Global Business Development

EGS Biweekly Global Business Newsletter Issue 27, Monday, April 5, 2021

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

“Success is the sum of small efforts repeated day in and day out”, Robert Collier

“If I had nine hours to chop down a tree, I’d spend the first six sharpening my axe.”, Abraham Lincoln

“Intelligence is the ability to adapt to change.”, Stephen Hawking


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

Highlights in issue #27:

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

Since our last biweekly newsletter, the U.S. and The United Kingdom has seen fast growing vaccination rates. The rest of the world, not so much. While the U.S. and the United Kingdom are reopening, the European Union countries are not, partially due to a low vaccination rate. On the positive side, many companies have set new work policies to acknowledge the ability to work productively from home. And several food and beverage brands have announced accelerated growth plans.

Global Vaccine Update

A Vaccine Passport Is the New Golden Ticket as the World Reopens. Companies and countries that depend on travel or large gatherings are counting on a totally unproven concept.”, Bloomberg, March 25, 2021

Vaccine Trickle Becomes Torrent as U.S. Eligibility Rules Widen: It’s taking some effort and some patience. But just as eligibility is opening to millions of people across the U.S. after months of cutthroat competition to find Covid-19 shots, vaccines are starting to stream into people’s arms.”, Bloomberg, April 1, 2021

Even When Covid-19 Vaccines Arrive, EU Struggles to Get Shots in Arms. Despite rising cases, many European countries remain reluctant to overhaul slow and bureaucratic vaccination programs. At the current pace, the EU won’t have vaccinated the majority of adults until well after the summer.”, The Wall Street Journal, March 26, 2021

Interesting Data and Studies

Our latest survey finds greater optimism about the economy and corporate prospects than at any time since the crisis began—and on a few fronts, more than in the past several years.”, McKinsey, March 31, 2021

OPEC+ Reaches Agreement to Slightly Increase Oil Production Starting in May”, Stratfor, April 1, 2021

From a FUNG Business Intelligence report, March 2021

Global and Regional Travel Updates

American Airlines has inaugurated its first flights between London-Heathrow Airport (LHR) and Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA) – one of American’s hotly awaited new routes ahead of Alaska Airlines joining the oneworld alliance. The flights were delayed due to the pandemic, but the inaugural flight leaving Heathrow for Seattle departed on Tuesday.”, Simple Flying., March 31, 2021

American Airlines will have most of aircraft taking flight in Q2 as travel demand increases. As of Monday, American Airlines said its seven-day moving average of net bookings is 90% of its 2019 average, with a domestic load factor of 80% during the same time period, according to the filing.”, Fox Business, March 29, 2021

South American Major Carriers Increase Domestic and International Capacity. Two of  South America’s biggest airlines, LATAM, Avianca and Aeroméxico, have announced an increase of its domestic and international routes.”, Airline Geeks, March 25, 2011

Delta, the last holdout, will start selling flights to 100% on May 1”, The Points Guy, March 31, 2021

Covid-19 Vaccine Passports Are Coming. What Will That Mean? Scores of plans to verify immunity are in the works. But there are even more questions about how they’ll use data, protect privacy—and who gets certified first.”, Wired, April 2, 2021

LATAM Announces New Sanitary Measures for Brazil, Chile and Peru; LATAM Airlines announced the entry of new restrictions that South American governments have established for travelers. The measures stated apply to travelers in Brazil, Chile and Peru. These restrictions are for international flights, but there are also requirements for domestic flights.”, Airlines Geeks, April 2, 2021

“Cruise lines want to restart. The CDC has just issued details on how they can do it. Friday, the CDC published detailed requirements for the COVID-19 agreements between cruise lines and U.S. ports they visit, including “worst case scenario” response plans. The agency previously said such agreements would be part of the second phase of its “conditional sail order” but had not released specifics.”, Miami Herald, April 2, 2021

Country & Regional Updates

Asia Pacific

China, Asia to fill bulk of surging US demand for goods in 2021 as global trade rebounds from coronavirus, WTO says. North America will drive demand in merchandise trade this year, with US imports set to rise by 11.4 per cent after tumbling 6.1 per cent last year, the World Trade Organization (WTO) says. Most demand for imports will be met by producers in China and across Asia, where exports are expected to grow by 8.4 per cent this year.”, South Chinas Morning Post, April 2, 2021

Asia’s factory recovery picks up but cost pressures grow: Asia’s factories stepped up production in March as a solid recovery in global demand helped manufacturers move past the setbacks of the pandemic, although rising costs are creating new challenges for businesses.”, Reuters, March 31, 2021


