Global Business Development

China and Global Supply Chain Update May 26, 2020

William (Bill) Edwards, CEO of Edwards Global Services, Inc. (EGS), has been doing business in China for 38 years, starting with living in China from late 1982 through mid 1985. He has been the Master Franchisee for a U.S. franchise in China. EGS opened an office in Beijing in 2014 and we are currently helping four U.S. brands enter the Mainland China market. Our U.S. Clients are all consumer-faced franchise brands.

The following are extracts from a variety of information sources and our network inside China.  This is bipartisan and does not reflect a point of view.

“China may become one of many hubs as companies diversify manufacturing after coronavirus shock: The coronavirus is ‘a wake-up call for pretty much every company,’ said Gerry Mattios, expert vice president at Bain. ‘The number one item on the agenda is, “how do I build resilience in my supply chain?’ ‘China is still a very attractive total supply chain solution,’ said How Jit Lim, a managing director with consulting firm Alvarez & Marsal. ‘There are very few countries in the world where you can find almost everything you need to build something.’” CNBC, May 25, 2020

https://bit.ly/Chinamanyhubs

“Coronavirus won’t kill globalisation – but a shakeup is inevitable: Globalisation relies on complex links – global value chains (GVCs) – that connect producers across multiple countries. These producers often use highly specialised intermediate goods, or “inputs”, produced by only one distant, overseas supplier. COVID-19 has severely disrupted these links…..But GVCs follow the principle of efficiency. They are the result of businesses sourcing the best possible inputs to meet their production needs at the lowest cost – wherever those inputs come from. This is good news for globalisation’s survival. While efficiency remains the main target, businesses will continue to shop globally.”, The Conversation, May 23,2020

https://bit.ly/ConversationGVCs

“European Luxury Is More Chinese Than Ever: Designer labels will need to contemplate a wave of European store closures as they become more dependent on China for sales. Chinese luxury consumers, who are almost two decades younger and less indebted than their Western counterparts, can afford to spend a larger chunk of their disposable income on designer baubles. Already there are signs of what stock analysts are calling “revenge spending” as lockdowns lift in Chinese cities and shoppers head to the mall. Consulting firm Bain estimates that by 2025, up to 49% of global luxury sales will be made to Chinese shoppers, an increase from the consulting firm’s earlier forecast of 46%.”, Wall Street Journal, May 22, 2020

https://bit.ly/EuropeanLuxuryChina

“Business travel showing signs of life in China: While the Chinese hotel industry saw a significant performance increase during the Labour Day holiday to start May, some urban markets saw continued demand after the holiday, fueled by a modest return for business travel. Business transient was also strong enough to maintain performance levels following the holiday in Shanghai, with occupancies hovering in the 30% range. While better than performance seen so far in 2020, it still lags well behind what was seen in previous years. ‘For perspective, midweek this time of year in a normal year (occupancy) is about 90%,’ said Jesper Palmqvist, area director for the Asia/Pacific region for STR.”, Hotel News Now, May 20, 2020

https://bit.ly/3cWVpZL


EGS Biweekly Global Business Newsletter

Issue 4, Monday, May 18, 2020

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

 “Worry is like a rocking chair: It gives you something to do but never gets you anywhere.” humorist Erma Bombeck.

 “Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more, so that we may fear less.” Marie Curie

 Introduction

The goal of this newsletter is to keep the reader up to date on the economic and business situation in key trading countries. We monitor 30+ countries, 25 daily international information sources and six business sectors to keep up with what is going on in this ever-changing environment. Our team on the ground covers 43 countries and provides us with updates about what is happening in their specific countries.

Please send us your input and perspectives so that we can publish a balanced view about the world every other week.  Our contact information is at the bottom of this newsletter. You may opt out from receiving this biweekly global business update at the bottom of this blog.

The Focus of This Issue

This issue focuses on what is happening in 28 countries that impact consumer spending. The three themes of this issue are the continuing reopening of businesses around the world, travel openings and restrictions and a new section at the end that has links to special reports from several global information sources such as McKinsey’s May 15th ‘Short List’ of global updates at this link:

https://bit.ly/May152020newletter

The Latest GlobalVue™ Country Ranking Charts

We just issued our first quarterly GlobalVue™ country ranking since the novel Coronavirus outbreak. We’ve added a dual ranking, which first ranks countries on all parameters and then ranks countries on how they are expected to emerge post pandemic. The GlobalVue™ country ranking chart has been issued quarterly since 2001.

https://bit.ly/EGSGlobalVue052020

International Travel Updates

“Countries and destinations are continuing to implement additional health screening maries at their borders, including temperature checks, COVID-19 tests, questions on itineraries and 14-day quarantine periods.” This includes Australia, Canada, China, Hong Kong, Ireland, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Taiwan and the United Kingdom.” Lonely Planet, May 15, 2020.

https://apple.news/AGD9wpcNWQNadUjlTMchQzg

China, South Korea consult Japan on easing business-travel curbs: China and South Korea have consulted Japan about easing border controls on business travelers to help revive business activities, the Yomiuri newspaper reported on Sunday without citing sources.”, Reuters, May 20, 2020

“Disneyland Shanghai reopens in test case for recovery: Strong demand from Chinese consumers as park limits visitors to less than a third of capacity. Disneyland Shanghai has reopened to a limited number of visitors kept apart by strict social distancing rules, as the group searches for a global recovery blueprint. The resumption of business on Monday after three months of coronavirus-induced closure marks the first Disney park to attempt a comeback after closure due to the Covid-19 crisis. The success of the reopening will be closely monitored as a potential model for Disney’s other venues that span from California to Hong Kong, Paris to Tokyo, as well as for other large theme parks around the world.”, The Financial Times, May 11, 2020

Emirates is resuming flights to London, Frankfurt, Paris, Milan, Madrid, Chicago, Toronto, Sydney and Melbourne on May 21st

https://apple.news/A5sXdLD01RGW3zmWhrkpvQw

Very good news for global brands in airport locations: Lagardère, the global airport brand operator announce that it has reopened retail stores at Amsterdam Schiphol airport. They have also reopened 9 Relay stores in France. 16 Relay store have now reopened in Europe.

