Global Business Development

EGS Biweekly Global Business Newsletter Issue 43, Monday, November 15, 2021

Edited and curated by: William (Bill) Edwards, CFE, CEO of Edwards Global Services, Inc. (EGS)

Trends in this issue:

Inflation spreads, air travel restarts to the USA, some good news for Asian economies, global port congestion continues, global PMIs once again positive, COVID passes remain in Europe this winter and the U.S. starts giving out visas in China again.

But First, Some Words of Wisdom

“You will either step forward into growth or you will step back into safety.”, Abraham Maslow

“Intellectual growth should commerce at birth and cease only as death.”, Albert Einstein

“You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.”, Martin Luther King, Jr.

Cultural Wisdom

In China, “Yes” does not always mean yes. When a person nods their head, they may be merely following what you are saying, not giving a definitive answer. District Export Council of Southern California, December 16, 2020 webinar

Highlights in issue #43:

Our Mission and Information Sources

Bolded article titles are live links if article is available without subscription

Our biweekly global business update newsletter focuses on what is happening around the worldthat impacts new trends, health, consumer spending, business investment, economic development and travel. 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 in 27 countries 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.

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First, Something a bit Different

Jane Goodall on a life as a woman defending the wild – In a series exploring women in international affairs, global environmentalist, Dr Jane Goodall DBE, speaks to Gitika Bhardwaj about why humanity still has reason to hope.”, Chatham House, November 12, 2021

Interesting Data and Studies

With rising vaccination rates, surveyed economies are reopening more fully; industry and trade are expanding despite the pandemic’s knock-on effects. The global purchasing managers’ indexes (PMIs) for manufacturing and services show healthy expansion, with respective readings of 54.1 and 53.4. Unemployment is generally falling, and world trade has effectively recovered to prepandemic levels.”, McKinsey, November 8, 2021

Status of the Global Economic Recovery – Economies around the world are still climbing out of the hole created by the pandemic, and plenty of things could derail the recovery, from supply chain shortages to rising prices.”, Geopolitical Futures, November 5, 2021

Global Supply Chain & Trade Update

Major Ports Are Congested. Shipping Companies Maersk and Hapag-Lloyd Are Thriving  This year is likely to end as the best year on record for the sector. Global trade volumes jumped by 8% to 10% this year as the global economy started recovering from months of lockdowns and other trade restrictions. Meanwhile, shipping rates have more than doubled between January and August, amid signs of a shortage of container transport capacity.”, Barron’s, November 11, 2021

Supply chain disruption: is the worst over? As companies, investors and policymakers fret over port logjams, freight costs and chip shortages, some indicators are starting to signal that global supply chain stress may be on the wane. The coming months will show if the snarl-ups portend a toxic scenario of stagflation for the world economy or are just a bump in the road to recovery. They will also determine how inflation expectations, monetary policy and corporate earnings pan out.”, Reuters, November 3, 2021

“(UK) Supply chain crisis ‘will last into 2023’ – Henrik Pedersen, chief executive of Associated British Ports (ABP), said he would be ‘positively surprised’ if the problem eased before the end of next year. ‘We have a shortage of truck drivers in the UK, and in other countries, too, so it [the problem] is in the shipping leg and the road leg.’ Pedersen said ABP’s ports were still clogged up with empty containers that Asian ports were reluctant to take back because they did not have the space.”, The Times of London, November 14, 2021

Small-business owner faces fees of at least $30K due to delays after shipping container flagged for inspection – A small-business owner could be on the hook for tens of thousands of dollars in fees after her container was flagged for inspection by the Canada Border Services Agency amid international shipping congestion.”, CBC, November 11, 2021

The global port backlog continues. Domestically, L.A. and Long Beach ports are the most severe pinch points for U.S. trade, while shortages of trucking, rail, and warehouse capacity at alternative gateways are challenging importers seeking to avoid the Southern California port logjam. Meanwhile, port congestion extends worldwide and container freight prices are surging, including in China from two of the three biggest container ports in the world.”, Exiger Trends Report, September – October 2021

The Busiest Port in America: Los AngelesU.S. e-commerce grew by 32.4% in 2020—the highest annual growth rate in over two decades. Such rapid growth has resulted in many more goods being imported, leaving America’s western ports completely overwhelmed.”, Visual Capitalist, November 2, 2021

