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EGS Biweekly Global Business Newsletter Issue 84, Tuesday, June 13, 2023

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

Introduction: In this issue, the state of economic freedom around the world in 2023, inflation continues to ‘cool’, international firms are cutting their office space needs, 5 lessons COVID taught businesses, lower global birth rates, Europe’s economy slows, what the Chinese consumer is spending on and worker productivity in Latin America 

The mission of this newsletter is to use trusted global and regional information sources to update our 1,400+ readers in 20+ countries on key global and local trends that can impact the success of their businesses at home and abroad.

NOTE: Some of the sources that we provide links to require a paid subscription to access. We subscribe to 40 international information sources to keep our readers up to date on the world’s business.

To receive this biweekly newsletter that is read by over 1,400 people in 20 countries, click here:

First, A Few Words of Wisdom From Others

“Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future.”, John F. Kennedy

“Life is not about how fast you run or how high you climb, but how well you bounce.”, Vivian Komori

“Opportunities don’t happen. You create them.”, Chris Grosser

Highlights in issue #84:

  • Brand Global News Section: Luckin Coffee®, Pizza Hut®, Starbucks®, Subway® and Sweetgreen®’


Interesting Data and Studies

The State of Economic Freedom in 2023 – The concept of economic freedom serves as a vital framework for evaluating the extent to which individuals and businesses have the freedom to make economic decisions. In countries with low economic freedom, governments exert coercion and constraints on liberties, restricting choice for individuals and businesses, which can ultimately hinder prosperity. The map above uses the annual Index of Economic Freedom from the Heritage Foundation to showcase the level of economic freedom in every country worldwide on a scale of 0-100, looking at factors like property rights, tax burdens, labor freedom, and so on. The ranking categorizing scores of 80+ as free economies, 70-79.9 as mostly free, 60-69.9 as moderately free, 50-59.9 as mostly unfree, and 0-49.9 as repressed.”, Visual Capitalist / Index Of Economic Freedom, June 6, 2023

World Bank Brightens View of Global Growth This Year, Downgrades 2024 – Bank warns of risks to poorer nations from rising interest rates. The World Bank sees better global economic growth than previously estimated in 2023, thanks to resilient U.S. consumer spending and China’s faster-than-expected reopening in the early part of the year. The bank still expects slowing growth in the second half of this year and a muted expansion into next year, according to its forecast released Tuesday. It warned that stubbornly high inflation and interest-rate increases are weighing on economic activity around the world, particularly in developing countries.”, The Wall Street Journal, June 6, 2023

These are the top 10 countries where small businesses are flourishing globally  – E-commerce company Shopify partnered with Deloitte to create a database that measures the top countries and U.S. states where entrepreneurship is flourishing. To calculate this, they measured the impact of entrepreneurs on GDP, jobs supported, exports, and business activity. According to the index, the top 10 countries where entrepreneurship is thriving are:

United States



United Kingdom

Czech Republic




Hong Kong


Fast Company, May 16, 2023

Half of big international firms to cut office space in next three years – Survey of 350 businesses shows 56% favour hybrid working. The survey of 350 businesses by property consultants Knight Frank and commercial real estate firm Cresa found that 50% the largest businesses they questioned – those with more than 50,000 employees – expect to shrink their global workspaces, although most are only planning to reduce by between 10% and 20%. However, this contrasts with the expectations of smaller firms surveyed – those with up to 10,000 employees – just over half (55%) of whom said they were expecting to increase their global office space.”, The Guardian, June 6, 2023

It’s not just a fiscal fiasco: greying economies also innovate less – That compounds the problems of shrinking workforces and rising bills for health care and pensions. Italy and Japan, in particular, are the poster pensioners for demographic decline and its economic consequences. In both countries the fertility rate (the number of children a typical woman will have over her lifetime) fell below 2.1 in the 1970s. That level is known as the replacement rate, since it keeps a population stable over time. Anything lower will eventually lead to a declining population.”, The Economist, May 30, 2023