“Lufthansa plans 1,800 round trips a week by the end of June: German flagship carrier Lufthansa on Thursday said it would be offering 1,800 round trips a week to more than 130 destinations around the world by the end of June.”, Reuters, May 14, 2020

https://apple.news/AGUw7GMGDQPGyD_bR1tWxB

“Chinese carriers restart their engines: In the first week of May, a holiday in China, capacity was scheduled to be only 10% lower than in the same period a year ago, estimates the capa Centre for Aviation, a consultancy. In America, meanwhile, it was 73% lower. As Western rivals slash flights, China Eastern this month claimed the title of the world’s biggest airline by current seat capacity, according to oag, an aviation-data firm.” The Economist, May 7, 2020

“Summer Travel Europe: Many Countries Plan To Be Open” As European lockdowns start to lift across the continent and land borders reopen, tourism is set to rise from the COVID-19 ashes in time for summer holiday travel. Countries with similar corona infection levels plan to welcome tourists, guided by strict EU safety and hygiene recommendations.”, Forbes, May 14, 2020

https://apple.news/AFBZ4Dw08QDqRef0rub1nHg

“How the Coronavirus Pandemic Will Change the Way We Travel: Trips will return, but they won’t be the same.”, Architectural Digest, May 13, 2020.

https://apple.news/APuGJmbrVS3iNXqEmkKh2zA

“Ryanair is planning to reintroduce 1,000 flights a day by July 1, with passengers undergoing temperature checks at airports to combat the spread of coronavirus. Europe’s busiest airline said today that 40 per cent of its flight schedule would be restored within seven weeks, subject to government restrictions on travel across the Continent being lifted.”, The Times of London, May 12, 2020

“9 Aspects To Consider Before Traveling Overseas Again: While being grounded by the COVID-19 pandemic, this million-mile traveler considers what’s going to be needed before he will feel safe traveling again.”, Forbes, May 8, 2020

https://apple.news/A2BBJftP9SJWfvHFYeJVEoA

Argentina

“Argentina extends quarantine for capital, relaxes elsewhere: Argentina extended until May 24 a quarantine for its capital Buenos Aires but relaxed the restriction aimed at slowing the spread of the new coronavirus elsewhere in the country, President Alberto Fernandez said on Friday.”, Reuters, May 9, 2020

Australia

“The Federal government has unveiled a thee stage plan to ease COVID-19 social distancing restrictions over the next two months, with reviews to occur at three-week intervals to assess the plan’s progress, according to a media report. Each stage will open more facilities for business, pleasure, and recreation, and increases the number of people which may gather in one place provided COVID-19 protocols including 1.5-metre physical distancing and good hand hygiene are maintained. Employees will be encouraged to continue working from home if possible. Intra- and interstate travel restrictions will also be progressively eased, but international travel beyond New Zealand and some Pacific Islands is unlikely to resume anytime soon.” Jason Gehrke, Managing Director, Franchise Advisory Centre, Brisbane

“On 26 April 2020 the Australian Government launched the COVIDSafe app to assist with contact tracing of COVID-19 cases in the community. Since its release more than 5.3 million Australians have downloaded the app.”, MST Lawyers, mst.com.au

“Australia’s biggest beer drinkers prepare for the end of lockdown with 300,000 pints: Australia’s thirsty far north is preparing for the party of the decade as a convoy carrying 175,000 litres of beer — 300,000 pints — heads there for the reopening of pubs next week. The Northern Territory capital, Darwin, whose population of 132,000 are Australia’s biggest beer drinkers, is expected to be the first to emerge from the coronavirus lockdown. Michael Gunner, the territory’s chief minister, ordered his office to arrange a huge road convoy that is trucking beer the 1,600 miles from Adelaide to Darwin in readiness for the expected opening of pubs next week.”, The Times of London, May 8, 2020

Brazil

“Our president is allowing reopening flexibility, but not every city is making use of it. Today’s headlines say that contamination in our city, Belo Horizonte, is 10x slower than São Paulo due to social isolation.” Ursula Aleixo, Business Director, Fastdezine Team, Bello Horizonte

Cambodia

“Thailand’s CP Group will oversee the Cambodian debut of 7-Eleven convenience stores next year under a master franchise agreement with 7-Eleven Inc, the US subsidiary of 7-Eleven Japan Co. CP All Plc, the conglomerate’s SET-listed retail arm, has concluded a deal with the US firm to operate 7-Eleven stores through CP All (Cambodia) Co beginning in 2021. The first outlet will open in Phnom Penh, a spokeswoman for the Japanese retail group Seven & I Holdings Co said.”, Contributed by Paul Jones, Barrister, Solicitor & Trade-mark Agent, Jones & Co., Toronto, Ontario

Canada

For an excellent update on the status of the provincial reopening plans for restaurants, cafes and other food service establishments across Canada, please go to the link below for the Cassels Brock law firm update:

https://bit.ly/CBCanadaReopening

“McDonald’s will restart take-out services at 30 restaurants in Canada, weeks after shutting down all of its stores in the country due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the company’s Canadian unit said.”, Reuters, May 14, 2020

“Wage Subsidy extended to the end of August: The Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy program will be extended to the end of August. The program — which covers 75 per cent of an eligible company’s payroll, up to a maximum of $847 per week per employee — originally was set to expire next month. Companies that saw their revenues drop by 15 per cent in March or 30 per cent in April and May are eligible for the program.”, Canadian Franchise Association, May 15, 2020

Mainland China

“China’s 2020 economic growth target in focus as Beijing set to convene National People’s Congress: Speculation is mounting over whether China will announce a growth target for 2020 at its annual parliamentary gathering (this coming week), after the coronavirus outbreak delayed the event and lashed the economy.”, South China Morning Post, May 6, 2020

https://apple.news/AGwO8ki6xTXmADsRyAVPMhQ

“China starts exempting some foreign business executives from its coronavirus travel ban. It’s the latest sign that China is taking steps to reopen its borders for business.”, Fortune, May 12, 2020

https://apple.news/AVaEzrvVMR4yl4TTbUtf_aQ

“China’s recovery is on course: Despite external headwinds, UBS CIO expects China’s GDP growth to recover gradually from 2Q thanks to pent-up demand and stronger policy support. UBS CIO Global Wealth Management expects infrastructure investment to be the main growth driver from 2Q, buoyed by greater funding support from larger special local government bond issuance. In 1Q, up to CNY 1.08trn of special LGBs have been issued to fund qualified infrastructure projects, and the full-year quota could reach at least CNY 3trn.” UBS report compliments of Andrew Low, CEPA, CTFA, Senior Vice President – Wealth Management, Certified Exit Planning Advisor, UBS Financial Services, Inc

https://bit.ly/UBSChinaReport

The global law firm, DLA Piper, recently released a very detailed China tax and legal slide update this past week which can be viewed and downloaded at the following link:

https://bit.ly/DLAChina0520

“McDonald’s China is hosting an online job-recruitment fair for the first time as the fast-food giant eyes the addition of 1,000 new locations over the next two years. A livestreaming job fair will be held today and aims to hire and train 1,700 additional store managers to oversee new outlets. A virtual tour of the quick service chain restaurant will also be offered for potential job applicants to learn about the company’s working environment. It operates 3,500 storefronts in China’s mainland as of February this year.” Also from Paul Jones, Barrister, Solicitor & Trade-mark Agent, Jones & Co., Toronto, Ontario