Snarled Supply Chain Is Making U.S. Warehouse Shortage Worse – Record numbers of cargo ships bob in the waters off Southern California, unable to unload. A late shipment of patio furniture gets moved — three times — before finding a home for the winter. With no warehouse space, a crew assembles holiday displays in a parking lot in an effort to get them to clients on time.”, Bloomberg, November 9, 2021

Global, Regional & Local Travel Updates

U.S. Resumes Visa Services in China After Reopening Borders The U.S. embassy and consulates in China resumed regular visa services as the country reopened its border to international travelers after barring them for nearly two years under Covid-19 restrictions.”, Caixing Global, November 10, 2021

Virgin 3 and Speedbird 1 lifting off Heathrow’s runway’s at the same time.

British Airways and Virgin Atlantic Synchronize Departures to Celebrate U.S. Reopening – More than 600 days after the U..S.’s travel ban was introduced aimed to reduce the spread of coronavirus infections, arch-rivals British Airways and Virgin Atlantic momentarily put rivalries aside as both airlines departed from London Heathrow to New York’s John F. Kennedy Airport, symbolizing the end of restrictions on travel to the U.S.”, Airline Geeks, November 8, 2021

Delta bookings soar in six weeks after U.S. move to open borders – Delta Air Lines (DAL.N) has seen a 450% surge in international bookings in the six weeks since Sept. 20 when the United States said it would reopen for fully vaccinated visitors. The U.S. carrier said that international flights were expected to operate in full capacity on Nov. 8, with high passenger volume throughout the following weeks.”, Reuters, November 4, 2021

Chinese Airlines Struggle While the World Slowly Reopens – Carriers attributed the subpar performance to the repeated appearance of Covid-19 cases in China and rising oil prices over the past months. The year 2021 is turning to be worse than 2020 for some carriers.”, Airline Geeks, November 11, 2021

“The pandemic has accelerated digitalisation as businesses pivot online. Mobile travel sales are expected to regain all lost ground by 2022, hitting almost USD500 billion. Online travel will continue to grow, accounting for 54% of travel sales in 2021. Online sales gained five years’ worth of growth during the pandemic.”, Euromonitor International, “Travel Rewired: Innovation Strategies for a Resilient Recovery” report, November 2021

LATAM Confirms Demand Recovery for November – LATAM Airlines Group’s operational passenger projection for November 2021 is estimated to reach 62% compared to the same month in 2019, as measured in available seat kilometers.”, Airline Geeks, November 14, 2021

Global COVID & Vaccine Update

51.2% of the world population has received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.   7.34 billion doses have been administered globally, and 28.14 million are now administered each day.   Only 4.2% of people in low-income countries have received at least one dose.”,   Our World In Data, November 13, 2021

Covid vaccine mandates around the world – Many countries have made inoculation mandatory for at least some of their citizens, with penalties for those who do not get jabbed. The UK became the latest country to introduce vaccine mandates on Tuesday after the government announced all NHS workers would need to be jabbed by next spring. Although obligatory shots have been ordered in many other countries, some have balked at the measures and resorted to protests and legal action.”, The Guardian, November 9, 2021

Covid passes set to stay as Europe heads for winter – There have been protests and complaints of restricted freedom, but much of Europe is now using Covid passports to enter bars, restaurants, cinemas and museums.”, BBC News, October 28, 2021

Pfizer says antiviral pill 89% effective in high-risk cases – A pill to treat Covid developed by the US company Pfizer cuts the risk of hospitalisation or death by 89% in vulnerable adults, clinical trial results suggest. The drug – Paxlovid – is intended for use soon after symptoms develop in people at high risk of severe disease.”, BBC News, November 6, 2021

Rising Covid infections in Europe spark fears of new wave – WHO says pace of transmission across continent and Central Asia is a ‘grave concern’. Europe is experiencing a surge in coronavirus infections to levels not seen in months, alarming health officials and sparking fears that the continent could be engulfed by a new wave of the pandemic this winter.”, The Financial Times, November 4, 2021

Country & Regional Updates


Argentina Reopens to Vaccinated Tourists Around the WorldWhat to Know –  Argentina opened its borders to the world Monday, welcoming fully vaccinated travelers to experience the country’s amazing wine, breathtaking mountains, and deep-rooted culture. Eligible travelers must have received a completed vaccination at least 14 days before coming and must show proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within 72 hours of entering the country, according to the Ministry of Tourism and Sports.”, Travel and Leisure, November 2, 2021


