Global Business Development

EGS Biweekly Global Business Newsletter Issue 59, Tuesday, June 28, 2022

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

How interest rate hikes around the world tie to inflation rates. Asia Pacific air travel begins to recover. How the pandemic impacted the rule of law worldwide. Lego’s® to be made once again in the USA. The top wheat, corn and sunflower oil exporters. And breaking down the world’s population by age group.

To receive this biweekly newsletter, click here : https://bit.ly/geowizardsignup

First, A Few Words of Wisdom From Others

“Good judgement comes from experience, and experience comes from bad judgement.”, Rita Mae Brown

“Experience is the teacher of all things.”, Julius Caesar

“The only source of knowledge is experience.”, Albert Einstein

Highlights in issue #59:

  • Brand Global News Section: Lego’s®, Little Caesar’s®, McDonald’s®, Pizza Hut®, Popeyes®, Wendy’s® and Wingstop®

Interesting Data and Studies

“The pandemic has accelerated a global decline in the rule of law – But it has also brought some needed change to the way justice is administered. Compiled by the World Justice Project (wjp), a Washington-based charity, the Rule of Law index, published annually since 2009 and now covering 140 countries, draws on tens of thousands of responses from households, legal practitioners and experts. It asks about people’s experience of the justice systems in their countries, and produces scores based on factors such as the constraints on government power, corruption, regulatory implementation, order and security, and the enforcement of civil and criminal law.”, The Economist, June 7, 2022

Global Energy & Commodities

The Global Economy: Commodities Crisis – The war in Ukraine is exacerbating pre- existing problems with global grain supplies and prices. Although higher prices will be felt by all, North African and Middle Eastern countries along the Mediterranean will be more directly and severely affected. Sudden spikes in food prices are directly linked to increased social unrest and conflict. Further, instability in this region could put fertilizer supplies at risk, which would put only more upward pressure on food prices.”, Geopolitical Futures, June 2022

Global Supply Chain, Commodities, Inflation & Trade Update

2022 Third-Quarter Forecast – During the third quarter of 2022, the combination of high energy and food prices, supply chain bottlenecks, geopolitical uncertainty and the tightening of monetary policy by central banks will slow economic activity in most parts of the world. While the drivers of slowing growth will be similar, the consequences will change from region to region.” Stratfor Worldview, June 27, 2022

U.S. Port Backups Are Extending Into Freight Rail Supply Chains – The congestion is raising costs and adding complications for importers managing the flow of goods in a fragile U.S. economy.

Some retailers are waiting weeks to move cargo by train out of Southern California’s ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, while others are giving up on the railroads and shifting shipments of furniture, apparel and other consumer goods to trucks for long inland journeys on highways.” Wall Street Journal, June 24, 2022

Global, Regional & Local Travel Updates

“Pent-up demand for travel is becoming un-pent,’ says Andrew Charlton of Aviation Advocacy, a consultancy.

The number of seats available on European airlines in the week commencing June 6th was only 9% below the same week in 2019. In North America it was just 5.6% down, according to oag, another consultancy…..up to September sales for international routes are at 72% of their level in 2019 and those on domestic ones are at 66%, according to iata, an industry body.”, The London Economist, June 9, 2022

Air New Zealand Relaunches International Routes to Meet Travel Demand – Air New Zealand has announced the recommencement of 14 international routes over a 16-day period in July. According to the New Zealand Herald, the airline will relaunch services from Auckland to destinations such as Tahiti, Honolulu and Houston that have not seen service for just over 800 days.” , Air Geeks, June 24, 2022

Country & Regional Updates

Australia

Minimum wage increase: Bosses slam Fair Work Commission’s pay boost – On Wednesday morning, the Fair Work Commission announced the national minimum wage would rise by 5.2 per cent to $21.38 per hour or $812.60 per week, representing an increase of $40 per week. Modern award minimum rates will also go up 4.6 per cent “subject to a minimum increase of $40 per week”, and both increases will come into effect from July 1 for most workers.”, News.com.au, June 16, 2022. Compliments of Jason Gehrke, Managing Director, The Franchise Advisory Centre, Brisbane

China

China’s Record High Youth Unemployment Rate – China’s youth unemployment rate in urban areas in May was the highest since records began in 2018 as Covid-19 lockdowns restricted mobility and weighed on the labor market, with the government warning the situation could get worse as millions of fresh graduates start looking for work. The surveyed urban unemployment rate among workers aged 16 to 24 — which captures graduates from high school and college — climbed to 18.4% in May from 18.2% in April….”, Caixing Global, June 15, 2022

Germany

Another strike at major German ports as pay negotiations break down again – As the RMT union leads UK rail workers in their second day of walkouts, new industrial action is also under way at German ports. Negotiations in Bremen between German trade union ver.di and the Central Association of German Seaport Companies (ZDS) broke down yesterday. Beginning at 6am, the strikes are affecting the ports of Bremerhaven, Hamburg and Wilhelmshaven – road, rail and sea cargo, Maersk said – and run until 6am tomorrow.”, The Loadstar, June 23, 2022. Compliments of Vince Iacopella, EVP Growth and Strategy, Alba Wheels Up International Inc.

Spain

Amazon to add 2,000 jobs to its Spanish payroll in 2022 – U.S. online retailer plans to add 2,000 new jobs to its Spanish payroll in 2022, the company’s local unit said on Thursday, a move that will take the total number of employees in Spain to 20,000 by the end of the year. The new hirings include more than 500 jobs within high-demand sectors such as engineering, software development, data science and machine learning….”, Reuters, June 23, 2022

United Kingdom

Interest rates set to rise to 1.25% as Bank tries to curb inflation – Interest rates will rise today for the fifth time in a row to 1.25 per cent amid calls for Boris Johnson to level with the public about the cost of living crisis. The Bank of England is expected to increase rates by 0.25 percentage points from what was already a 13-year high as it seeks to rein in inflation. The Federal Reserve, America’s central bank, went further yesterday, increasing interest rates by 0.75 percentage points, the sharpest rise since 1994.”, The Times of London, June 15, 2022