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

Today’s supply chain disruptions reaffirm the importance of a multilateral trading system based on WTO rules – Economic security has come to the forefront of policy discussions, as a series of crises—most recently the COVID-19 pandemic and the war in Ukraine—have disrupted global supply chains. Governments around the world are looking for ways to make their countries less vulnerable to such disruptions, especially now that rising geopolitical tensions add new uncertainty. In this regard, reshoring and friend-shoring have become popular policy prescriptions, and talk of global fragmentation abounds.”, International Monetary Fund, June 2023

These Are the World’s 20 Most Expensive Cities for Expats in 2023 – New York has leapfrogged Hong Kong as the world’s most expensive city to live in as an expat, while skyrocketing rents saw Singapore crash into the top five, according to a new study. Soaring inflation and rising accommodation costs were cited as reasons for New York topping ECA International’s Cost of Living Rankings for 2023, while Geneva and London remained in third and fourth places.  These are the world’s top 20 most expensive places for expats to live (with the 2022 rankings in parentheses):

New York, US (2022 ranking: 2)

Hong Kong, China (1)

Geneva, Switzerland (3)

London, UK (4)

Singapore (13)

Zurich, Switzerland (7)

San Francisco, US (11)

Tel Aviv, Israel (6)

Seoul, South Korea (10)

Tokyo, Japan (5)

Bern, Switzerland (16)

Dubai, UAE (23)

Shanghai, China (8)

Guangzhou, China (9)

Los Angeles, US (21)

Shenzhen, China (12)

Beijing, China (14)

Copenhagen, Denmark (18)

Abu Dhabi, UAE (22)

Chicago, US (25)

Bloomberg, June 6, 2023

Food producers agree to cut prices in France after government pressure – Finance minister Bruno Le Maire says 75 groups will make reductions in line with falling wholesale costs. French food prices rose 14.1 per cent in the year to May, close to the eurozone average, and have overtaken energy as the region’s biggest driver of inflation, raising alarm among politicians and consumer groups. Some French food prices have risen faster: olive oil prices are up a quarter and eggs cost a fifth more.”, The Financial Times, June 9, 2023


Global & Regional Travel Updates

Heathrow strikes: security staff announce summer of walkouts – More than 2,000 staff who scan bags and frisk passengers at the UK’s biggest airport will walk out for all but two of the busiest weekends of the year, the Unite union said yesterday. The 31 days of strike action, between June 24 and August 27, will affect passengers flying from terminals 3 and 5, the two busiest departure points. It raises the prospect of long delays for security screening during the school summer holidays and the August bank holiday weekend.”, The Times of London, June 8, 2023


Country & Regional Updates


Reimagining economic growth in Africa: Turning diversity into opportunityAfrica’s economy downshifted over the last decade, yet half of its people live in countries that have thrived on the continent. Africa has the human capital and natural resources to accelerate productivity and reimagine its economic growth, which is, more than ever, vital for the welfare of the world.”, McKinsey & Co., June 5, 2023


CBA cuts growth forecasts, places odds of recession at 50pc –  Economists are warning of the serious risk of recession this year after sticky inflation and concerns about wages fuelling price pressures forced the Reserve Bank of Australia to lift interest rates and flag more rises to come. Commonwealth Bank of Australia and HSBC economists now both put the odds of a recession at 50 per cent, after cutting their economic growth forecast in response to the RBA raising the cash rate a quarter percentage point to 4.1 per cent on Tuesday.”, Australia Financial Review, June 9, 2023


Canada lost 17,000 jobs in May, bringing interest rate hike into question – The drop was driven largely by a fall in youth employment, as 77,000 people between the ages of 15 and 24 lost their jobs. The lacklustre jobs report raised questions over whether the Bank of Canada may have acted too quickly in raising interest rates Wednesday, some economists suggested.”, The Toronto Star, June 9, 2023