Why Australia’s ‘great resignation’ is a myth – There is no evidence of such a phenomenon here. if there was, it would be no bad thing. Australia’s resignation rate has fallen to an all-time low.”, Inside FMCG, November 9, 2021. Compliments of Jason Gehrke, Franchise Advisory Centre, Brisbane


Soaring inflation at China’s factory gates raises fears for rest of world – Producer prices increased by 13.5 per cent in the year to October, accelerating still further from the 10.7 per cent jump recorded for September. The new figure showed producer inflation picking up to a level not seen since July 1995 and exceeding analysts’ consensus forecast of 12.4 per cent.”, The Times of London, October 19, 2021

China industrial output, retail sales accelerate but property clouds outlook – China’s industrial output and retail sales grew more quickly than expected in October, despite fresh curbs to control COVID-19 outbreaks and supply shortages, but the slowing property sector weighed on the economic outlook. Output grew 3.5% in October from the same period a year ago, official data showed on Monday, accelerating from a 3.1% increase in September. Retail sales growth also picked up.”, Reuters, November 14, 2021

Consumers win in public interest civil lawsuitThe Wuxi Intermediate People’s Court recently awarded punitive damages to consumers of counterfeit coffee purporting to be from US coffee-maker Starbucks. Unlike traditional trademark infringement cases, where the rights owner is the plaintiff, this case was unusual as it had been initiated by the Consumers Council of Jiangsu Province (JSCC)….”, INTA Bulletin, November 8, 2021. Compliments of Paul Jones, Jones & Co., Toronto

The first digital convenience store in the country landed in Shanxi – This is the first digital convenience store in the country. Customers can shop while receiving coupons and enjoy Alipay prices; they can also experience personalized services such as laundry delivery, old clothes recycling, and mobile phone teaching for the elderly through the ‘small program convenience corner’.”, China Chain Store & Franchise Association, October 29, 2021. Compliments of Paul Jones, Jones & Co., Toronto


India opens for international travel — what happens next? India has opened up for travelers and will allow commercial flights from November. The Home Ministry announced that tourist visas would be issued to those arriving on chartered flights first, whereas travelers on commercial flights would start getting their visas approved from November.”, Deutsche Welle, November 2, 2021


Worst Is Over for Indonesia’s Growth as Consumers Head to Malls – Indonesia will likely catch up on growth in the fourth quarter as its all-important consumption engine returns to high gear. More Indonesians are venturing outside to malls and supermarkets as a sharp decline in Covid-19 cases lets the government ease movement restrictions. Traffic in retail and recreation areas has largely returned to pre-pandemic levels, while mobility in groceries and pharmacies have rebounded well beyond that, according to Google data.”, Bloomberg, November 9, 2021


Toyota accelerating vehicle production in December as COVID-induced parts shortages ease. The automaker’s 14 plants, 28 production lines in Japan will be operating normally for the first time since May. The automaker expects to build approximately 800,000 vehicles globally during the month, up from approximately 760,000 vehicles built during the same period a year ago.”, Fox Business, November 12, 2021

Japan’s wholesale inflation hits 40-year high as fuel costs spike – The corporate goods price index (CGPI), which measures the prices companies charge each other for their goods and services, surged 8.0% in October from a year earlier, exceeding market expectations for a 7.0% gain, Bank of Japan data showed onThursday.”, Reuters, November 10, 2021


Malaysian Economy Returns to Contraction as Virus Curbs Hit – GDP shrank 4.5% y/y in 3Q, deeper than est. for 2.6% decline. BNM sees growth rebounding in 4Q as virus curbs are lifted. Gross domestic product in the three months ended September shrank 4.5% from a year earlier, Malaysia’s central bank said Friday, worse than the 2.6% drop predicted by analysts in a Bloomberg survey.”, Bloomberg, November 11, 2021

Southeast Asia

Southeast Asia Digital Economy to Reach $363 Billion by 2025 – E-commerce, travel, media, transport and food are driving the region’s digital growth, with online spending rising 49% in 2021 to $174 billion, the companies said in their latest annual report. The region added 60 million new digital consumers since the start of the pandemic, led by Thailand and the Philippines.”, Bloomberg, November 10, 2021