United States

Lego Brings Manufacturing Back To The U.S., 15 Years After Pulling Plug – The Denmark-based toy company, which makes the colorful plastic building blocks that kids have played with for nine decades, said on Wednesday that it plans to invest more than $1 billion in a new manufacturing plant in Virginia. The move will allow it to shorten the distance that its products have to travel to reach the U.S., one of its biggest markets, it said, and thereby avoid the global supply chain chaos that has resulted in major delays and increased costs during the pandemic.”, Forbes, June 15, 2022

Brand News

This National Pizza Chain Just Announced Plans to Open 1,000 New LocationsIn the mood for some pizza? Little Caesars is counting on it and making moves that will ensure every corner of the country has access to their hot-n-ready pies. The majority of Little Caesars franchises currently dominate the New York, New England, and Hawaii markets—but the brand recently expanded internationally in Russia, Spain, Columbia, and Barbados. It’s looking to also open more in Brazil, France, the Philippines, Malaysia, and the United Arab Emirates.”, Eat This, Not That, June 23, 2022

The former McDonald s opened under the new brand Vkusno  and that’s it – Big Mac and McFlurry will disappear from the menu, and prices will be higher. The first 15 restaurants of the former fast food chain McDonald’s opened last weekend under the new brand “Tasty – and that’s it.” By the end of the month, the number of open restaurants will increase to 200. The American corporation, which managed 718 restaurants in 45 regions, sold the Russian business at a significant discount, reserving the opportunity to buy it back within 15 years, the new owner of the chain, Alexander Govor, told Vedomosti in an interview.”, Vemdoosti.ru, June 13, 2022. Compliments of Paul Jones, Jones & Co., Toronto. (English translation available on Google)

Allegro taps bankers to deliver Pizza Hut exit – Allegro Funds’ turnaround at Pizza Hut Australia looks just about complete, with the private equity firm preparing to hang up the for-sale sign and seek a growth-minded buyer. Six years after taking the reins, and after a lengthy restructure, it is understood Allegro Funds has hired Miles Advisory and had the firm’s dealmakers preparing potential buyers for a confidential auction.”, Australia Financial Review, June 13, 2022. Compliments of Jason Gehrke, Managing Director, The Franchise Advisory Centre, Brisbane

US Fried-Chicken Chain Popeyes Expands in UK With Six New Sites….where its first location has become the brand’s best-performing restaurant globally since it launched last year. Popeyes, owned by Restaurant Brands International Inc., will roll out sites in Nottingham, Gateshead, Oxford, Reading, Brighton and Ealing. It currently runs delivery kitchens around London and a take-away restaurant in east London’s Stratford, now the best-performing of Popeyes’ 3,600 worldwide. The company also opened a sit-in restaurant in Chelmsford over the weekend.”, BBN Bloomberg, June 13, 2022

Wendy’s New Zealand up for sale – The New Zealand arm of the well-known Wendy’s hamburger chain is on the market, including all 22 company-owned stores. Wendy’s NZ, the current master franchisee, owner and operator of all Wendy’s hamburger restaurants throughout New Zealand, is on the market for the first time in 34 years.:”, Franchise New Zealand magazine, June 23, 2022

Wingstop opens its first restaurant in Canada – the company is opening a location this month in Toronto, one of 100 planned for the country as the chicken wing chain pushes international growth more aggressively…..The vast majority of the brand’s 1,800 locations are in the U.S., but a growing number of them are outside the country. Wingstop finished 2021 with just under 200 locations, up by 160% over the past five years, according to Technomic. The brand has found success in Mexico, Europe, Asia Pacific and the Middle East.”, Restaurant Business, June 20, 2022

Articles & Studies For Today And Tomorrow

Interest Rate Hikes vs. Inflation Rate, by Country – Imagine today’s high inflation like a car speeding down a hill. In order to slow it down, you need to hit the brakes. In this case, the “brakes” are interest rate hikes intended to slow spending. However, some central banks are hitting the brakes faster than others. This graphic uses data from central banks and government websites to show how policy interest rates and inflation rates have changed since the start of the year. It was inspired by a chart created by Macrobond.”, Visual Capitalist, June 24, 2022

Visualizing the World’s Population by Age Group – An aging population can have far-reaching consequences on a country’s economy. With this in mind, today’s graphic looks at the age composition of the global population in 2020, based on the latest figures from the United Nations. Our global population is getting older, largely because of increasing life expectancies and declining birth rates. In 2020, more than 147 million people around the world were between the ages of 80-99, accounting for 1.9% of the global population.”, United Nations, Pew Research Center, June 16, 2022

To receive this biweekly newsletter, click here : https://bit.ly/geowizardsignup

Our Mission, Information Sources & Who We Are

Our biweekly global business update newsletter focuses on what is happening around the world that impacts new trends, health, consumer spending, business investment, 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™ covering 43 countries provides us with updates about what is happening in their specific countries. 

To sign up for our biweekly newsletter click here: https://bit.ly/geowizardsignup

William (Bill) Edwards has a four-decade career successfully accelerating the international growth of more than 40 brands. He has directed projects on-site in Alaska, Asia, Europe and the Middle and Near East and has lived in China, the Czech Republic, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Iran and Turkey. 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. EGS has twice received the U.S. President’s Award for Export Excellence. For advice on doing business successfully across 40+ countries, contact Bill Edwards at bedwards@edwardsglobal.com or +1 949 224 3896. 

www.edwardsglobal.com

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

Our latest GlobalVue™ 40 country ranking


EGS Biweekly Global Business Newsletter Issue 58, Tuesday, June 14, 2022

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

Our company’s June 2022 quarterly EGS GlobalVue™country ranking chart is out. The U.S. stops requiring COVID tests to enter the country. Economic optimism in India and Indonesia. Premium gasoline is US$7/gallon in California. McDonald’s clones open in Moscow. China’s small businesses are the post-COVID focus.

To receive this biweekly newsletter, click here : https://bit.ly/geowizardsignup

First, A Few Words of Wisdom From Others

“Life is like a camera. Focus on what is important. Capture the good times. Develop from the negatives. And if things do not work out, take another shot!!”, Anonymous

“Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. And today? Today is a gift. That’s why we call it the present.”, Babatunde Olatunji

“Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions.”, The Dalai Lama

Highlights in issue #58:

  • Brand Global News Section: Denny’s®, KFC®, McDonald’s®, Panera Bread®, Subway®, Taco Bell®

Interesting Data and Studies

The EGS GlobalVue™ June 2022 Country Ranking Chart

In the June 2022, the EGS GlobalVue™ country ranking, Canada, Indonesia, Mexico, New Zealand and the Philippines have moved up since the March report and is primarily due to continued recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. Russia moved down due to the Ukraine war cutting off its trade with other countries.