Complexities of international sanctions – Canada is increasingly using international trade sanctions. These sanctions target foreign individuals and entities, and compliance has become increasingly complex and important for companies operating abroad. What happens when you have been added to a sanctions list and want to be removed? We consider below two recent cases on this topic.”, Dentons, June 7, 2023


China’s Services Sector Continues to Rebound Faster Than Industrial Sector – The combined profits of major state-owned industrial companies declined 17.9% year-on-year in the first four months, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) reported May 27. Over the same period, total profits of state-owned enterprises (SOEs) in all sectors climbed 15.1%, the Ministry of Finance said the following day. Since the beginning of 2023, the year-on-year growth of the service production index published by the NBS has been consistently higher than increases in industrial value added.”, Caixing Global, May 31, 2023

Where Are Chinese Consumers Willing to Spend? Chinese consumers are resuming spending on travel and dining out but are not buying necessities and other consumer goods as much as before the pandemic. Spending on services was the main driving force for the first-quarter rebound in consumption. Retail sales of consumer goods in the first quarter rose 5.8% year-on-year, significantly rebounding from a decline of 2.7% in the fourth quarter of 2022, data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) showed. Per capita spending on services grew 6.2% year-on-year in the period, faster than overall consumption growth, a report by KPMG showed.”, Caixing Global, June 8, 2023

U.S. Business Interest In China Is Slowly Recovering, Ex-American Diplomat SaysStrained relations between Washington and Beijing appear to be stabilizing, a shift that is stirring renewed business interest in China among U.S. companies, a former long-term U.S. diplomat who is the current chairman of the American Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai told Forbes on Tuesday. ‘There are some positive signs in the relationship, particularly the high-level contact among the two countries’ economic officials,’ said Sean Stein in Beijing via Zoom. That advance, however, is constrained by continuing concerns about security issues and the economic outlook, he added.”, Forbes, June 7, 2023

European Union

Europe’s Economy at a Standstill – Ukraine and uncertainty about prices remain the major obstacles to EU growth. The European Union as a whole achieved slight economic growth in the first quarter of the year, but weaknesses abound……Poland recorded 3.8 percent growth compared with final quarter of 2022, powered by household consumption and exports. The war and uncertainty about prices remain the major obstacles to European growth. On the other hand, employment is still rising and energy prices have returned to Earth.”, Geopolitical Futures, June 9, 2023

Latin America

Why are Latin American workers so strikingly unproductive? Blame education, corruption and a huge shadow economy. In 1962 Latin America’s income per person was three times that of East Asia. By 2012 both regions had the same level. By 2022 East Asia’s was roughly 40% higher than Latin America’s (see chart 1). When the differences in purchasing power are taken into account, Latin Americans’ gdp per person has been stuck at little more than a quarter of that of their neighbours in the United States for the last three decades. According to the World Bank, between 2010 and 2020 Latin America was the world’s slowest-growing regional economy.”, The Economist, June 8, 2023


India Inflation Cools to 25 Month Low of 4.25% in May – India’s retail inflation cooled faster-than-expected in May, providing relief to policymakers even as risks from an uneven monsoon remain. Food prices, which make for about half of the index, rose 2.91%, while fuel and light prices gained 4.64%. Clothing and footwear prices increased 6.64% and housing prices rose 4.84%.  Core inflation, which strips volatile food and fuel prices from the headline, moderated to 5.11%, from 5.30% in April.”, Bloomberg, June 12, 2023


Baby bust: Italy faces a ‘demographic winter’ – Alarmed by the falling birth rate, the government is trying to entice women into having children. But many are sceptical of the approach. Low birth rates — and greying populations — are a concern for many advanced economies, including European nations and Japan as well as China, now confronting the fallout from its draconian one-child policy. Challenges of older populations include pressure on state pension schemes; strained national healthcare systems; potential hits to sovereign credit ratings; and pervasive labour shortages as employers struggle to find manpower, including care for the elderly. Italy’s demographic crisis, though, is among Europe’s most acute — the result of decades of economic stagnation and political indifference to women’s aspirations.”, The Financial Review, June 7, 2023