Brazil’s unemployment rate rises to 14.2%. Figures from statistics agency IBGE showed that the number of Brazilians officially unemployed in the three months to January rose slightly to 14.3 million from 14.1 million in the three months to October, and up 20% from a year ago.”, Reuters, March 31, 2021


Canada’s economy grows for ninth month as pandemic recovery takes hold. January growth jumped on wholesale trade, manufacturing and oil and gas extraction. Retail trade dipped but should recover in February, when restrictions on businesses were lifted, contributing to a likely 0.5% monthly increase.”, Reuters, March 31, 2021

Air Canada Selling Caribbean/Mexico for May; Restoring Other Routes. They also are restoring flights to Europe, Asia and some U.S. cities in May.”, Travel Pulse, March 22, 2021


China’s Manufacturing Recovery Loses More Momentum: The Caixin China General Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI), which gives an independent snapshot of the country’s manufacturing sector, dropped to 50.6 in March from 50.9 the previous month.”, Caixin, April 1, 2021


Covid-19: France enters third national lockdown amid ICU surge: All schools and non-essential shops will shut for four weeks, and a curfew will be in place from 19:00 to 06:00. As well as the restrictions that came into force on Saturday, from Tuesday people will also need a valid reason to travel more than 10 km (six miles) from their homes.< BBC, April 3, 2021


India’s second wave hits the whole world through vaccine export curbs. Facing a brutal new wave of coronavirus cases, India on Thursday made anyone over 45 eligible for vaccination. But the scramble to vaccinate as many people as possible has also meant sharply curtailing exports.”, Axios, April 1, 2021


“Japanese business sentiment rebounds despite Covid-19 woes. Tankan index for big manufacturers beats expectations, offering hope of economic uptick. The Bank of Japan’s Tankan index for large manufacturers rose 15 points to a reading of plus 5, well ahead of analyst expectations that it would remain in negative territory at minus 2.”, The Financial Times, March 31, 2021

Japan Becomes Latest Country to Issue Digital Vaccine Passport. Vaccinated citizens currently receive a certificate in paper format.”, Travel & Leisure Magazines, March 29, 2021

The Philippines

Philippines extends coronavirus curbs in Manila, nearby provinces: Restrictions to remain for at least another week as infections surge. Restrictions, which include a ban on non-essential movement, mass gatherings and dining in restaurants, will remain for at least another week”, Nikkei Asia, April 3, 2021

United Kingdom

UK starts to reopenThousands swarm sports clubs and swimming pools as lockdown restriction ease. Golfers hit the fairways at midnight and swimmers completed lengths before dawn as thousands embraced the latest easing of lockdown restrictions..” The Sunday Times of London,. March 29, 2021

Covid vaccine hesitancy halved in one month. Vaccine hesitancy among people in Britain has halved in one month, official figures show. The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said that the overall positive vaccine sentiment among Britons rose to 94 per cent last month from 78 per cent in December.”, The Times of London, April 1, 2021

Millions set for switch to working four days a week. More than one million companies in Britain could move to a four-day working week after the pandemic, according to research. Autonomy, a think tank specialising in the future of work, found that a rethink of employment practices could result in a shorter working week for three million people across those companies.”, The Times of London, April 1, 2021

PwC tells staff to split office and homeworking after Covid. PwC has told its accountants and consultants in the UK that they will spend an average of two to three days a week in the office after the pandemic ends and has promised them a half day on Fridays this summer.”. The Financial Times, March 30, 2021

Britain’s manufacturers hired more staff as output and orders rose this month in preparation for the end of lockdown restrictions, the latest manufacturing purchasing managers’ index (PMI) showed. The index rose to 58.9 in March, the highest for more than ten years. A figure above 50 indicates growth. Orders were driven by the domestic market as companies prepared for a reopening of non-essential shops and outdoor hospitality on April 12.”, The Tomes of London, April 1, 2021

United States

A measure of U.S. manufacturing activity soared to its highest level in more than 37 years in March, driven by strong growth in new orders, the clearest sign yet that a much anticipated economic boom was probably underway.”, Reuters, April 1, 2021

The rise of working from home. The shift to a hybrid world of work will have a big impact on managers. Before the pandemic Americans spent 5% of their working time at home. By spring 2020 the figure was 60%.”, The Economist, April 1, 2021

Marriott CEO says jobs ‘absolutely’ coming back, company ‘actively hiring’ in select markets. Marriott’s CEO on Sunday downplayed employment concerns and said that the very technology that helped the hotel industry navigate the coronavirus pandemic will help improve the customer experience in the future.., FOX Business, March 28, 2021

New plan at Disneyland calls for squeezing in more rides, restaurants and shops. Disney announced a plan to add new attractions, shops and restaurants inside Disneyland by redeveloping existing areas of the Anaheim resort.”, The Los Angeles Times, March 25, 2021