The EGS GlobalVue™ country ranking of places to do business was established in 2001 and is released 4x annually. The report contents are based on the latest economic and political trends in 40+ countries across the globe; feedback from EGS GlobalTeam™ members covering 43 countries; and our daily review of over 30 international vetted information sources.

Global Energy & Commodities

China’s Never-Ending Coal Price Woes – Since the week of March 10, the price for a ton of the benchmark 5,500 kilocalorie per kilogram (kcal/kg) thermal coal has mostly been over 1,155 yuan ($173). Even after that figure was set as the cap for coal prices by the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) on May 7, prices remained well above that level. As of the week of May 26, the latest weekly report available, the price had reached 1,255 yuan, figures from the China Electricity Council (CEC) showed.”, Caixing Global, June 9, 2022

UK ramps up gas and oil exports to EU amid Russia’s war in Ukraine – Britain’s goods exports to EU a record £16.4bn in April despite impact of Brexit. Reflecting the impact of the war in Ukraine as EU nations seek to diversify energy supplies away from Russia, the data suggests the UK is acting as a hub for liquified natural gas (LNG) imports from the rest of the world before pumping it through pipelines to the continent. UK fuel exports rose by £500m on the month, driven by gas and crude oil to the Netherlands and Ireland, in a sign of heightened demand on the continent to refill gas storage sites in the run-up to winter.”, The London Guardian, June 13, 2022

Global Supply Chain, Commodities, Inflation & Trade Update

The War in Ukraine and the Rush to Feed the World – Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has led to a major humanitarian crisis, not just in Ukraine but also around the world. Given the region’s importance as a breadbasket to the world, the impact on key food commodities such as wheat and sunflower oil has been immediate, resulting in massive shortages and price shocks. What’s worse, Russia is a key producer of fertilizers and of the energy needed to distribute available food and to grow more. According to the World Bank, global food prices are on track to rise 23% this year, after having risen 31% in 2021, and the cost of the inputs and fuel required to produce and move the food that the world will need tomorrow is also rising.”, Boston Consulting Group, May 17, 2022

Financial Times Data explorer: consumer price inflation – Annual % change in consumer price index. The latest figures for most of the world’s largest economies make for worrying reading, with price pressures surging to the highest level in many decades.”, Financial Times, June 13, 2022

Global, Regional & Local Travel Updates

“Airline travel to take off after COVID testing drops for international trips – The Biden administration will stop requiring air travelers to take Covid-19 tests in order to fly to the U.S. starting on Sunday, said federal officials, ending one of the last vestiges of travel restrictions employed during the pandemic to try to stem the spread of the disease. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said it has determined that people flying to the U.S. from abroad no longer need to test negative a day before their departures, based on available science and data, ending a requirement that has been in place since last year. The testing requirement is set to end on June 12 at 12:01 a.m. (Eastern time).”, The Wall Street Journal, June 10, 2022

Singapore Changi Airport to Reopen Terminals to Meet Demand – Terminal 4 and rest of Terminal 2 to reopen in coming months Transport minister expects the growth trajectory to continue. Terminal 4 will reopen in September and departure operations in the southern wing of Terminal 2 will restart from October, Changi Airport Group (Singapore) Pte said in a statement Friday. The added capacity will allow the airport to better cope with an influx of passengers in the northern hemisphere winter.”, Bloomberg, June 10, 2022

Thailand Ready to Scrap Last of Pandemic-Era Curbs on Tourists – Tourism ministry to propose ending pre-travel registrations Visa-on-arrival expansion planned to attract foreign visitors. Thailand plans to end mandatory pre-travel registration for foreigners, rolling back the last of the pandemic-era curbs, as the tourism-reliant nation bets on global visitors to power its economic recovery.  The move would go into effect next month and has the backing of the Health Ministry, he said.”, Bloomberg, June 9, 2022

Country & Regional Updates

Australia

Endota buys in NZ to try to replicate Aussie success – Australian spas and wellness products company Endota has acquired New Zealand’s largest day spa group Forme Spa to try to put a rocket under its international expansion plans. Endota operates 120 spas and distributes products to 11 countries including Canada, Thailand, Malaysia, and China with a group turnover of approximately $170 million. The Forme acquisition adds nine locations around New Zealand to Endota’s studio chain.”, Franchise Advisory Centre, Brisbane, June 10, 2022

Canada

Nutrien plans major potash production hike as war in Ukraine exerts relentless pressure on global supplies. Nutrien Ltd. is planning a major ramp up in potash production, as the war in Ukraine exerts relentless pressure on global supplies of the key fertilizer. The world’s biggest fertilizer producer, based in Saskatoon, said on Thursday that it intends to boost its annual potash production to 18 million tonnes by 2025 – about 21.5 per cent higher than current levels. This year, Nutrien expects to produce about 14.8 million tonnes, a figure that had already been revised upward.”, The Globe & Mail, June 9, 2022

China

China’s struggling private firms tasked with lifting nation out of economic doldrums – Call to action comes at annual gathering of China’s business leaders that serves as an influential idea-exchange forum. China’s private firms have taken an especially hard economic hit over the past year, whereas state-owned enterprises have remained mostly intact or even thrived. With China’s economic headwinds intensifying amid rising internal and external uncertainties, the country’s private sector has been tasked with rebooting the economy, despite having borne most of the pain of the current economic downturn.”, South China Morning Post, June 13, 2022

Uncertainty Weighs on British Businesses in China Amid Lockdowns, Chamber Says – A majority of British companies in China have forecast falling revenues for 2022 as they expect the country’s current wave of Covid-19 outbreaks and the resulting government response to take a serious toll on business this year. That’s according to an annual business sentiment survey conducted by the British Chamber of Commerce in China, which says “increasing uncertainty” threatens to undermine what many foreign companies see as a major strength of doing business in the country.”, Caixing Global, May 31, 2022