United Arab Emirates

UAE exports forecast to reach $545bn by 2030, Standard Chartered says – The Emirates’ progressive policies are supporting trade growth, with India to remain largest partner. The country’s exports are projected to increase by 5.5 per cent annually, with metals and minerals (accounting for 73 per cent of exports by 2030) and plastics and rubbers set to drive growth, Standard Chartered said in a report on Thursday.”, The National News, June 1, 2023

United Kingdom

Britain to steer clear of recessionBritain will avoid a recession this year, according to new forecasts, as energy prices retreat and supply chain disruption abates. Economists warned that companies and consumers were still in for a tough year, however, with stubborn levels of inflation raising the risk of more pain for borrowers while the Bank of England battles to reduce it. KPMG no longer expects a recession in the UK this year, forecasting that gross domestic product will rise by 0.3 per cent.”, The Times of London, June 12, 2023

Regional workers back in the office four days a week – Office occupancy outside London is back to 93 per cent of pre-pandemic levels, with workers turning up for an average of four days a week. The latest survey from Regional Reit, the owner of 154 largely office properties, found that 65 out of 100 desks were occupied during business hours compared with 70 out of 100 before Covid. Stephen Inglis, chief executive of the company’s asset manager, London & Scottish Property Investment Management, said he was seeing “a steadily improving environment with more people back in the office”. He said the finding that regional workers were back for an average of 4.2 days a week came as a pleasant surprise for his business. “I was expecting three to four days”, he said.”, The Times Of London, June 7, 2023

United States

The Global Brands Coming to a (U.S.) Shopping Mall Near You – Some retailers now view U.S. expansion as the surest way to boost revenue amid a shaky global economy. American consumers have long been renowned for their spending power. Now global retailers want a bigger slice of the action. Once wary of America, foreign fashion brands such as Mango, Uniqlo and Zara are joining retail giants including Lego and IKEA in pursuing major U.S. expansions. Executives say they are encouraged by the country’s upbeat economic prospects relative to other parts of the world, and a growing sense that American shoppers have become more receptive to new brands.”, The Wall Street Journal, June 7, 2023

Who Is Raising Wages On (U.S.) Main Street? The share of firms raising worker compensation reached record-high levels in the past few years, reaching 51% in June 2022. The most difficult cost to cut is compensation. It is also the largest cost for most small employer firms. When the costs of non-compensation inputs fall, the benefit drops to the bottom line and can be passed on to customers by reducing selling prices. Competition is the force that gets this to happen. But when those cost inputs fall because of a slowing economy, wages generally stay the same; they are commitments made to individuals.”, Forbes, June 9, 2023


Vietnamese consumers are coming of age in 2023: How businesses can stay ahead – For the past few years, the middle class in Vietnam has been on the rise, spreading out geographically and growing increasingly diverse.1 Consumers are growing in number and becoming more demanding and discerning. It is estimated that more than half of the Vietnamese population will enter the global middle class by 2035, creating more disposable income and fueling consumption.”, McKinsey & Co., May 26, 2023


Brand & Franchising News

What Covid Has Taught Us: 5 pandemic lessons for franchising – March marked the third anniversary of the global Covid-19 pandemic, and while many of us are keen to move forward, it’s important for businesses to reflect on the takeaways and build on lessons learned through our shared, global experiences.”, article by Catherine Monson, June 7, 2023

Sweetgreen Stores Are Expected To Be Completely Automated In 5 Years – Dubbed the “Infinite Kitchen,” the chain has been testing a 100% robotic production line that assembles all of Sweetgreen’s orders from start to finish. Prep is still human-orchestrated, as employees make the ingredients, but robots are assembling those ingredients in the bowls. The first Infinite Kitchen prototype opened less than a month ago in Naperville, Illinois, and if it’s any indication of what’s to come, Sweetgreen is thrilled. So far, it isn’t affecting the overall customer experience, and it’s reportedly saving the chain big money.”, Tasting Table, June 10, 2023

