Global Business Development

Biweekly Global Business Newsletter Issue 110, Tuesday, June 11, 2024

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

Comments About This 110th Issue: Countries – other than the USA – begin to cut interest rates.  McDonald’s loses the right to call a chicken Big Mac, a Big Mac.  The almost continually strong US$ is not helping US exports of products and services. Heathrow is like a Second World War airport (but we knew that!). The world’s biggest shopping center is getting bigger. A query into ChatGPT requires about 10 times as much electricity to process as a Google search

Edited and curated by: William (Bill) Edwards, CEO & Global Advisor, Edwards Global Services, Inc. (EGS), Irvine, California, USA. Contact Bill with any questions, comments and contributions., +1 949 375 1896

First, A Few Words of Wisdom From Others For These Times

“Technological advancements are vastly overrated in the short term, and vastly underrated in the long term. All failure is failure to adapt, all success is successful adaptation.” ― Arthur C. Clarke

“Risk-taking is the cornerstone of empires.” — Estée Lauder

“The key is not to prioritize what’s on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities.” — Stephen Covey

Highlights in issue #110:

The Dollar Is at Its Strongest Since the 1980s. Can It Last?

The Great Global Rate Cut Cycle Is Going to Be a Bumpy Ride

China economy gathers pace on back of services growth

Asia and Mideast Dominate Latest Port Performance Ranking

The world’s largest shopping mall is about to get even bigger

Irish fast food chain’s victory over McDonald’s to use Big Mac name

Brand Global News SectionAnthony’s Coal Fired Pizza & Wings®, Jimmy Johns®, McDonalds® and Starbucks®

Interesting Data, Articles, and Studies

The state of AI in early 2024: Gen AI adoption spikes and starts to generate value – As generative AI adoption accelerates, survey respondents report measurable benefits and increased mitigation of the risk of inaccuracy. A small group of high performers lead the way. If 2023 was the year the world discovered generative AI (gen AI), 2024 is the year organizations truly began using—and deriving business value from—this new technology. In the latest McKinsey Global Survey on AI, 65 percent of respondents report that their organizations are regularly using gen AI, nearly double the percentage from our previous survey just ten months ago.”, McKinsey & Co., May 30, 2024


The Great Global Rate Cut Cycle Is Going to Be a Bumpy Ride– After the steepest interest-rate tightening cycle in decades and a long holding cycle, how fast to unwind such settings is now a dominant theme. The Bank of Canada and European Central Bank both cut rates by 25 basis points in the Group of Seven’s first easing moves since the pandemic. They joined officials in Switzerland and Sweden who moved earlier this year.”, Bloomberg, June 7, 2024

The U.S. Global Food Security and Global Water Strategies: Increasing Coherence and Navigating Challenges – Adequate supplies of clean water and nutritious food are vital to human well-being. They are also increasingly important to U.S. foreign policy. Globally, 71 percent of all the water withdrawn from the Earth’s rivers, lakes, and aquifers is devoted to agriculture. Worldwide, food production will have to rise 50 percent by 2050 to meet the increasing demands of growing populations, prospectively requiring global water withdrawals 30 percent greater than today.”, Center for Strategic and International Studies, May 30, 2024

Global Supply Chain, Energy, Commodities, Inflation, Taxes & Trade Issues

Costs of Economic Fragmentation Include Moving to Hard-to-Work Places – Global supply chains are realigning through geopolitically neutral economies to boost resilience and hedge dependencies on the US and China. In some cases, though, shifting to new places comes with a costly drawback: extra red tape. Four of nine so-called bridge nations — a grouping Bloomberg dubbed “connectors” in an analysis last year — were among the world’s top 20 most complex jurisdictions in which to start and operate a business, according to TMF Group….Greece ranks as the most complex jurisdiction, according to TMF Group. The gauge, which ranks 79 economies based on 292 business indicators like the speed of obtaining a business license…..The ranking shows how re-globalization, while necessary to diversify sourcing in a world of geopolitical fragmentation, often moves operations to markets where companies might sacrifice productivity gains and back-office efficiencies.”, Bloomberg, May 30, 2024

The mounting strains on global shipping – Pirate attacks, Middle East instability and drought are causing disruption and congestion at the world’s ports.  The problems follow many shipping lines’ decisions, at the end of 2023, to reroute voyages away from the waters off Yemen after facing attacks from Iran-backed Houthi militias. Container ship arrivals in the Gulf of Aden, at the entrance to the Red Sea, are down 90 per cent on the same period last year according to data from Clarksons, the shipping services provider. Diverting vessels from Asia and bound for Europe around the Cape of Good Hope adds an additional nine to 14 days to voyage times.”, The Financial Times, May 27, 2024

Asia and Mideast Dominate Latest Port Performance Ranking – Global container ports got a breather in 2023 as the pandemic’s hit to supply chains eased and trade volumes stabilized after a few turbulent years. But even in a so-called normal year, labor issues, extreme weather and attacks on vessels near Yemen complicated operations at marine gateways all over the world. Despite that, more than 100 ports improved their efficiency ranking from the year before, according to a new report.”, Bloomberg, June 5, 2024