India

India’s Factory Output Expands to Eight-Month High in April – Index of industrial production rises 7.1%, versus 5% estimate Increasing commodity prices could hurt nascent recovery. Domestic demand is powering the Indian economy from the pandemic-induced slump but geopolitical tensions threaten to thwart the nation’s nascent recovery. Rising commodity prices and supply chain disruptions have further fueled inflationary concerns forcing the country’s central bank to cumulatively raise rates by 90 basis points this year to tame prices.”, Bloomberg, June 10, 2022

Indonesia

Optimism in Indonesia as youth prospects improve amid economic recovery –  Experts say nation ‘on track to recovery’ post Covid and doing better than other countries, with controlled inflation and subsidies to poorest citizens. Adhi Saputro, a senior economist at Prospera Indonesia, a partnership between Australia and Indonesia to support the latter’s economy, said Indonesia was “on track to recovery” and faring “better relative to other countries” particularly with inflation under control and windfall profits from commodity price surges.”, South China Morning Post, June 13, 2022

Russia

Russian-owned successor of McDonald’s opens in Moscow – Fifteen of the former McDonald’s were set to reopen in Moscow on Sunday. It wasn’t until a couple of hours before the Pushkin Square restaurant opened that the Russian chain’s new name was announced: Vkusno-i Tochka (Tasty-period). The logo is different, but still evokes the golden arches: a circle and two yellow oblongs — representing a beef patty and french fries — configured into a stylized M.”, NBC News, June 12, 2022

United States

(U.S.) Inflationary Pressure Shows Signs of Easing in 2023 – What should we expect next year? As I see it, there are two forces at work, one global and one domestic, that provide solid clues. Holding aside the international actions taken purely for political reasons (Russia in particular), most of the global supply input flows were a consequence of Covid, and we are starting to see economic forces bringing stability back to those flows.”, Darrell Johnson, FRANdata, franchising.com, June 9, 2022

Gas Prices Soar to Records, but Exclusive Data Show Gas Stations Aren’t the Problem – Profits earned by gas stations are small compared to the recent rise in retail prices. The average service station reaped a $28,676 profit from gasoline in April. When gas prices spiked in May, they saw their profit fall to an average of $16,424. Once they paid their rent and made payroll, most gas stations were hardly rolling in profits.”, Barron’s, June 12, 2022

Brand News

How The Denny’s Grand Slam Got Its Name – Denny’s has long been a staple of the American breakfast scene, offering an oasis of pancakes and hearty plates of eggs no matter how late or early it may be. The breakfast-oriented diner has been around since 1953 when it first opened as a donut shop in California, growing into what it calls “America’s diner” with over 1,400 locations across the United States. One of the chain’s most famous entrees is the Grand Slam — a veritable breakfast buffet of two buttermilk pancakes, two eggs, bacon, and sausage.”, Mashed, June 7, 2022

“(Washington) DC will get one of first digital-only Panera Bread stores – Panera Bread is going where the customers are, and D.C. will be among first markets to get a digital-only Panera store. Panera just opened its first take-out and delivery-only store in Chicago, with plans to open two more this year in California and the District. Panera said as of the end of 2021, 81% of its sales were via off-premise channels, including delivery, pickup, drive-thru and catering.”, WTOP News, June 10, 2022

At least two fast food chains (in Australia) are using cabbage instead of lettuce due to supply chain disruptions caused by heavy flooding on the east coast of Australia earlier in the year, according to a media report.

Both KFC and Subway will use cabbage or a cabbage/lettuce blend in their burgers and sandwiches in lieu of lettuce which is selling for up to $12 a head in independent stores. Growers have reportedly been receiving between $80 and $100 per box of lettuce, compared with the usual $14 to $16 per box, after extreme rainfall events in Queensland’s Lockyer Valley wiped out crops.”, Franchise Advisory Centre, Brisbane, June 10, 2022

Taco Bell Opens New Futuristic Drive-Thru, Guarantees You’ll Feel Fast-Food Regret Even Faster – The new venue referred to as “Taco Bell Defy” opened this week in a Minneapolis suburb. It doesn’t even have a dining room and the kitchen is elevated above the drive-thru. Also, instead of one or two, it has four drive-thru lanes. The lanes each have a different designation. One is for delivery drivers, one is for Taco Bell app users, and the others are for traditional orders.”, Mandatory, June 10, 2022

Articles & Studies For Today And Tomorrow

The Global Decline of Fertility Rates – Over the last 50 years, fertility rates have dropped drastically around the world. In 1952, the average global family had five children—now, they have less than three. Not including immigration, a given area needs an overall total fertility rate of 2.1 to keep a stable population.”, Our World In Data, June 10, 2022

To receive this biweekly newsletter, click here : https://bit.ly/geowizardsignup

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™ covering 43 countries provides us with updates about what is happening in their specific countries. 

To sign up for our biweekly newsletter click here: https://bit.ly/geowizardsignup

William (Bill) Edwards has a four-decade career successfully accelerating the international growth of more than 40 brands. He has directed projects on-site in Alaska, Asia, Europe and the Middle and Near East and has lived in China, the Czech Republic, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Iran and Turkey.

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

www.edwardsglobal.com

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

Our latest GlobalVue™ 40 country ranking

For advice on doing business successfully across 40+ countries, contact Bill Edwards at bedwards@edwardsglobal.com or +1 949 224 3896. 


EGS Biweekly Global Business Newsletter Issue 57, Tuesday, May 30, 2022

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

Shanghai will reopen this week. Is global inflation beginning to slow and maybe even drop slowly? Global travel for the Northern Hemisphere will be beyond 2019 levels. Globalization of trade remains strong. More global brands depart Russia. And those QR codes are for more than just menus

To receive this biweekly newsletter, click on this link:

https://bit.ly/geowizardsignup

First, A Few Words of Wisdom From Others

“Success isn’t always about greatness. It’s about consistency. Consistent hard work leads to success. Greatness will come.”, Dwayne Johnson

“There is nothing impossible to they who will try.”, Alexander the Great

“No matter what people tell you, words and ideas can change the world.”, Robin Williams

Highlights in issue #57:

  • Brand Global News Section: Focus Brands, McDonald’s®, Nike®, Starbucks® and Wendy’s®