Starbucks says on track to meet 9000 store goal on Chinese mainland – Starbucks’ new global CEO Laxman Narasimhan on Tuesday highlighted China’s huge market potential and suggested the company’s goal of opening 9,000 stores on the Chinese mainland by 2025 remained unchanged. China’s per capita coffee consumption is increasing but still lags far behind Japan and the United States, thus leaving much room for business growth, Narasimhan said during his visit to Shanghai, home to more than 1,000 Starbucks stores, which is more than any other city in the world. The US coffee giant opened its first store on the Chinese mainland in 1999. As of April 2, it had operated over 6,200 stores across 244 cities on the Chinese mainland.”, Shine.con, May 30, 2023. Compliments of Paul Jones, Jones & Co., Toronto

Starbucks’ China rival Luckin Coffee opens 10,000th shop amid fight for expected 1 trillion yuan market. Luckin Coffee opened 1,137 stores in the first quarter, beating Starbucks, which opened 153 and trails the domestic chain by more than 3,700 locations. Luckin recorded first-quarter revenue of 44.4 billion yuan (US$6.2 billion), with a net profit of 564.8 million yuan. The company, which was formerly listed on the Nasdaq before a scandal forced it to delist, accomplished the 10,000-store milestone within six years. It had already surpassed Starbucks in terms of total stores in China in 2021.”, South China Morning Post, June 7, 2023

Pizza Hut Australia Purchased by US Group That Owns Taco Bell, Wendy’s Locations – Flynn Restaurant Group expects to gain $300 million in sales The deal marks the company’s first international acquisition. The San Francisco-based group already owns 945 Pizza Huts in its home market. The acquisition will give Flynn about 2,600 locations across the two countries and boost annual sales to roughly $4.5 billion from $4.2 billion. Flynn says it is the largest franchise operator in the world, with a portfolio of restaurants that includes Applebee’s, Taco Bell, Panera Bread, Arby’s and Wendy’s locations in 44 US states.”, Bloomberg, June 7, 2023

Subway threatens to yank run-down stores from franchisees as company searches for buyer – Subway has ordered some franchisees to spend as much as $100,000 on remodeling their sandwich shops as the company scrambles to sell itself — and is threatening to take away their stores if they don’t comply, The Post has learned. The struggling fast-food giant — which has faced a lackluster response as it attempts to auction the chain for $10 billion, according to sources — is meanwhile demanding that some franchisees make major investments to upgrade their shops in a matter of months, sources said.”, The New York Post, June 11, 2023

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Our Mission, Information Sources & Who We Are

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 covering 25+ countries provides us with updates about what is actually happening in their specific countries. 

William “Bill” Edwards: Global 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 taking 40 franchisors global.

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

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

Our latest GlobalVue™ 40 country ranking

What is ‘Geowizard’?

Where did this name come from?

In early 1977, my Wife, Nancy, our new Daughter, Heather, and I moved back to the U.S. from a multi-year oil & gas exploration assignment in Jakarta, Indonesia. My company, Atlantic Richfield, transferred me to Houston to work on oil & gas exploration off the Gulf Coast of the U.S.

The traffic in the morning and afternoons from the Houston suburbs to our downtown office was bumper to bumper. In those days we did not have cell phones or GPS navigation systems to tell us what the traffic ahead was. So, many people had CB (Citizen Band) radios mounted in their cars with big antennas. Everyone shared the traffic where they were. We would listen for upcoming traffic and broadcast when we saw a traffic problem.

Everyone was required to have a CB ‘handle’ like fighter pilots have a call sign. Mine was “Geowizard.” I was an Exploration Geophysicist in the oil industry with a geology background. My job was to use technology to find oil & gas. Hence, I was a Geowizard!