https://www.shine.cn/biz/company/2005158161/

“Fast-forward China: How COVID-19 is accelerating five key trends shaping the Chinese economy: Events expected to play out in the Chinese economy over the next several years have been compressed into a short few months. Over the last few months, COVID-19 has spread across the world, uniting humanity in a shared experience that has highlighted the vulnerability of our societies. As the first country to grapple with the crisis, China has been on the frontlines both of post-COVID-19 economic recovery, and of the societal changes the pandemic has precipitated.”, McKinsey Highlights, May 6, 2020

https://apple.news/AELPrgE6qPtyv8HFJOTWW7Q

Denmark

“Fast in, first out: Denmark leads lockdown exit: Four weeks after Denmark began easing its lockdown, Danes on Monday returned to cafes and restaurants, confident that the coronavirus outbreak is under control.”, Reuters, May 18, 2020

Dominican Republic

“An article in a DR publication which included an interview with the “Father of Tourism” in the DR – Frank Rainieri. Frank is the Founder & Chairman of Grupo Puntacana, which is the #1 tourist destination in the DR, and includes hotels, villas, residences, marinas, stores, restaurants, etc. Frank said he was optimistic about the recovery of the tourism sector in the DR and in the Caribbean overall. He noted just this week alone 21 different international airlines have contacted him requesting when they can resume flights into Punta Cana (Frank owns the private Punta Cana airport, which is the country’s busiest). He expects to resume the extensive operations of the Grupo in June. Source: “Mercado Daily” digital news publication for the DR, May 7, 2020.  Bob Jones, Chief International Officer, Edwards Global Services, Inc.

Egypt

“IMF approves $2.77 billion in emergency pandemic aid for Egypt. The International Monetary Fund on Monday said its executive board approved $2.77 billion in emergency financing to help Egypt grapple with the new coronavirus pandemic that has brought tourism to a standstill and triggered major capital flight.”, Reuters, May 11, 2020

“Egypt extends nationwide nighttime curfew until end of Ramadan: Egypt extended a nationwide nighttime curfew until end of the holy month of Ramadan (May 23rd) to slow the spread of the new coronavirus, Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly said on Thursday.”, Reuters, May 7, 2020

Germany

“Apple Stores in Germany next to begin reopening on May 11: Apple Stores in Germany will be among the next to reopen after extended closures in response to the coronavirus pandemic. Following reopenings across South Korea, Austria, and Australia in recent weeks, Germany’s 15 Apple Stores will all reopen on May 11 at 11:00 A.M. Germany hasn’t mitigated coronavirus infections to the extent of other regions.”, 9T05Mac, May 8, 2020

https://apple.news/ACT4rLu_eS1mLaD6LDy9V7w

“Germany to Reopen Most of Economy in Coming Weeks as Coronavirus Recedes: Germany announced a further phasing out of its lockdown, putting itself at the front of a group of large European countries feeling their way back toward economic normality after slowing the spread of the coronavirus.”, The Wall Street Journal, May 6, 2020

https://apple.news/AEHAv626wT9Oezv_eGP-nJw

Greece

“Greece reopened the Acropolis, museums and other major tourist attractions as the coronavirus lockdown eased in bright sunshine in Athens on Monday.”, Reuters, May 18, 2020

Hong Kong

On May 13, the global U.S.-based Snap Fitness® franchise group reopened its 6 Hong Kong gyms and announced the award of another franchise for Hong Kong.

“Hong Kong business travelers prioritised in economy relaunch once pandemic is defeated. Attracting business travelers will be the top priority when Hong Kong reopens its economy to the world as part of the city’s recovery from the coronavirus pandemic, the commerce minister has said.” South China Morning Post, May 14, 2020

India

“The current Lockdown will now end on May 31st. Some restrictions will be in place though.  The Government has already opened offices and shops with restriction on number of people (Like 30-40%). Trains have started to run.”, Rajeev Manchanda, Inventure India, updated May 18, 2020

“Modi unveils $266bn stimulus package to revive Indian economy: The package is equivalent to about 10 per cent of India’s gross domestic product. “Coronavirus is going to be part of our lives for a long time, but we can’t let our lives revolve around it,” he said.”, The Financial Times, May 12, 2020

Italy

“Italy will welcome foreigners to save tourism industry: Italy will open its borders to European visitors on June 3 to lure back German holidaymakers and save its tourism industry despite the threat of another wave of contagion. It is the latest in a series of steps to roll back Italy’s lockdown, which was introduced on March 10 to quell an outbreak that has killed more than 31,000 people. “We’re facing a calculated risk, knowing that the epidemiological curve could rise again,” Giuseppe Conte, the prime minister, said.”, The Times of London, May 18, 2020

“Things are slowly coming back on-line. Restaurants & Bars are open for take-out and delivery, from the 18th they will be able to welcome customers as long as they stick to guidelines: ample space for social distancing, hygiene requirements and masks, plexiglass shields and behavior manuals for staff. Similar regs apply to other businesses where people work closely together; controls on building sites have also been increased. There are strict regulations on number of people present at any one time, how many people can travel together to work, disinfecting (2 times per day), masks worn at all times, social distances when working or using communal spaces. Anyone entering the site will have their temperature measured. All workers will need to follow a hygiene/guidelines course and all areas require appropriate signage. Schools will not be reopening before September. Under Phase 2, Italians are allowed to travel within the same region and visit relatives without showing special documentation, exercise outside, hold funerals with 15 or fewer attendees, and reopen bike and scooter shops to alleviate demand on public transportation.” Andrew Shearn, ADEA Group, Milan

Japan

“Japan Largely Lifts Coronavirus State of Emergency: Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe lifted a state of emergency in much of the country outside of the capital and credited voluntary restrictions for bringing down new coronavirus infections sharply, Wall Street Journal, May 14, 2020

Malaysia

“Malaysia on Sunday extended its conditional lockdown for a further four weeks to June 9.”, South China Morning Post, May 10, 2020

Mexico

“With the economy in freefall, the question facing Mexico’s central bankers is how much to cut interest rates. Analysts are expecting a reduction of half a percentage point, to 5.5%, a four-year low. That will do little to stem the bleeding. The peso is trading near an all-time low against the dollar. (Of 42 major, national economies tracked by the Economist Intelligence Unit, our sister company, Mexico is expected to fare the worst this year.).” The Economist, May 13, 2020.