New Zealand

New Zealand Jobless Rate Falls to 14-Year Low, Hiring Surges – New Zealand’s unemployment rate fell to its lowest level in almost 14 years in the third quarter as employment surged, sending the currency higher as traders boosted bets on interest-rate increases. The jobless rate dropped to 3.4% from 4% in the second quarter, the lowest rate since the fourth quarter of 2007 and matching the lowest on record, Statistics New Zealand data showed Wednesday in Wellington. Economists expected 3.9%.”, Bloomberg, November 2, 2021

United Kingdom

Most furloughed workers returned to their jobs – The Office for National Statistics said yesterday that 65 per cent of these employees returned to work on the same hours, while 16 per cent went back with reduced hours and 6 per cent went back with hours increased. Another 6 per cent were either laid off or left their jobs voluntarily.”, The Times of London, October 22, 2021

Ingredient costs push up price of food – Food prices have risen by 2.1 per cent over the past four weeks, driven higher by the rising cost of ingredients and supply chain pressures. Cash-conscious shoppers are beginning to shop around, visiting an average of 3.3 supermarkets a month to find the best value for money.”, The Times of London, November 10, 2021

Christmas comes early to high streets amid fear of shortages – More than a third of shoppers are changing their approach to Christmas shopping this year with 52 per cent buying gifts earlier than normal, particularly children’s presents, according to figures from Barclaycard. Online spending at toy retailers jumped by 38.4 per cent in October compared with 9.9 per cent in September.”, The Times of London, November 9, 2021

United States

How the Great Resignation is fueling the passion economy – In a post-pandemic world, the notion of having a job and working in a single role felt old-fashioned, several people who recently resigned from their jobs told Fortune. In a world where work is made increasingly autonomous through gig work, social media, and ecommerce, seeking out entrepreneurial endeavors is likely to become the rule, rather than the exception.”, Fortune, November 3, 2021

NFIB’s Latest Covid-19 Survey: Supply Chain Disruptions, Staffing Shortage, And The Holiday Season – About half of small business owners (48%) reported that supply chain disruptions are having a significant impact on their business, almost unchanged from September’s survey.:,, November 9, 2021

U.S. consumer prices jump 6.2% in October, the biggest inflation surge in more than 30 years – Core inflation, stripping out food and energy, increased 4.6%, the fastest gain since August 1991. Energy, shelter and vehicle costs led the gains, which more than wiped out the wage increases that workers received for the month.”, CNBC, November 10, 2021

Brand News

Applebee’s and IHOP are ready to open new restaurants again – Parent Dine Brands is winding down a financial review that led to hundreds of closures over the past several years, and sees fertile ground for growth coming out of the pandemic. Parent company Dine Brands is winding down a financial review that led to the closure of hundreds of underperforming restaurants over the past several years, executives said Thursday. It plans to get Applebee’s back to net new unit growth in 2023, and expects IHOP to double its historical unit growth by then.”, Restaurant Business Online, November 4, 2021

The new (Australia) burger king: The rise and rise of Betty’s Burgers amid Covid-19 – Betty’s Burgers and Concrete Co. might only have 39 stores across the country, but it has arguably been the form player during the Covid pandemic. The slick chain of 1950s-themed diners has enjoyed a meteoric rise since launching in Queensland seven years ago, growing steadily from a single outlet on the Sunshine Coast to now having a restaurant in nearly every state and capital.”,, November 8, 2021. Compliments of Jason Gehrke, Franchise Advisory Centre, Brisbane

Fat Brands to acquire Fazoli’s for $130 millionThe purchase from Sentinel Capital Partners is expected to close in December 2021. This will be the growing restaurant group’s third acquisition in 2021 alone, following the purchase of the Twin Peaks ‘breastaurant’ sports bar chain in October and Global Franchise Group in July, which includes mainly snack and dessert brands like Hot Dog on a Stick, Marble Slab Creamery, Pretzelmaker, and Great American Cookies.”, Nation’s Restaurant News, November 2, 2021

Burger King parent to buy Firehouse Subs for $1 billion – The deal would immediately add to Restaurant Brands’ earnings, the company said. Jacksonville, Florida-based Firehouse Subs’ system-wide sales would be about $1.1 billion for 2021, with October U.S. same-store sales about 20% higher from pre-pandemic levels two years ago, Restaurant Brands said.”, Reuters, November 15, 2021