Global & Regional Travel

Hyatt reaches record global pipeline of 129K rooms – Hyatt Hotels Corporation has revealed that its pipeline has grown by nearly 85% since 2017, reaching a record 129,000 rooms. The company said it has doubled its luxury rooms, tripled its resort rooms and quintupled its lifestyle rooms since 2017. Additionally, the World of Hyatt loyalty program has quadrupled its membership since 2017 and was up 22% as of the end of the first quarter compared to the same period last year, reaching 46 million members globally.”, Hotel Business, June 3, 2024

Heathrow like a Second World War airport, laments Emirates chief – Airline president Sir Tim Clark says the airport is lagging behind in terms of customer experience. The president of Emirates airlines has likened Heathrow to a dilapidated Second World War airport in terms of the experience it offers customers.  Sir Tim Clark, the boss of the UAE flag-carrier, said the airport put its shareholders and paying dividends before running a world-class business. Clark said the terminal needs to be redesigned, with the plaza reduced in size to allow more room for security and check-in. He said: ‘It’s an old airport. I’m afraid it’s very difficult. You need to open up the whole terminal. Where we are based, new airports are being built employing the latest technologies to streamline the process of all the customer-facing elements. That is not the case at Heathrow.”, The Times of London, June 3, 2024

Country & Regional Updates


Canada first major central bank to cut rates ahead of ECB – The Bank of Canada became the first major central bank among the Group of Seven countries to cut interest rates, opening the door for others to follow suit before the US Federal Reserve. While the Canadian central bank’s decision to cut its cash rate by a quarter of a percentage point to 4.75 per cent was widely expected, BoC governor Tiff Macklem flagged further reductions which bolstered market sentiment. Inflation in Canada has slowed this year to hit a three-year low of 2.7 per cent in April. While inflation has stayed below 3 per cent for four straight months, it is still above the central bank’s 2 per cent target.’, Australian Financial Review, June 6, 2024


Hedge fund billionaire Ray Dalio says benefits of investing in China outweigh risks  – ‘Diversification and investment in China is desirable,’ Dalio said in a virtual presentation at the Greenwich Economic Forum in Hong Kong on Wednesday. ‘Chinese assets are very attractively priced.’  There are concerns among international investors about potentially being penalised by their governments for investing in the country, with anti-China policies set to gain bipartisan support in the US election this year, he said. Meanwhile, China’s own economic problems, including its protracted real estate crisis, debt issues and the knock-on effects of those, are also making investors anxious.”, South China Morning Post, June 5, 2024

China economy gathers pace on back of services growth – Caixin services sector purchasing managers’ index for May jumped to 54, the highest reading since July 2023. Interest rates have been lowered, borrowing increased to lift public investment and taxes cut, all as part of a concerted effort to reverse slowing economic activity. The International Monetary Fund recently raised its GDP growth projection for China this year to 5 per cent from 4.6 per cent on the back of more policy support, matching Beijing’s 5 per cent annual target. The IMF urged the CCP to focus future policy on stimulating domestic demand rather than prioritising strategic industries.”, The Times of London, June 5, 2024

Euro Zone

The Eurozone Has Come a Long Way Since the 2009 Debt Crisis, but Risks Remain – In the face of the quasi-existential debt crisis, the euro area has seen major institutional reform, which have helped make the single currency more resilient. Although the euro area proved resilient in the face of recent shocks brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic and the war in Ukraine, the current institutional architecture continues to make it vulnerable to severe shocks.”, Stratfor Worldview, June 6, 2024

Saudi Arabia

Aramco Sale Set to Raise at Least $11.2 Billion for Saudi Arabia – Saudi Aramco’s mega stock offering is set to raise at least $11.2 billion, the biggest such deal globally in three years that will help fund the government’s multitrillion-dollar push to transform the kingdom’s economy. The proceeds will help Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman’s ambitious plans to revamp the economy with investments including in sports, artificial intelligence, tourism and the desert project of Neom. The kingdom’s budget has been in a deficit for six quarters, and it has raised over $40 billion from local and international markets this year to fill the gap.”, Bloomberg, June 6, 2024


United Arab Emirates

The world’s largest shopping mall is about to get even bigger – United Arab Emirates real estate developer Emaar Properties announced Monday plans for a 1.5 billion dirham ($408 million) expansion of Dubai Mall. The 12-million-square-foot mall is already the largest shopping center in the world by total area, and the expansion will add a further 240 luxury stores, along with new food outlets. Last year, Dubai welcomed a record number of tourists, and the mall says it received 105 million visitors last year, up 19% from 2022.”, CNN, June 5, 2024

United Kingdom

“UK Survey of Executives Finds Confidence at Highest Since 2021 – UK businesses entered the general election campaign at their most optimistic in over 2 1/2 years after the economy quickly bounced back from recession, according to the Institute of Directors. The business lobby group said “green shoots” of recovery are “clearly visible” after its economic confidence index rose to minus 3 in May. It was up from minus 10 the previous month and the highest since September 2021 just after the economy emerged from lockdown. Business sentiment has moved into a ‘neutral phase’ after being relatively pessimistic for much of last year, said Roger Barker, director of policy at the IOD. ‘Green shoots are clearly visible, and the direction of travel is positive.’”, Bloomberg, May 31, 2024