Interesting Data and Studies

“The death of globalisation has been greatly exaggerated – So far, slowdown in cross-border activity reflects slowdown in growth. The global elite gathered at Davos this week for what by all accounts has been a gloomy affair. Among business leaders the talk is all about globalisation going into reverse. As the chart below shows, until the first quarter of this year merchandise trade gave little indication of deglobalisation for rich countries, China, or the 20 biggest economies (advanced and emerging) taken together. Indeed the IMF’s own research shows that the world now trades more than it had projected three years ago.”, The Financial Times,

Visualizing the State of Global Debt, by Country  –  Since COVID-19 started its spread around the world in 2020, the global economy has been put to the test with supply chain disruptions, price volatility for commodities, challenges in the job market, and declining income from tourism. To analyze the extent of global debt, we’ve compiled debt-to-GDP data by country from the most recent World Economic Outlook report by the IMF.”, Visual Capitalist and International Monetary Fund, February 1, 2022

War in Ukraine Is a Boon for NATO – The trans-Atlantic relationship has found renewed purpose since Russia’s invasion of its neighbor. Most of NATO’s expansion since the end of the Cold War in 1991 occurred from 1999 to 2004 and centered on former Warsaw Pact or Soviet states seeking to anchor themselves in the West and lock in security guarantees against Russia.”, Geopolitical Futures, May 20, 2022

Global Energy

“(UK) EV Rapid Charging Costs Soar 20% in Eight Months – Rapid charging an electric car has become a fifth more expensive in eight months due to soaring energy prices, new figures show. RAC analysis found that the average price of using a public rapid charger in Britain increased from 36.7p per kilowatt hour (kWh) in September last year to 44.6p per kWh this month……The RAC attributed the increase to a 65% spike in the wholesale cost of electricity, which was driven by surging gas prices.”, Bloomberg, May 26, 2022

Global Supply Chain, Commodities & Trade Update

In 2021 Russia and Ukraine were the world’s first and fifth biggest exporters of wheat, shipping 39m tonnes and 17m tonnes respectively—28% of the world market. They also grow a lot of grain used to feed animals, such as maize and barley, and are the number one (Ukraine) and number two (Russia) producers of sunflower seeds, which means they have 11.5% of the vegetable-oil market. All told, they provide almost an eighth of the calories traded worldwide.”, The Economist, May 19, 2022

Global, Regional & Local Travel Updates

Tourism in Asia is bouncing back, but can the rebound survive a global recession? From Singapore and Malaysia to Indonesia, Thailand and Japan, inbound travel protocols are being relaxed and international visitors welcomed back. But the region’s tourism rebound risks being grounded by the combined effects of soaring food prices, runaway inflation and global supply chain disruptions. The sigh of relief was palpable across Asia as countries began lifting strict Covid-19 movement restrictions to allow in foreign travellers after two years of living in the shadow of the coronavirus.”, South China Morning Post, May 28, 2022

Paris Tourism Rebounds as Europeans and Americans Return – Hotel prices in late April up 17% from 2019, according to MKG Jump comes as most Covid restrictions dropped, dollar rises. The city is the second-most sought-after destination worldwide this year, behind London, according to booking website aggregator Trivago. That has steadily pushed up hotel room rates and occupancy since the beginning of the year.”, Bloomberg, May 23, 2022

Singapore Air Says Business Travel Is Climbing Its Way Back – Airline said Wednesday its net loss narrowed in second half Sees strong passenger growth this year as travel curbs eased. ‘Since April of this year, when Singapore fully opened its borders, we have seen a strong rebound in corporate travel,’ the carrier’s executive vice president of commercial operations, Lee Lik Hsin, said at a briefing Thursday.”, Bloomberg, May 19, 2022

Country & Regional Updates

Australia

Unemployment rate falls to lowest level in 50 yearsThat is the lowest level since 1974 and the sixth consecutive monthly gain in employment. ‘In April, we saw employment rise by 4000 people and unemployment fall by 11,000 people,’ ABS head of labour statistics Bjorn Jarvis said on Thursday. ‘As a result, the unemployment rate decreased slightly in April, though remained level, in rounded terms, with the revised March rate of 3.9 per cent.’”, News.com.au, May 19, 2022

Canada

Seismic reinvention of shopping malls accelerates in COVID’s wake – Reports of a ‘retail apocalypse’ don’t tell the whole story about what’s happening in Canadian shopping malls. The truth is more complex, with wins and losses leading to a revolution in retail. While e-commerce has been a catalyst for change, it hasn’t meant the end of retail stores. Customers are using malls for curbside pickups and inspirational window shopping to get ideas about what they want to buy online. And more online retailers could be opening return centres in retail complexes to make it more convenient for customers to send back merchandise.”, The Globe and Mail, May 17, 2022

China

Shanghai will exit two months of COVID lockdowns on Wednesday. The hard part will be restarting the city’s economy. China’s economy is currently in a slump not seen since early 2020, with retail sales down 11% and industrial output down 3% in April compared to the same period last year. But the downturn in Shanghai, which implemented the strongest COVID controls of all Chinese cities battling Omicron outbreaks this year, is significantly greater.”, Fortune,  May 30, 2022

Visualizing China’s $18 Trillion Economy in One Chart – China is the world’s second largest economy after the U.S., and it is expected to eventually climb into the number one position in the coming decades. While China’s economy has had a much rockier start this year due to zero-tolerance COVID-19 lockdowns and supply chain issues, our visualization covers a full year of data for 2021⁠—a year in which most economies recovered after the initial chaos of the pandemic.”, Visual Capitalist and National Bureau of Statics of China, May 18, 2022

Germany

German business morale rises in May on buoyant services sector – German business morale rose unexpectedly in May thanks to a pick up in the services sector in Europe’s largest economy that helped offset the impact of high inflation, supply chain problems and the war in Ukraine, a survey showed on Monday. ‘The German economy is showing resilience,’ Ifo economist Klaus Wohlrabe told Reuters, adding that service providers were benefiting from the easing of COVID-19 restrictions – especially in the tourism and hospitality sector. The situation in the industrial sector was more difficult.”, Reuters, May 23, 2022

India

India Inflation Fight, Monsoon May Take Pressure Off RBI, Former Deputy Governor Says – Repo rate can rise 50 bps in June, and another 25 bps by March. Government-RBI steps may cool inflation within target of 6%. India’s coordinated fiscal and monetary efforts to tame inflation, plus a good agricultural production outlook, may take pressure off the central bank to aggressively raise interest rates later in the year, according to a former Reserve Bank of India official.”, Bloomberg, May 30, 2022