Restaurants struggle to find employees despite declining COVID cases: Some owners of eateries claim stimulus checks remove incentive to work. FOX Business spoke with multiple restaurant owners across the country who say applicants, drawn by the lure of unemployment benefits and stimulus checks, have tapered off over the course of the pandemic and it remains unclear whether that trend will continue.”, Fox Business, April 1, 2021

Google rejigs remote working as it reopens offices: Google is changing its work-from-home policy as it looks to get more people back into its US offices. The tech firm said employees can work from home overseas for more than 14 days a year if they apply for it.”, BBC, April 1, 2021

This 210,000-Employee Company Just Banned Zoom on Fridays. Here’s Why You Should, Too. Citi CEO Jane Fraser says working too many hours is taking a toll. It doesn’t help that the pandemic has blurred work-and-home boundaries.”.\, INC. Marah 26, 2021

Brand News

HOW GOLDEN CORRAL IS ADAPTING TO NEW REALITIES: The pandemic accelerated the buffet chain’s evolution into other service formats. Here are some of the avenues it’s pursuing.”, Restaurant Business, March 26, 2021

Bennigan’s offers virtual kitchen franchises to hotels: The new virtual kitchen model lets hotels sell food and drinks from Bennigan’s menus for delivery or takeout to both hotel guests and area residents. For hotels with established restaurants, Bennigan’s offers a licensing option to add the Bennigan’s On The Fly menu to their already existing menus.”, Hotel Management, March 29, 2021

Del Taco franchisees see comp sales increases in final half of 2020. Del Taco Restaurants Inc. said Thursday that the chain’s franchisees saw comp sales increases in the third and fourth quarters of 2020, bringing full-year comp sales growth to 1.4%. Comp sales in the third-quarter were up 6.5%, and for the fourth-quarter, comp sales grew 7.5%.”, Market Watch, April 1, 2021

Hardee’s and Carl’s Jr. Aiming to Add 2,000 Restaurants. The iconic brands just finished a massive year. Now they’re rolling out a new prototype built for the future.”, QSR Magazine, March 25, 2021

Boutique Fitness Franchisor Xponential Acquires 9th Brand: Xponential Fitness has acquired boutique boxing concept Rumble to bring its portfolio of fitness brands to nine. Rumble now joins Xponential’s other brands Pure Barre, Club Pilates, CycleBar, YogaSix, StretchLab, Row House, AKT, and STRIDE.”,, April 2, 2021

Popeyes has announced plans to launch its first location in the U.K. by the end of 2021, Over 350 U.K. sites are planned for the U.S. fried chicken franchise, to open over the next 10 years.”, Global Franchise, April 5, 2021

How Two Food Franchisees Are Affected by Covid, and How They’re Responding: Luis San Miguel, president and CEO of Fresh Dining Concepts, operates 40 Auntie Anne’s, 2 Cinnabons, 6 co-branded Auntie Anne’s/Cinnabons, and 2 co-branded Auntie Anne’s/Carvels. Robby Basati is the CEO of RoboFran development, a multi-brand organization that operates 15 Mountain Mike’s Pizza; 2 branded gas stations; 1 Neighborhood supermarket; and 8 development agent stores for Mountain Mike’s…, April 2, 2021

The robots are coming to small businesses – and for business owners: Tight margins and customer demands make new technologies attractive, but are ultimately designed to replace people.” The Guardian, April 1. 2021

Articles About Doing Business Going Forward

Business priorities in the postpandemic era: This episode of the Inside the Strategy Room podcast features a conversation between Kevin Sneader, McKinsey’s global managing partner, and John Waldron, president and chief operating officer of Goldman Sachs, that took place at our virtual M&A conference in February.”, McKinsey, February 2021

Consumers can now convert bitcoin or frequent flier miles to cash and reload their Starbucks cards to pay for lattes. Coffee chain goes national with digital wallet platform Bakkt partnership, which allows the conversion of digital assets for payment.”, Nation’s Restaurant News, April 1, 2021

The World Happiness Report 2021 focuses on the effects of COVID-19 and how people all over the world have fared. Our aim was two-fold, first to focus on the effects of COVID-19 on the structure and quality of people’s lives, and second to describe and evaluate how governments all over the world have dealt with the pandemic. In particular, we try to explain why some countries have done so much better than others.”, March 2021

English is the most common language online, used by 60.4% of the top 10M websites. China has the most internet users in the world but only 1.4% of the top 10M websites use Chinese.”, Visual Capitalist, March 26, 2021

We accelerate global development for our Clients

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:

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Mid-March 2021 GlobalVue™

William (Bill) 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.

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