https://apple.news/AlEF9C4q5S66fTCWz1RQLLA

New Zealand

May 13th was the first day at level 2 with all shops and restaurants open. Huge queues for haircuts. Malls are also open. Schools soon. Most people continue to work from home. Stewart Germann, Stewart Germann Law Office, Auckland   Please go to this link for Stewart’s latest reopening advice:

https://bit.ly/StewartGermannNZReopening

Panama

“With a high increase in the number of COVID-19 cases, the situation in Panama is not good. Some restaurants are just delivering. Gyms are closed.  Hopefully at the end of May we will see more businesses operating but with lots of restrictions.”, Jose Enrique Tellez, Business Consultant, Panama City

“Panama’s Copa Airlines expects to fly 40% of its usual flights by December: Panama’s Copa Airlines expects to resume 40% of its usual flights by December, the company said on Wednesday, the latest carrier to predict a slow recovery in traffic due to the coronavirus crisis.’, Reuters, May 6, 2020

Singapore

“Singapore partly reopens despite rise in cases: Singaporeans are able to get a haircut at the barber or pop in to their favorite bakery as the government loosened restrictions.”, ABC News, May 13, 2020

“Groomed but still grounded: Hairdressers reopen during Singapore lockdown: Long queues formed outside hairdressers in Singapore on Tuesday as the government eased some restrictions of a nationwide lockdown, although any styles beyond a trim would have to wait.”, Reuters, May 12, 2020

South Korea

“‘Smart Work’ and COVID-19 Transforming the Workplace in South Korea: In February and March government agencies and companies across South Korea opted to keep workers home in what can be seen as a mass experiment with the remote work system. One issue that did not hamper work from home was Korea’s Internet infrastructure robustness even as the demand for telecommuting solutions rapidly increased. As most of Korea has returned to working on-site, the big question remains open as to whether working remotely and adopting “smart work” systems will become an option and part of the new normal.”, Don Southerton, Branding In Asia, May 11, 2020

“South Korea’s Early Coronavirus Wins Dim After Rash of New Cases: South Korea, which largely succeeded in quelling the spread of the coronavirus, is back on the defensive, with Seoul’s bars and clubs ordered closed, as the country reported its biggest one-day increase in new infections in a month.”, Wall Street Journal, May 10, 2020

Spain

“Spain aims to reopen borders to tourism in late June: Tourism-dependent Spain aims to reopen borders to visitors around the end of June as its coronavirus lockdown fully unwinds, a minister said on Monday, in a much-needed boost for the ravaged travel sector.”, Reuters, May 18, 2020

https://apple.news/AnI2QxEozTlys8AbDn52jww

“From May 11, F&B places will be able to open for terrace service (with 50% occupancy reduction) and also will be allowed to continue with their home delivery and pick-up services. From last week, they have set 3 daily separate groups to go out of the house:  1)  People over 14 till 69 yrs old doing sports or walking (6am to 10am and 20 to 23h); 2) Walking the kids under 14 (12 to 19h); and 3) over 70 yrs old (10-12am and 19 to 20h).  From May 11, they will allow get togethers of a maximum 10 people.  Unfortunately, no news about business travelling yet.”, Tarsicio Merin, CEO, Almanor International, Madrid

“Spain will require all arriving travelers to quarantine for 14 days: Traveling to Spain in the near-term will require a mandatory period in isolation. On May 12, Spain announced that it was set to impose a mandatory 14-day quarantine for international arrivals. Beginning May 15, Spain will require that all passengers arriving from international destinations self-quarantine for two weeks.” The Points Guy, May 12, 2020

Switzerland

“This week Switzerland became the first country in Europe to end restrictions on its hospitality sector — offering a peek, albeit through the lens of the wealthy alpine state’s relatively rarefied dining scene, of what future lies ahead for restaurants, cafés and bars in a post-Covid-19 world. Restarting the hospitality sector is a key priority for Bern as the country emerges from lockdown — a message the government has pushed hard this week. More than 260,000 people are employed in the hospitality sector. In many cantons, more people work in restaurants than in shops.”, Financial Times, May 14th, 2020

Thailand

“In Bangkok, street food and takeaway alcohol are back on the menu but nightlife stays on ice. Hair salons, restaurants and even street-food stalls in Bangkok’s Chinatown came back to life this week, albeit with social distancing in place, as Thailand eased its lockdown rules and an alcohol ban after making progress in controlling the spread of the virus.”, South China Morning Post, May 5, 2020

During a recent call with Stephen Anderson, Senior Commercial Officer, and Commercial Specialist Thanyathorn Voravongsatit at the U.S. Commercial Service post in Bangkok, they mentioned ‘Thailand 4.0’. This is the government program to go from Thailand 1.0 agriculture to Thailand 2.0 light industry to Thailand 3.0 heavy industry to Thailand 4.0 Prosperity, Security and Sustainability.  You can download detailed information on Thailand 4.0 at this link:

https://thaiembdc.org/thailand-4-0-2/

Turkey

“Turkey’s reopening: malls before schools: Turkey has the ninth-highest number of confirmed covid-19 cases worldwide. But the country has managed to limit the spread of the virus over the past month and so is moving to ease its lockdown. The government has already lifted travel bans in some provinces. On May 10th the elderly, who were placed under a strict curfew at the start of the pandemic, were allowed to go out for a few hours for the first time in nearly two months. Everyone else was ordered to stay home.”, The Economist, May 10, 2020

United Arab Emirates

“Dubai businesses ask for more state help to survive coronavirus. Proposals include reduction of utility costs, customs duties and expats’ residency fees. Dubai’s private sector has proposed government interventions including state subsidised loans, assistance in covering salaries and lower taxes, to help businesses survive the fallout from coronavirus. Representatives of the Gulf hub’s family-owned business community called for the government to speed up payments to contractors and suppliers and to cut sales tax from 5 per cent to 2 per cent.” Financial Times, May 12, 2020

United Kingdom

“Rishi Sunak (UK Chancellor) has announced that the government’s wage-subsidy scheme will be extended until the end of October, but employers will have to help bear the cost. The chancellor announced that from August furloughed workers will be able to return to work part-time with their wages topped up by the government. The Treasury has decided not to cut the overall level of the wage subsidy scheme, which stands at 80 per cent of people’s wages up to £2,500 a month.”, The Times of London, May 12, 2020

“McDonald’s has announced plans to reopen a further 15 restaurants on May 20th which will offer drive-thru services. Each car will be limited to a £25 order and will be encouraged to pay by contactless payment methods.”, LAD Bible, May 12, 2020

https://apple.news/AgZ7OgIAGTGeR76oDKUWvJA

“Britain’s 5.8m small businesses are in the eye of the economic storm created by the coronavirus outbreak. Entrepreneurs pride themselves on resilience and adaptability, but the past two months have thrown up challenges few could have anticipated. The government has responded with support packages providing loans, grants and equity investments for businesses of all sizes. Under the job retention scheme, the state pays 80% of the wages of furloughed workers until the end of next month.”, The Times of London, May 9, 2020

https://apple.news/AgBhcD04WR-6ASsJYbPSTBQ

“No breakfast buffet and smartphones as keys: what London hotels will be like after lockdown: Guests arriving at London’s top hotels famed for their warm welcomes are likely to have to check in online in advance and go straight to their rooms unaccompanied to help keep face-to face contact to a minimum once they reopen after lockdown.”, The Evening Standard, May 7, 2020

