fitness®: Many franchise brands project a ‘family-first’ philosophy, but when the times get tough, do they have what it takes to have the tough conversations needed with franchisees – as well as celebrating the victories? Ty Menzies, global CEO for Lift Brands®, believes that Snap Fitness® has exactly that. That’s what has allowed this 24/7 fitness provider to not only have thousands of sites open and in development around the world but also double-down on support for its growing network….”, Global Franchise magazine podcast, February 26, 2021

Q&A with Christina Russell, CEO of Sola Salon & and The Woodhouse Day Spa: I have always had a true passion for helping others achieve their dreams of business ownership, and franchising has been the vehicle for countless individuals to pursue their entrepreneurial goals. So, there was a natural synergy that existed that immediately attracted me to franchising.”,, March 2021

Walk-On’s Sports Bistreaux Opens Milestone 50th Restaurant: 20 years ago, the napkin that inspired our concept was drawn. To celebrate, we surprised our founder with a few sentimental gifts and a toast! Here’s to many more years of bringing game day with a taste of Louisiana to the rest of the country (and the world).”, LinkedIn post, March 4, 2021

Carl’s Jr. just keeps growing and growing … now up to 24 restaurants in Spain with our Master Franchise Beer & Food! Now in Málaga!”, LinkedIn post, March 6, 2021

PJ’s Coffee Is Brewing Up Franchise Opportunities in 2021: All told, franchisees opened 20 new locations during the year and the brand’s portfolio soared past 120 locations. Even still, brand officials said 2021 has the potential of being an even better year for growth and they expect to open 48 more stores in 2021.”,, March 5, 2021

RFG (Australia) bets on drive-thrus, mobile vans to offset lingering shopping centre pains: Retail Food Group (RFG) is the latest major food & beverage company to bet on additional off-premise channels to offset the lingering impact of COVID-19 to its shopping centre locations.”,, February 21, 2021

Everything you need to know to make your franchise a global success: A recent survey of Franchisor members of the International Franchise Association indicated more than 80% were either international or planned to go global this decade.”,, February 18, 2021

The breakfast daypart is reawakening: Morning comfort foods and indulgences are bringing back home-bound diners. ‘[Consumers] are coming back to different dayparts and breakfast is one of them,’ said Melissa Friebe, senior vice president insights and analytics at Taco Bell.”, Nation’s Restaurant News, February 23, 2021

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

What’s Next For Small Businesses? 4 Trends And Predictions For 2021 And Beyond: Despite a challenging economy, Salesforce research found that a full third (34%) of small businesses said they’re prioritizing developing customer relationships over one-time transactions.”, Forbes, March 2, 2021

Assuming control of the COVID-19 pandemic is forthcoming this year, FRANdata predicts that by year-end, franchising will have recovered to nearly 2019 levels in most metrics: business growth, employment, economic outlook, and contribution to the GDP. FRANdata projects that more than 26,000 new franchised business will open in 2021, recovering most of the losses felt in the previous year. Franchises will employ some 8.3 million people, adding nearly 800,000 new jobs.”,, February 2021

Baby boomers, to retailers’ surprise, are dominating online shopping: Older Americans are increasingly buying groceries — and just about everything else — on the Internet, and those over 65 are now the fastest-growing category of e-commerce shoppers.”, The Washington Post, March 3, 2021

We accelerate a company’s global development

Edwards Global Services, Inc. (EGS) provides a complete International solution for companies 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.

Edwards Global Services, Inc. (EGS) has twice received the U.S. President’s Award for Export Excellence.

Find out more about how we help companies Going Global successfully at:

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

Download our latest published article, “2021 International Outlook – Mixed Prospects Amid Global Uncertainty”, go to 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 truly global market research, operations and development support across 40 countries, contact Mr. Edwards at or +1 949 224 3896.   Click here to schedule a call with Bill Edwards to discuss how to succeed in developing your company around the world.

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