During my 4 decades of oil industry days and subsequent global business development career living in 7 countries and working on projects in over 50, I have had to be a wizard to get international brands started up successfully in many countries. Hence, I remain a Geowizard!

Bill Edwards

May 2021

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:

Download our latest 40 country ranking chart at this link:

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.

Everything You Need To Know To Make Your Franchise A Global Success

“96 percent of the world’s consumers and over three-quarters of the world’s purchasing power are outside of the United States”, US SBA Administrator.

“Nearly 90% of the next one billion people to attain middle-class status will be in Asia.” Homi Kharas, Brookings Institution.

“As Globalization has taken hold over the last 20 years, international growth has become a “must” for any company seeking high rates of sustained future growth.” Catherine Monson, CEO, FASTSIGNS and Chair, International Franchise Association.

Running a successful and profitable franchise is a good way to accumulate wealth and become a high net worth businessperson and entrepreneur. However, you will need to be well educated, and maybe even a certified franchise expert, if you want to see your franchise make a lot of money.

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. Having helped 40+ franchisors take their brand global, here are the questions most people have:

  • Which countries have the highest potential for our specific brand?
  • What is the best international development model for our specific franchise?
  • Will our brand fit into the culture of other countries?
  • Will we have to change our training, support, and marketing programs?
  • Can we eventually make a good return on our international investment?
  • What does it cost to develop our franchise outside our home country?

To answers these questions, let’s answer the why, when, how, where and with whom of taking a franchise international

Why Take Your Franchise International?

  • Add new sources of franchise fees, royalties and product sales
  • Reduce dependence on your home country market
  • Leverage your existing technology, know-how and intellectual property
  • Improved economies of scale through network growth
  • Become a franchise expert

When should you take your franchise international?

  • 10 units or 250 units? The number of units is not the best measure of being ready
  • When your business management technology and Intranet are robust
  • When you have applied for a trademark before seeking a licensee in a country
  • When your training, marketing, and support resources are online
  • when you’ve become familiar to franchising and an expert in the domain
  • But, most of all, when you have a plan to succeed

How – The International Development Options

  • Master Franchise – Franchisor grants exclusive rights for a country to one company or expert, often with the right to sub-franchise 
  • Area or Regional Franchise – Franchisor grants exclusive rights for part of a country. The most common method for food franchises
  • Direct Franchise – Franchisor awards expert or certified franchisees and directly supports their Franchisees in a country
  • Joint Venture License – Franchisor jointly invests, owns, and develops the business in a country with a local company
  • Direct Investment – Franchisor owns and operates all units in a country. 

Where should you take your franchise?

  • Rule of Law and IP Protection – this is needed to protect your brand over time
  • Country Stability – this is needed to be able to start and grow your brand
  • Your consumer market size – who can. And will want to buy at your franchise
  • Culture – adaptation, but not changing the brand
  • Ability to get paid in a timely manner, not all countries allow freedom of payments
  • Potential to Achieve An Acceptable ROI – you will have costs associated with fees

And with whom? Your international licensee should have these attributes:

  • A passion for and understanding of your business
  • Successful company with expert experience in appropriate sectors
  • Good reputation in the country
  • Experienced management to put into the business
  • Access to suitable real estate
  • Marketing oriented company
  • Capital to start and grow your business in their country
  • Preferably a licensed or certified expert themselves

A Proven International Development Strategy

  • Budget conservatively for the first 3-5 years of international developments
  • Be realistic in your initial fee expectations
  • Realize that initial fee revenues have associated expenses over time
  • Be realistic in how many countries you can award and properly support
  • Plan ahead for marketing, training, and support costs

William Edwards, CFE, is CEO of Edwards Global Services (EGS) and a global advisor to CEOs. He has 47 years of expert international experience and has lived in 7 countries. He has been a certified Franchisor, an International Master Franchisee in 5 countries, and has assisted more than 40 franchisors in their global development.  +1-949-224-3896.  For more information on the Certified Franchise Executive program, please go to this link:

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. 

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