Mexico

Mexico’s Economy Rebounded in First Quarter on US Demand – Output climbs 1% in first quarter, above initial 0.9% print Export-based economy relies on US demand, No. 1 trade partner. ‘It would be desirable for us to grow more, but it’s not bad growth,’ said Janneth Quiroz Zamora, vice president of economic research at Monex Casa de Bolsa. ‘There was an impact of Omicron, but it wasn’t as strong or as pronounced as was expected.’”, Bloomberg, May 25, 2022

Russia

McDonald’s on Pushkinskaya will open under a new name on June 12 – Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin said that after the name change, McDonald’s will remain the same menu. According to him, the authorities will support the resumption of the company under a new brand. The mayor noted that the departure of McDonald’s from Russia was discussed as “a huge loss and disaster”, but it turned out that 95-98% of the products used by the network are Russian.”, www.gazeta.ru, May 26, 2022. Compliments of Paul Jones, Jones & Co., Toronto

Nike Is Reportedly Leaving Russia After Not Renewing Main Franchise Contract – U.S. sporting heavyweight Nike is exiting Russia after suspending operations in March, according to news reports on Wednesday, another symbolic departure of a major American brand as multinational firms including McDonald’s and Starbucks sever ties with Moscow for invading Ukraine.”, Forbes, May 25, 2022

Starbucks joins McDonald’s in pulling out of Russia – The giant coffee chain, which had already suspended all business activity in Russia in March, said it had now decided ‘to exit and no longer have a brand presence in the market’. Starbucks does not have any cafés in Ukraine but in Russia it has 130 outlets that are wholly owned and operated by a licensed partner, Alshaya Group, of Kuwait, which has 2,000 so-called ‘green apron partners’.”, The Times of London, May 24, 200

Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia steps into the Davos limelight – Flush with oil revenue, the kingdom and its Gulf neighbours are a rare economic bright spot. Despite a dire human rights record, the Gulf country wants the world to focus on its economic story: the world’s top oil exporter is one of the few bright spots in an otherwise shaky global economy wracked by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and surging inflation.”, The Financial Times, May 27, 2022

United Kingdom

Food and drink sales in Britain’s cities back in growth as workers and visitors return – The Top Cities Vibrancy report reveals buoyant Spring sales for restaurants, pubs and bars as Bristol is ranked Britain’s most vibrant city, while northern hubs bounce back…… nine of the ten cities recorded higher sales over the four-week period than in the same period in 2019. Bristol tops the list of most vibrant cities, and sales growth was also above 8% in Manchester, Birmingham and Glasgow.:”, CGA Strategy, May 7, 2022

Why chicken is getting more and more expensive – The price of chicks is up 14% in a year. Chicken feed is up 50% over 2 years. Packaging, diesel and wages are up double digits…..Prices from the farm gate have already risen by almost 50% in a year.”, BBC News, May 24, 2022

United States

US Economic Data Signals Firmer Growth That May Ease by Yearend – Consumer spending off to a solid start early in second quarter. Manufacturing gauges soften, while housing market stumbles. Firmer consumer spending and a decisive narrowing of the merchandise trade deficit show the US economy is emerging in short order from a first-quarter pothole. Sustaining that momentum later this year is more of a question mark as manufacturing and housing soften along with employment and wage growth.”, Bloomberg, May 28, 2022

Visualizing U.S. Crude Oil and Petroleum Product Imports in 2021 – Despite being the world’s largest oil producer, in 2021 the U.S. still imported more than 3 billion barrels of crude oil and petroleum products, equal to 43% of the country’s consumption. This visualization uses data from the Energy Information Administration (EIA) to compare U.S. crude oil and refined product imports with domestic crude oil production, and breaks down which countries the U.S. imported its oil from in 2021.”, Visual Capitalist, May 16, 2022

Brand News

Focus Brands announces first (international) franchise operations support center – The center will see Focus Brands provide high-quality coaching to improve customer service. The Customer Experience Center of Excellence (CECE) will be located in Heredia, Costa Rica. CECE’s job will be to provide an affordable and effective means to deliver world-class customer service and ultimately, improve the performance of all franchisees.”, Global Franchise, May 24, 2022

What McDonald’s In Other Countries Is Really Like – McDonald’s is in over 100 countries around the globe, practically all of which have adapted the menu to reflect local cultural tastes while still maintaining some of the signature American items that the restaurant is known for. But what are some of those differences? For those whose curiosity is piqued, this is what McDonald’s is like in other countries.”, Mashed, May 27, 2022

One of America’s Favorite Burger Chains May Soon Have a New Owner – Wendy’s largest shareholder is exploring moves that would improve the chain’s shareholder value. Trian Fund Management, a majority shareholder of Wendy’s, announced Tuesday that it is looking into a potential acquisition of the burger chain, in hopes of making the company more profitable. A recent SEC filing confirms that Trian, which owns a 19.4% stake in Wendy’s, is currently ‘explor[ing]…a potential transaction…to enhance shareholder value’—one which could involve a third party, and include an acquisition, merger, or other deal that would transfer control of Wendy’s.”, Eat this. Not That!, May 25, 2022

Articles & Studies For Today And Tomorrow

Did You Really Think We’d Stop Shaking Hands? Humans are meant to be together, especially when it comes to conducting business. We yearn to see each other’s faces in person. And we want to touch and shake hands. The act of shaking hands dates back to medieval times when the world was a more dangerous place. It was a way to ensure your arms were free of anything intended to harm another. Millenia later, the Covid pandemic hit and we found ourselves anxiously disinfecting everything in sight, from packages of potato chips to our own kids.”, Skift, May 13, 2022

QR Codes Are More Than Digital Menus – Several trending articles over the last year have cropped up maligning the ubiquity of QR codes, most prominently by Erin Woo the New York Times….The little black punctuated squares almost seemed self-replicating with their proliferation in an era of pandemic and its accompanying collective aversion to fomites and non-sanitized contact surfaces. From restaurant menus to payment portals, they have become a mainstay, almost necessitating a smartphone for everyday interactions.”, Forbes, May 30, 2022

To receive our biweekly newsletter, sign up here: https://bit.ly/geowizardsignup

Our Mission, Information Sources & Who We Are

Our biweekly global business update newsletter focuses on what is happening around the world that impacts new trends, health, consumer spending, business investment, 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™ covers 43 countries and provides us with updates about what is happening in their specific countries.  Please feel free to send us your input for the biweekly report. bedwards@edwardsglobal.com

To sign up for our biweekly newsletter click here: https://bit.ly/geowizardsignup

William (Bill) Edwards, Your Newsletter Editor, has a four-decade career successfully accelerating the international growth of more than 40 brands. 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.  He has lived in China, the Czech Republic, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Iran and Turkey and has worked on projects in over 50 countries.