Vietnam

“International tourists will come (to Vietnam) but clearly in much less numbers than before. Most if not all international flights are not allowed still though this may open up in the next few weeks hopefully. The main issue is where the planes go to and come from as some countries have been hit hard and Vietnam will limit or not allow flights to/from those countries. When international flights are allowed into Vietnam, it will come with extensive testing at the airports and also 14 day quarantines for some that come from specific countries (at this point do not know who they will require quarantining). Countries like the US, UK, Italy, and Spain are likely going to require some sort of quarantining if allowed to come for the foreseeable future and until these countries can get a handle on the coronavirus.”, Sean Ngo, CEO and Co-Founder, VF Franchise Consulting, Ho Chi Minh Coty

Articles on Moving Through the COVIF-19 Times

One of the most important things that people and businesses can be doing these days is maintaining relationships around the world through calls, video conferences and email messages. We like the article by Ernesto Zuniga with the Avantiis Group at the following link on the value of global relationships:

https://bit.ly/GlobalRelationships

Recently the International Monetary Fund (IMF) published their 2020 and 2021 Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth projections for the world in the form of two interactive maps which you can access at the link below. 2020 is not good, of course. But 2021 is projected to show high GDP growth across almost all countries.

https://bit.ly/IMFGDP20202021

“The Great Unwinding: Covid-19 and the regionalisation of global supply chains: A report by The Economist Intelligence Unit The coronavirus pandemic will fundamentally reshape trade, accelerating the trend towards shortening supply chains. For many multinationals, regional supply chains offer resilience and the flexibility to shift production of key components from one location to another, making it a trend that is likely to endure post-pandemic. In a world of increasing uncertainty the pandemic also raises questions around the storage of final goods and critical components”. Download this important report at this link:

https://pages.eiu.com/May-20-Businesses-and-Covid19-registration-page.html

“The world’s food system has so far weathered the challenge of covid-19.” The report at the link below is a comprehensive look at how the world’s food supply chain is performing during the COVID-19 crisis.

https://bit.ly/FoodSupplyReport

“Charting the path to the next normal: A daily chart that helps explain a changing world—during the pandemic and beyond.”, McKinsey

https://bit.ly/DailyChart

In Summary

There is progress in reopening business in the Asia Pacific and in Europe. The Americas and the Middle East remain largely closed down. Air travel will continue to be problematic for the next couple of months at least.

About US

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 and providing operational support around the world. Our U.S. based executive team has living experience living and working in many countries. Our Associate network on the ground overseas covers 40+ countries. EGS is also known for our extensive country, cultural and sector research and publications, including the quarterly GlobalVue™ country ranking chart.

Find out more about the services we provide at:   www.edwardsglobal.com

William Edwards is an executive with 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.  Founded in 2001, Edwards Global Services, Inc. (EGS) takes U.S. businesses global and currently has activity in 25 countries.  Our Clients are all consumer-faced brands.

William Edwards, CFE, is CEO and Global Advisor to Chief Executives, of Edwards Global Services (EGS). Contact Bill at bedwards@edwardsglobal.com or +1 949 224 3896.


EGS Biweekly Global Business Newsletter

Issue #3, Monday, May 4, 2020

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

 “It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change”. Darwin

 “Keep calm and carry on”

 “When one door closes, another door opens”, Alexander Graham Bell

 

Introduction

The goal of this newsletter is to keep the reader up to date on the economic and business situation in key trading countries. We constantly monitor 30 countries, 25 daily international information sources and six business sectors to keep up with what is going on in this ever-changing environment. Our team on the ground covers 43 countries and provides us with updates about what is happening in their specific countries.

Please do not hesitate to send us your input and perspectives so that we can publish a balanced view about the world every other week.  Our contact information is at the bottom of this newsletter. You may opt out from receiving this biweekly global business update email at the bottom of this email.

William Edwards is an executive with 46 years of international operations, development, executive and entrepreneurial experience. He has lived in China, the Czech Republic, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Iran, and Turkey.   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.

Founded in 2001, Edwards Global Services, Inc. takes U.S. businesses global and currently has activity in over 25 countries.  Our U.S. Clients are all consumer-faced brands.

The Focus of This Issue

This newsletter issue focuses on what is happening in 29 countries that impact consumer spending. The theme of this issue can best be summed up by the following quote form the Financial Times on May 1, 2020: “Governments in Europe, the US, Australia and New Zealand have begun to ease the extraordinary stay-at-home orders that have helped contain the spread of Covid-19.  But in most places, it will be anything but business-as-usual. Instead, the next few months are going to feel like an empty-chair economy, with new shift patterns at factories, half-full buses and trains, staggered opening hours and unusually roomy restaurants.”

Contact Tracing Apps Are Being Used in More than Two Dozen Countries

“At least 27 countries are using data from cellphone companies to track the movements of citizens, according to Eden Manovich, the advocacy director for Privacy International, which is keeping a record of surveillance programs. In South Korea, millions of people have signed up to use websites or apps that show how the virus is spreading. More than 2 million Australians quickly downloaded a coronavirus contact-tracing app that was released last Sunday.” The Washington Post, May 2, 2020

“Italy is preparing to join Germany in launching a Coved 19 contact-tracing mobile application that will avoid location tracking and a centralized database, opting for a standard created by technology companies Apple and Google that they regard as more privacy friendly. Switzerland and Austria also opted last week to use the US tech giants’ standards for their apps. However, France, the UK and Norway – one of the first European countries to launch its app – are all using a technology in which a central server holds data on who came into contact with an infected person.” Financial Times, April 30, 2020

“Singapore will from May 12th require all businesses to adopt a system that logs visitors to their premises using their smartphones, in the name of tracking COVID-19 cases.… Called “SafeEntry”, the service requires visitors to either scan a QR code or allow their phones to be scanned to record a barcode in the national e-services app. That scans are taken when visitors enter and exit premises.” A Register, May 4, 2020

International Travel Update

Delta recently announced that this month it will resume “certain international flights”. Most of these flights will be between North and South America and the company will reinstate flights to Canada.