United States

The Dollar Is at Its Strongest Since the 1980s. Can It Last? – The greenback is historically very expensive amid a recovery in global growth and a fraught election campaign. The U.S. dollar has defied analysts’ expectations and appreciated again this year relative to a basket of other currencies. For a decade now, currency markets have been ruled by the strengthening dollar….. Contrary to what many on Wall Street expected, the U.S. dollar has gotten a fresh wind this year, as bumpy inflation data has prompted investors to dial back bets on rate cuts.  Perhaps more important, economic growth is accelerating beyond America’s borders. Recent economic data suggests that the eurozone and Japan are finally turning up, and China’s recovery seems to be building momentum. Beijing is actively intervening to push up the yuan. A fall in the dollar usually greases the wheels of global growth.” The Wall Street Journal, June 4, 2024

Data Centers Are Driving An Electricity Demand Surge From AI Platforms Like ChatGPT – Did you know that every time you type a query into ChatGPT, it requires about 10 times as much electricity to process as a Google search? Did you know that every time you type a query into ChatGPT, it requires about 10 times as much electricity to process as a Google search? To help put things in perspective, ChatGPT currently has over 180 million users, but there are around 5.3 billion internet users around the world. Imagine if each of them became a regular user of energy-intensive ChatGPT, whose servers are located in the U.S., according to owner OpenAI.”, Forbes, June 3, 2024

Brand & Franchising News

Irish fast food chain’s victory over McDonald’s to use Big Mac name – Galway-based Supermac’s hails ‘David v Goliath’ legal win after European court backs its fight to use the name on chicken products. “McDonald’s loses the EU trademark Big Mac in respect of poultry products,” judges ruled. “McDonald’s has not proved genuine use within a continuous period of five years in the European Union in connection with certain goods and services,” they said. Supermac’s chicken burger, which can now be sold as a Big Mac in Europe.”, The Times of London, June 5, 2024

China’s Luckin Coffee Is Back From the Brink and Beating Starbucks – Consumers are getting hooked on cheap caffeine hits and coconut lattes, helping the chain overcome a scandal. Once derided as a cheap imitation of the Seattle-based giant, it’s now being emulated by other Chinese chains and even Starbucks appears to have taken a page or two from its playbook. The company’s focus on cashless, takeout kiosk counters, originally designed to save costs, paid off during the Covid years as strict lockdown policies restricted in-person exchanges.”, Bloomberg, June 6, 2024

Jimmy John’s global expansion continues with Korea! Today Inspire announced an international franchise agreement with YeokJeon FnC — an experienced food and beverage operator and the number-one pub franchise in the Korean market. We are thrilled to work with such a strong operator to bring Jimmy John’s quality, convenience and delicious sandwiches to the Asian market for the first time. Many thanks to our VP of Asia, Paolo Nicolas, his team and our development team for making this happen. Korea is Jimmy John’s third international market. We kicked off the brand’s global journey earlier this year with the announcement of deals in Canada and Latin America.”, LinkedIn, June 5, 2024

Another popular fast-food chain considers Chapter 11 bankruptcy – The fast-food brand’s sister company, a pizza chain, is also fighting for its survival. BurgerFi International (BFI) runs two brands: Anthony’s Coal Fired Pizza & Wings and its namesake burger chain. The company markets BurgerFi as being a superior product to traditional fast food (without directly calling out any competitors). Anthony’s currently has 60 locations; the company owns 59 and a franchisee runs one. BurgerFi has 102 locations, 75 franchised and 27 corporate-owned. The company said that it had filed documents with the Securities and Exchange Commission that acknowledge that there are situations where the company could not be able to survive.”, The Street, June 5, 2024

To receive our biweekly newsletter in your email every other Tuesday, click here –

Our Mission, Information Sources & Who We Are

Our biweekly global business update newsletter focuses on what is happening around the world that impacts new trends, health, consumer spending, business investment, the franchise sector, 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 business environment. And our GlobalTeam™ on the ground covering 25+ countries provide us with updates about what is actually happening in their specific countries.  

William “Bill” Edwards, Global Business Advisor Is Uniquely Qualified to Steer Sr. Executives Successfully Through the Complex Waters of Going Global.  With four decades of successful international business experience spanning virtually every corner of the world and many business sectors, Bill Edwards understands the global business landscape like no other.  He has been a County Master Franchisee in five countries in Asia, Europe, and the Middle East; the Senior VP for a franchisor operating in 15 countries and a full-service consultant since 2001 taking 40+ franchisors global.

“To his many clients who are going global, Bill oversees overseas.” — Franchise Times magazine

For a complimentary 30-minute consultation on how to take your business global successfully, click on the QR code or contact Bill Edwards at or +1 949 224 3896.

And download our latest chart ranking 40+ countries as places to do business at this link:

Our latest GlobalVue™ 40 country ranking

Comments are closed.

©2013 - 2024 GeoWizard Inc. All Rights Reserved.