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

www.edwardsglobal.com

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

Our latest GlobalVue™ 40 country ranking

For advice on doing business successfully across 40+ countries, contact Bill Edwards at bedwards@edwardsglobal.com or +1 949 224 3896. 


EGS Biweekly Global Business Newsletter Issue 56, Tuesday, May 17, 2022

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

In 2022, our company is actively seeking international partners for our Clients in Australia, Canada, Egypt, Germany, Israel, Italy, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, Spain, the United Arab Emirates and the United Kingdom. Getting back to pre-COVID activity!!!!

Prior to the pandemic, 60% of our business for the first 18 years of our company was in Asia. Most of Asia and the Americas remain either partially shutdown or do not have investors ready for new projects this year. 2023 will see Asia come back.

Since September 2021, I have been back on the road in Canada, Israel, Germany, Italy, Mexico, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom meeting and evaluating Client partners. Next are Australia and New Zealand. Then India, Mexico, the United Arab Emirates and the United Kingdom.

To receive our biweekly newsletter, click on this link: https://bit.ly/geowizardsignup

First, A Few Words of Wisdom From Others

“Play by the rules, but be ferocious.”, Phil Knight, Founder and CEO of Nike

“Success usually comes to those who are too busy to be looking for it.”, Henry David Thoreau

One small positive thought can change your whole day.”,  Zig Ziglar

Highlights in issue #56:

  • Brand Global News Section: Chipotle®, Denny’s®, McDonald’s®, Papa John’s® and Wendy’s®

Interesting Data and Studies

How Inflation Changed The Price Of A Hamburger – Food and energy—the more volatile items in the Consumer Price Index—drove rising cost of living. Especially energy, in short supply following the Russian invasion of Ukraine and ensuing sanctions, was a major culprit. Costs rose by more than 30% since April 2021 independent of the base effect, as energy prices had already reached pre-pandemic levels one year ago. Food prices also took some significant steps up, as seen in the example of shopping for hamburger ingredients.”, Forbes, May 13, 2022

The World’s Population Density by Latitude – When you think about areas with high population densities, certain regions spring to mind. This could be a populous part of Asia or a cluster of cities in North America or Europe. Usually density comparisons are made using cities or countries, but this map from Alasdair Rae provides another perspective. This world map depicts population density by latitude, going from the densest populated coordinates in deep red to the sparsest in light blue.”, Visual Capitalist / Worldpop.org, 2020

Global Energy

Visualizing Historical Oil Prices (1968-2022) – Amid Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the inflation-adjusted price of oil reached a seven-year high. Russia is one of the world’s largest producers of crude oil, and many countries have announced a ban on Russian oil imports amid the war. This has led to supply uncertainties and, therefore, rising prices.

How does the price increase compare to previous political and economic events? In this Markets in a Minute from New York Life Investments, we look at historical oil prices since 1968.”, Visual Capitalist / U.S.. Energy Information Administration, March 2022

Global Supply Chain & Trade Update

Diversify global supply chains, don’t dismantle them, IMF says – The COVID-19 pandemic wreaked havoc on global supply chains but new International Monetary Fund research shows that more diversification of source countries and inputs can significantly reduce the economic drag from supply disruptions.

In an analytical chapter of its forthcoming World Economic Outlook, IMF researchers said that countries experienced larger declines of goods imports, and GDP, in the first half of 2020 when trading partners imposed strict COVID-19 lockdowns. ‘Dismantling global value chains is not the answer. More diversification, not less, improves resilience,’ the researchers wrote in a blog post accompanying the chapter.”, Reuters, April 12, 2022

Global, Regional & Local Travel Updates

Business Travel CEOs Say the Sector is Back as Border Controls Evaporate – Fliers are spending big to get back in the air, and away from Zoom. Business travel, contrary to some expectations in the thick of the pandemic, is coming back. While bookings may not have reached pre-Covid levels, there’s mounting evidence of a rebound, the strength of which is taking some by surprise.”, Bloomberg, May 13, 2022

European Union To Lift Airport And Airline Mask Requirements Next Week – The European Union says it will no longer require masks at airports and on planes starting next week throughout its 27-country bloc. The lifting of the mask mandate is in response to lowering COVID-19 cases throughout the EU, but officials say each member can decide for itself to reinstate the mask mandate should COVID-19 cases spike.”, Travel Awaits, May 13, 2022

Country & Regional Updates

China

China’s Economic Activity Collapses Under Xi’s Covid Zero Policy – Factory output, retail plunged in April; joblessness rose Economists say Covid restrictions mean slow recovery. China’s economy is paying the price for the nation’s Covid Zero policy, with industrial output and consumer spending sliding to the worst levels since the pandemic began and analysts warning of no quick recovery.

Industrial output unexpectedly fell 2.9% in April from a year ago, while retail sales contracted 11.1% in the period, weaker than a projected 6.6% drop. The unemployment rate climbed to 6.1% and the youth jobless rate hit a record. Investors responded by selling everything from Chinese shares to US index futures and oil.”, Bloomberg, May 15, 2022

Small Businesses Suffer as Lockdowns Cut Revenue, Cash Flow – China’s small businesses are grappling with tighter cash flow and diminishing revenue as their costs rise and demand weakens, a survey shows.

The pressure on smaller companies’ liquidity reflects the impact of the country’s “zero-Covid” strategy, as extended lockdowns disrupt or altogether prevent activity and weaken sentiment going forward. In the first quarter, the polled micro and small businesses had enough cash flow to operate for 2.4 months on average, down 0.3 months for the fourth quarter of 2021, according to a survey jointly conducted by Peking University and fintech giant Ant Group Co. Ltd.”, Caixin Global, May 13, 2022

European Union

The European Union has downgraded its growth forecasts as high energy and food costs caused by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine hit economies across Europe. GDP growth in both the EU and the eurozone is expected to be 2.7 per cent this year, down from its previous estimate of 4 per cent growth. Growth next year is forecast to slow to 2.3 per cent from 2.8 per cent (2.7 per cent in the eurozone) previously.