Sonic Parent (Inspire) Launches First-Of-Its-Kind Ghost Kitchen – There are more than 1,000 ghost kitchens in the U.S., but Inspire Brands recently launched one unlike any before it. The company, which owns Dunkin’, Baskin-Robbins, Arby’s, Buffalo Wild Wings, Jimmy John’s, Sonic Drive-In, and Rusty Taco, recently introduced Alliance Kitchen, which it called the first ghost kitchen owned and operated by a multi-brand restaurant company.”, QSR Magazine, November 9, 2021

Legendary Restaurant Brands Partners with Franklin Junction to Accelerate Growth in Asia-Pacific Regions – Legendary Restaurant Brands – the parent company of Bennigan’s, Bennigan’s On The Fly, Bennigan’s On The Fly Virtual Kitchens and Steak & Ale – is preparing to introduce its chef-driven American fare to more markets across the globe through a new partnership with Franklin Junction…. (who) boasts a network of more than 500 virtual restaurants and over 300 Host Kitchens™ across more than 10 countries.”, Restaurant News, November 2, 2021

JAB bought Panera Bread in 2017 and in August combined it with Caribou Coffee and Einstein Bros. under one unit. Panera Bread is planning to go public and has secured an unconventional investment from Danny Meyer’s special-purpose acquisition company, adding to one of the busiest restaurant IPO seasons in years.”, The Wall Street Journal, November 9, 2021

Planet Fitness CEO says gym membership has almost reached its pre-Covid peak – In an interview on “Mad Money,” Rondeau said the gym chain now has 15 million members, describing that figure as “unbelievable” after locations were shuttered for months early during the Covid crisis and then even when they reopened, many people were hesitant to return right away. ‘Our height was 15.5 [million members]. We’re 97% all the way recaptured back to where we were pre-Covid,’ Rondeau said.”, CNBC, November 4, 2021

Roll’d to make US debut ahead of further international expansion – Australia-based Vietnamese food restaurant chain, Roll’d, is set to accelerate its expansion plan with an international debut in the US next year, to be followed by more overseas markets. The restaurant chain will open its first US store in Salt Lake City next May, paving the way for more international restaurants to come, including Canada, the UK, France, Japan and New Zealand.”, Inside Retail (Australia), November 5, 2021. Compliments of Jason Gehrke, Franchise Advisory Centre, Brisbane

More Steak ‘n Shake stores closed this year as revenue dips – Biglari Holdings, the local company that owns the burger and shake chain, reported that 16 more stores “temporarily closed” as of  December 31, 2020, according to the public company’s third quarter filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. One of those stores was company operated and the 15 others were traditional franchises. Biglari Holdings only operated 221 stores as September 30.”, My San Antonio, November 9, 2021

Subway Inks One of the Biggest Franchise Agreements in History – Subway announced Tuesday that it signed a deal to open more than 2,000 stores across South Asia, a move the fast-food chain called one of the ‘largest master franchise agreements in quick-service restaurant history.’ The sandwich concept will work with Everstone Group, a South Asia-focused private investment firm, to open the locations in India, Sri Lanka, and Bangladesh over the next 10 years. Currently, those markets have nearly 700 Subway restaurants.”, QSR Magazine, November 2, 2021

Unleashed Brands Adds The Little Gym and CEO Nancy Bigley – The Little Gym has a new owner, Unleashed Brands, and a new president and CEO, Nancy Bigley, a former Dunkin’ Brands executive turned entrepreneur. She started Bottle & Bottega and grew it to 27 studios before selling to the largest paint-and-sip franchise, Painting With a Twist, in 2018. She stayed on, eventually being named CEO of Twist Brands and its portfolio of art and entertainment franchises.”, Franchise Times, November 5, 2021

Articles & Studies For Today And Tomorrow

In the Race to Boost Semiconductor Manufacturing, Global Powers Take Their Marks – Increased investments following the pandemic-induced semiconductor shortage will lead to more chip factories being built in more parts of the world. But the sector’s rigid nature and boom-and-bust cycles will still result in countries facing similar supply disruptions in the future.”, Stratfor, November 11, 2021

William (Bill) Edwards, CFEand CEO and Global Advisor, Edwards Global Services, Inc. (EGS) has 4 decades 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.

Our Latest GlobalVue™ Country Ranking

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.  EGS has twice received the U.S. President’s Award for Export Excellence.

For 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 successfully grow your company around the world.

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