“United will resume seven routes in June, with more to follow later in the summer assuming all goes to plan. The routes coming back in June are: Newark to Paris, Shanghai and Tokyo; and San Francisco to Beijing, Chengdu, Shanghai and Frankfurt.” Forbes, May 4, 2020

“Cathay Pacific looks to increase passenger flights in late June if coronavirus travel restrictions are eased. Carrier targets return of daily services to major Asian cities and more frequent long-haul services.” South China Morning Post, April 28, 2020

“South Korea says it has agreed with China to start facilitating some business travel between the two Asian neighbors, As China signaled initial success in containing its domestic coronavirus contagion, its officials have proposed efforts to facilitate essential travel with foreign counterparts from more than a dozen countries across the Asia-Pacific region and elsewhere.” Wall Street Journal, April 29, 2020.

“”If there is any country in the world with whom we can reconnect with first, undoubtedly that’s New Zealand,” Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said in a statement, according to CNN. “Our number one focus at the moment is making sure that both our countries are in the position where we’re domestically managing Covid-19 to a point where we can with confidence open borders,” New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said in a press conference last week.” Travel & Leisure, May 4, 2020

Argentina

“A national lockdown, originally imposed March 20, was extended to May 10 over the weekend. Now, the country says it will enact a complete ban on all flight sales to, from, or within Argentina until September 1.” CNN Traveler, April 28, 2020

“All frontiers with foreign countries will not open until September. Everybody is teleworking except for “essentials” –  healthcare, security and food (supermarkets and small shops selling food). Banks opened only to pay retired people.  Slowly opening 2nd tier of essentials including take-aways and messaging companies; private medical attention if emergency (dentists, labs, etc. Children, teen-agers and over 60 years are NOT allowed out. All Tourism and Attractions are out of the question i.e. Restaurants, Theatres, Football. Restaurants are trying to keep alive with take away services.” Diana Brandon, U.S. Commercial Services, Buenos Aires.

Australia

“With no definitive answer as to when restrictions will be further lifted, the federal government has urged pubs, gyms and retailers to prepare for reopening. The good news comes as Employment Minister Michaelia Cash called on businesses and retailers to create ‘COVID-safe workplaces,’ so they’re able to safely welcome customers when they’re give the ‘green light’.” News.com.au, May 2, 2020, courtesy of Jason Gehrke, Managing Director, The Franchise Advisory Centre, Brisbane.

“Australia is in lockdown but this will be loosened in next weeks and kids will be going back to school on day per week.  All retail foodservice, fast food and restaurants and non-essential retail is closed. Several States have offered small business grants and low interest deferred payment loans ranging from $10,000 to $250,000.  The federal government has provided a JobKeeper program to all businesses with turnover less than $1B that have lost more than 30% of turnover (50% for businesses with turnover over $1B) compared with normal historic trading. The program pays the business $1500 per fortnight per employee backdated from 1 March to 31 September.” Rod Young, Managing Director, DC Strategy Group, Sydney

Austria

“Austria will become the first country in the European Union to reopen shops of all sizes today, as well as hairdressers, nail salons and other services. In two weeks Austria will also reopen restaurants and its famed cafés—albeit with restrictions on customer numbers and opening hours, and strict rules on hygiene—and allow religious services to resume.” The Economist Expresso, April 30, 2020

Brazil

“Brazilian banks have so far postponed 22.2 billion reais ($3.91 billion) in debt installments due in the coming months, in a move to help consumers and companies amid the coronavirus outbreak, the country’s bank industry group said. In terms of new loan disbursements, large companies have taken out 101.5 billion reais while consumers took 36 billion reais, Febraban said.” Reuters, April 27, 2020

Canada

“The Canadian economy has contracted dramatically. Being a cooperative and polite country, social distancing is having a significant impact in “flattening the curve” of new infections and deaths.  Canada is starting to reopen is businesses, schools and recreation areas.  However, such openings are within the jurisdiction of the provinces and they have not all been affected the same.  As a result, there is no uniformity in the timing and extent of the re-openings.  Most franchise systems are either closed or operating on a very restrictive basis.” Ned Levitt, Partner, Dickinson Wright LLP

Mainland China: Beginning to get back to ‘normal’?

“China tourism numbers bounce back during Labour Day holiday: There were more than 50m tourism trips within the country on Friday and Saturday, according to figures cited by state media. That meant that two days into the five-day break, which ends on Tuesday, the number of journeys has overtaken the total over the three-day Qing Ming festival in early April.  In Beijing, the Forbidden City was partially open for the first time since January 25. Last week, the Chinese capital announced that people arriving from most other parts of the country would no longer have to spend two weeks in quarantine. Beijing was still restricting access to cinemas and theatres, state media said on Sunday. Shanghai’s main tourist attractions received more than 1m visitors on Friday and Saturday combined, Xinhua said.”  Financial Ties, May 4, 2020

“China signals coronavirus under control with resumption of parliament on May 22. Beijing announced the date for its long-delayed annual legislative session on Wednesday after the first disruption of China’s most important political event for decades, in a display of confidence that the new coronavirus outbreak is under control. As road traffic returns to normal across the country, the transport ministry on Tuesday said a nationwide waiver of highway tolls would end from next Wednesday. But restrictions on overseas arrivals at border checkpoints will remain in place.”, South China Morning Post, April 29, 2020

Costa Rica

“Costa Rica’s government said on Monday it will start reopening its economy and lifting some coronavirus-related social distancing measures from May 1st, as the number of active infections has declined for 11 consecutive days. Movie theaters, gyms and hair salons will be able to open again for business on Friday, but under reduced hours and strict rules on the number of clients allowed at any one time, said President Carlos Alvarado.” Reuters, April 27, 2020

Czech Republic

“The Czech government will allow cultural and sport events with up to 100 people to go ahead from May 11 as part of a next phase of relaxing restrictions imposed to combat the spread of the new coronavirus, officials said on Thursday. This will include cinema screenings, theatres performances and religious services, and comes sooner than the government had originally planned after it said the spread of the virus was now contained. Stores of up to 2,500 square metres reopened on Monday. From May 11, shopping malls and larger shops are also set to reopen, along with outdoor restaurants and pubs, hairdressers, and museums. The last phase is due on May 25 with restaurants, pubs and hotels returning to action.” Reuters, April 30, 2020

Dominican Republic

“The Dominican Republic Senate has passed an extension of the State of Emergency until May 17th, still limiting movement and retail business operations until that date. All resorts are closed due to the lack of flights from Europe and the U.S. All businesses are shut down except for those in the medical sector (clinicas y hospitales, drugstores), food service (supermarkets and colmados are open, but some restaurants and fast foods are only offering services via delivery).  Retail stores and schools are closed.” Maria Elena Portorreal De Alonso, Trade Specialist, U.S. Commercial Service, Santo Domingo

France

“France announced an array of measures to begin easing a strict lockdown and reignite an economy battered by the coronavirus, with plans to reopen shops starting May 11 one of the first steps toward normalization. Philippe said French restaurants and cafes may be allowed to reopen from June 2, and pupils can start returning to school from May 11 but with strict rules. Public events of more than 5,000 people are outlawed until September and working from home is encouraged for at least three more weeks, he said. Beaches won’t reopen until at least June 1. Fortune, April 28, 2020

“This is expected to include a gradual reopening of schools, starting with primary classes, based on voluntary attendance and with reduced class sizes. The government is also expected to allow shops to reopen, encourage businesses to get back to work and lift restrictions on movement within the country. Restaurants, bars, hotels and sports centres, however, will stay shut for the time being.” The Economist Expresso, April 27, 2020

Germany

“Germany’s success in battling the coronavirus pandemic has drawn international attention. The main lessons: Fight the virus locally, and keep politics out of it. Germany’s campaign against the virus has largely been fought by regional authorities that created and policed social-distancing rules, worked with businesses to manage shutdowns and safety measures, and prepared the already-robust health-care infrastructure for the illness’s onslaught.” Wall Street Journal, May 1, 2020

“Stores of up to 800 square metres (8,600 square feet) were allowed to open again last week, along with car and bicycle dealers and bookstores, provided they adhere to strict social distancing and hygiene rules. Reuters, April 28, 2020

Greece

“The government was swift in reacting to the crisis early and as a result the situation has not been anything like Italy or Spain or countries with similar populations like Belgium and Netherlands. In fact Greece has been written up in the international press as a great success story. Yesterday there were no deaths for the first time in weeks and only 7 new confirmed cases. We have been teleworking since March 16 and on lockdown since March 23.” Keith Silver, Senior Commercial Officer, U.S. Commercial Service, Athens

Guatemala

“Guatemala closed borders and went under a strict curfew early in March. Curfew was much stricter early, now it is from 6pm to 6am. Only primary companies can open (banks, supermarkets) but with strict social distancing and every citizen must wear a mask or will get fined. Restaurants can only offer delivery. Some factories are open. Schools, universities, malls, shopping centers etc. are shutdown. Citizens cannot move from city to city. Congress approved three fiscal packages, totaling around 3.4 percent of the GDP.” Antonio Prieto, Senior Trade Specialist, Embassy of the United States of America, Guatemala City

India Totally Shut Down???

“On March 25, Prime Minister Narendra Modi imposed the world’s toughest lockdown—at the time it scored a perfect 100 on the University of Oxford’s lockdown stringency index—in an attempt to thwart the virus by essentially freezing 1.3 billion people in place. India’s shutdown includes transportation, manufacturing plants and almost all e-commerce. In many places, residents require passes to travel, or must show proof that they’re outside for an essential activity like buying groceries. Hundreds of thousands of migrant workers have sought shelter in temporary camps. On April 14, the federal government extended the lockdown to May 3.” Wall Street Journal, April 30, 2020

Ireland

”Allied Irish Banks has processed “well over” 40,000 payment breaks for its loan customers as it helps homeowners and businesses cope with the impact of the coronavirus, its chief executive said on Wednesday. Ireland’s retail banks agreed last month to implement loan repayment breaks of up to three months for those affected. The breaks agreed by AIB include 16,000 mortgages, 12,000 business loans and 12,000 for personal customers, CEO Colin Hunt said.” Reuters, April 29, 2020

Italy

“The country is relaxing its lockdown from Monday (May 4), when Italians will be able to exercise as long as they respect rules on maintaining physical distance. They will also be able to visit relatives – but not friends – within their region. However schools, cinemas and most shops will stay shut. Bars and restaurants are due to start allowing customers to sit at tables in June.” BBC, May 3, 2020

“Parks, factories and building sites will reopen, but schools will not restart classes until September. People will be allowed to move around their own regions – but not between different regions. Bars and restaurants will reopen for takeaway service from 4 May – not just delivery as now. Hairdressers, beauty salons, bars and restaurants are expected to reopen for dine-in service from 1 June. More retail shops will reopen on 18 May along with museums and libraries. Sports teams will also be able to hold group training from 18 May.” BBC.com, April 27, 2020

Kuwait

“Since March 11, non-Kuwaiti citizens were barred from entering Kuwait through the airport.  Since March 14, the Kuwait International Airport has been closed until further notice to all inbound commercial flights except for arriving Kuwaiti citizens and their immediate relatives who are traveling with them. Cargo air traffic will continue to be permitted. A nationwide curfew from 4:00pm until 8:00am remains in effect. During Ramadan, food delivery services will be permitted to operate after curfew between 5:30pm and 11:30pm.” Talal Al Muhanna, General Manager & Co-Founder, Shiraa International for Projects Management, Kuwait

Malaysia

“Malaysia to reopen economy on May 4. Nearly all economic sectors to reopen, subject to conditions, says Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin, but controls to remain on social gatherings. Move is sign of focus switching to rescuing business and saving jobs. Social gatherings, however, would still be controlled, schools would remain shut and interstate travel remained banned.” South China Morning Post. May 1, 2020

New Zealand

“Some non-essential businesses, including food takeaways, health and education services will be allowed to reopen. But people are still expected to stay at home unless they are undertaking essential activities, such as buying groceries, working or exercising.” Financial times, April 27, 2020

Poland

Hotels will be reopened along with some cultural institutions (libraries, museums and art galleries), beginning on May 4.  1 person per 15 square meters, 6 feet between people, and face coverings are required. Shopping malls, hotels, building supply stores will reopen at the same time. Museums and libraries will reopen. On May 6, nurseries/preschools are permitted to reopen, but local government/owners will make the decision. Restaurants will remain open for takeaway. Alicja Drolet, Trade Specialist, U.S. Commercial Service, Warsaw

Singapore

“Singapore will let selected businesses reopen from May 12 in a cautious rollback of a two-month partial lockdown despite rising coronavirus infections among foreign workers. Businesses including food manufacturing, food retail outlets, laundry services, barbers and pet supplies will be permitted to reopen on May 12. Home-based businesses can also reopen. Small groups of students will be allowed back to school on May 19. ABC News, May 2, 2020

South Korea

“South Koreans were out in droves in the balmy spring weather on Thursday (April 30). Seoul’s Gimpo airport was crowded with happy passengers flying to the southern resort island of Jeju, public parks buzzed with picnicking families and shopping centres were alive with customers. It was the start of a long weekend, but that wasn’t all. Television footage shows the grounds of Seoul’s Chogye Temple full of believers wearing masks and praying under rows of lanterns to celebrate Buddha’s Birthday.” South China Morning Post, April 30, 2020

“Domestic air travel has had not been closed. People are travelling more within the country. However international is still pretty much shut down stage. Still requires a 2-week isolation for those coming from outside of the country.” Joe Joon, BrandMasters Korea

Spain

“On Saturday adults were able to exercise outdoors on Saturday for the first time in seven weeks. The lockdown was eased for children under 14 a week ago. On Monday masks will become compulsory on public transport and some small businesses such as hairdressers will open for individual customer appointments.” BBC May 4, 2020

According to various sources, the first phase of lifting the lockdown on business activity in Spain officially began today, May 4. It will allow restaurants to reopen for takeaway and gyms for individual training sessions, and also allow training for professional athletes.

Russia

Miratorg Agro-Industrial Holding is looking for premises in the center of Moscow for its fast-food chain restaurants, known as “Burgers & Fries” in English. Essentially it is going around making offers on good locations that are closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This is contrary to an agreement reached among many operators not to raid each other’s locations.” Paul Jones, Barrister, Solicitor and Trade Mark Agent, Jones & Co., Toronto.

“President Vladimir Putin extended the country’s lockdown measures for another two weeks, warning that the worst of the outbreak is still to come. The Russian president announced that he would be extending the country’s national lockdown, which had been set to expire Thursday, until May 11; He also directed his government to begin preparing guidelines for a “phased exit” and eventual reopening.” Forbes, April 28, 2020

Switzerland

“Swiss grandparents are told it’s SAFE to hug grandchildren if they are under ten because they don’t spread coronavirus. Public health officials in Switzerland have said that it is now safe for children under the age of ten to hug their grandparents. The relaxation of restrictions in the country comes after Swiss scientists concluded that grandparents are not at risk of catching Covid-19 from their young grandchildren as they do not have the ‘receptors’ targeted by the virus.” Daily Mail UK, April 28, 2020

“The Swiss government is pressing ahead with re-opening measures including for sporting events, shops, restaurants and museums, it said on Wednesday, even as it bans events with more than 1,000 people through. Border restrictions will also begin being eased from May 11 to allow families to reunite, officials said, while a “careful reopening” of restaurants will be permitted under strict conditions aimed at ensuring health and safety for guests and employees. Primary and secondary schools will be allowed to resume classes from May 11. Moreover, professional sports teams can resume play on June 8, although without spectators in attendance.” Reuters, April 29, 2020

Thailand

“The country is partially reducing the lockdown by reopening restaurants, cafes and markets from May 3. While the national ban on international travellers remains in place until May 30, Thailand is looking at how to resume tourism. Thailand is still under nationwide curfew between 10pm and 4am will remain until the state of emergency ends on May 31.” The Sun UK, April 30, 2020

“The IMF expects (Thailand) GDP to fall by 6.7% this year. The country’s two economic mainstays, tourism and trade, are suffering. Although a fiscal stimulus equivalent to 3% of GDP is under way, domestic demand is in a funk. Some 20m people have applied for state aid and a third of the workforce faces unemployment….the government has extended the state of emergency and lockdown measures until the end of May.” The Economist Expresso, April 28, 2020

United Arab Emirates

Dubai announced a partial reduction in the restrictions on movement in the Emirate. The move, which coincided with the start of Ramadan, allows people to move freely for the first time since April 4 and also saw the reopening of malls, cafes and restaurants, under strict conditions.” Arabian Business, April 27, 2020

“With fever checks and masks, Dubai’s mega-mall reopens. For weeks, only the mall’s grocery stores and pharmacies carried on working, but the UAE has now allowed malls, restaurants and even hair salons to reopen under social distancing rules. Thermal cameras fixed to the ceiling around Dubai Mall record temperatures of passers-by. Children aged between three and 12, and people of over 60 or in higher risk groups for the respiratory disease are not allowed in. Protective masks are compulsory — with staff sporting them both in ready-to-wear stores as well as high-end European designer boutiques. The mall’s cinema, skating rink and large fountains, which in normal times attract thousands of tourists packed in for evening shows, remain closed.” Yahoo News, April 29, 2020

United Kingdom

“Many businesses are going through the process of thinking about what life post-Covid-19 could look like; this is especially true in the F&B sector where ambience, close physical presence, ‘buzz’ are all part of the dining out experience – and if people have to be socially distanced, wear masks etc., much of this is lost. In addition, of course, reducing restaurant capacity to meet social distancing requirements, could wreck the unit economic model. The impact runs all up the supply chain – some dairy farmers are having to pour their milk down the drain as a result of business lost because no-one is buying lattes currently!” Iain Martin, QFP, International Franchise Consultant, The Franchising Centre

“Costa Coffee is re-opening another 29 stores across the UK for deliveries and drive-throughs as all staff are given protective equipment (PPE).” Daily Mail, May 2, 2020

“McDonald’s To Reopen Some UK Stores in May. Fifteen stores will initially open from 13 May – for deliveries only – and will be operating a reduced menu, much like many of the company’s major rivals.” LAD Bible. May 1, 2020

“Huge Queue At First Burger King Drive-Thru To Reopen For Takeaways: The restaurant, in Havant, Hampshire, was the first to reopen in the UK after all fast food outlets closed in the wake of the UK’s lockdown restrictions, in response to the coronavirus pandemic. When it opened at midday, cars could be seen blocking the town’s roads, with people gagging to get at the stores meals.” LAD Bible, April 30, 2020

Vietnam

“The Asia Development Bank anticipates that if the pandemic is contained successfully within the next two or three months, Vietnam’s economic growth should rebound to 6.8% in 2020 and remain strong in the years thereafter. Every industry has been affected and the virus has significantly damaged industries in hospitality and tourism, transportation, food and beverages (F&B), retail, cinemas, and other entertainment. According to the Vietnam Tourism Advisory Council, the pandemic will result in an estimated loss of between $5.9 and $7 billion for the country’s tourism sector in the next three months.” Sean Ngo, CEO and Co-Founder of VF Franchise Consulting, Ho Chi Minh City

In Summary

We keep our thumb on pulse of the global business market, monitoring daily changes and trends, and have insight on how you can protect and grow your brand in this critical market. We will continue to update this global business blog every other Monday.

About US

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 and providing operational support around the world. Our U.S. based executive team has living experience living and working in many countries. Our Associate network on the ground overseas covers 40+ countries. EGS is also known for our extensive country, cultural and sector research and publications, including the quarterly GlobalVue™ country ranking chart.

Find out more at:   www.edwardsglobal.com

William Edwards, CFE, is CEO and Global Advisor to Chief Executives, of Edwards Global Services (EGS) which offers a complete international market research, operations and development solution for U.S. businesses. Contact Bill at bedwards@edwardsglobal.com or +1 949 224 3896.


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