Inflation in the euro area, which hit 7.5 per cent in March, is projected to be 6.1 per cent this year, before falling to 2.7 per cent in 2023. This compares with the winter forecast of 3.5 per cent. For the EU, inflation is expected to increase to 6.8 per cent in 2022, up from 2.9 per cent in 2021, and fall back to 3.2 per cent  in 2023.”, The Times of London, May 16, 2022

India

Morgan Stanley cuts India growth forecasts on inflation, global slowdown – Gross domestic product growth will be 7.6% for fiscal 2023 and 6.7% for fiscal 2024, 30 basis points lower than the previous estimates, the brokerage said in a note dated Tuesday.

The cut reflects a pronounced economic impact from the Russia-Ukraine conflict that has driven up crude prices, pushing retail inflation in India – the world’s third-biggest oil importer – to its highest in 17 months.”, Reuters, May 11, 2022

New Zealand

New Zealand March Visitor Arrivals Surged 517% as Kiwis Returned – Overseas arrivals surged 517%, to 28,600 from 4,640 a year earlier, Statistics New Zealand said Thursday in Wellington. The total is the most since July last year, when New Zealand closed a quarantine-free travel arrangement with Australia amid concerns about a fresh wave of Covid-19 infections. New Zealand tourist operators are hopeful the progressive reopening of the border will revive their industry, which has been decimated since the pandemic struck in March 2020.”, Bloomberg, May 11, 2022

The Philippines

Philippines’ Outperforming Economy Boosts Case for Rate Hike – First quarter GDP growth at 8.3% versus 6.8% survey estimate. Gross domestic product in the three months through March grew 8.3% from a year ago, the Philippine Statistics Authority said Thursday, versus the median estimate for a 6.8% expansion in a Bloomberg survey. That compares with a revised 3.8% contraction in the same quarter in 2021.”, Bloomberg, May 12, 2022

Russia

Almost 1,000 Companies Have Curtailed Operations in Russia—But Some Remain. Originally a simple “withdraw” vs. “remain” list, our list of companies now consists of five categories—graded on a school-style letter grade scale of A-F for the completeness of withdrawal.”, Jeffrey Sonnenfeld and his team of experts, research fellows, and students at the Yale Chief Executive Leadership Institute, May 16, 2022

United Kingdom

UK Salaries Rise as Firms Face Growing Candidate Shortages – Fewer foreign workers, geopolitical uncertainty stoke scarcity REC report will fuel pressure on BOE for more rate increases. As candidate availability declined for the 14th straight month, starting-salary inflation held close to a record high, the Recruitment and Employment Confederation and KPMG said in a report published Thursday.”, Bloomberg, May 11, 2022

The economy contracted in March as the war in Ukraine and rising prices hit confidence, according to the latest data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS). Month-on-month gross domestic product fell 0.1 per cent. City economists had forecast flat growth. In the three months to the end of March the economy grew 0.8 per cent, against expectations for 1 per cent growth.”, The Times of London, May 12, 2022

United States

Inflation remained near a 40-year high in April. Here’s where consumers plan to cut spending. If price pressure continues, more than 50% of adults say they’ll cut back spending on dining out and will consider reducing that further, according to the CNBC + Acorns Invest in You survey, conducted by Momentive. The online survey of nearly 4,000 adults was taken March 23-24.”, CNBC, May 11, 2022

Double-digit jump in California export value reflects growth and inflation”, Beacon Economic, May 4, 2022

“iPod: technology’s ever changing beat – Enduring love of retro will ensure portable music device’s survival even as US tech group discontinues it.  RIP iPod. Apple’s pioneering music-in-your-pocket has gone the way of the BlackBerry, the 244-year-old Encyclopedia Britannica and the dodo. The Cupertino-based tech group this week said it was discontinuing the iPod Touch, its last remaining portable music device.

At 20 years, the iPod had half as long a run as Sony’s Walkman, its clunkier predecessor. The Walkman allowed 1980s cool kids to listen to music cassettes while rollerblading or doing aerobics.”, The Financial Times, May 13, 2022

Brand News

Denny’s preps for growth as it hires Kelli Valade as CEO – Denny’s has appointed Kelli Valade as CEO and president, effective June 13, the company announced Tuesday. Valade will succeed John Miller, who is retiring on Aug. 3, but will retain his position on the board of directors to help ensure a seamless transition. Valade brings 30 years of experience, and most recently served as CEO at Red Lobster for less than a year. Prior to that position, she was CEO at Black Box Intelligence from 2019 to 2021 and held various roles within Brinker International.”, Restaurant Dive, May 4, 2022

McDonald’s To Exit from Russia – After more than 30 years of operations in the country, McDonald’s Corporation announced it will exit the Russian market and has initiated a process to sell its Russian business. This follows McDonald’s announcement on March 8, 2022, that it had temporarily closed restaurants in Russia and paused operations in the market. The humanitarian crisis caused by the war in Ukraine, and the precipitating unpredictable operating environment, have led McDonald’s to conclude that continued ownership of the business in Russia is no longer tenable, nor is it consistent with McDonald’s values.”, McDonald’s® press release, May 16, 2022

McDonald’s Convenience of the Future digital orders offer 11 ways to get a meal –  Ordering and eating a Big Mac and fries from a McDonald’s restaurant used to be a binary experience: you went up to the counter, placed your order with a member of the crew and either ate it on the premises or took it away with you.

No longer. A new-look restaurant, unveiled today under the fast-food operator’s £250 million Convenience of the Future investment programme, reflects customers’ increasingly diverse expectations, providing 11 ways of getting a meal. The revamp also reflects the fact that about half of sales are now made through digital channels. In addition to the traditional walk-in and drive-thru, a redesign of the kitchens and dining areas caters to the growth of digital sales channels such as self-order touchscreen terminals….”, The Times of London, May 16, 2022

Papa Johns plans to open nearly 2,000 stores by the end of 2025 – The quick-service pizza restaurant chain announces big development plans after reporting a successful first quarter, ending with same-store sales up 1.9% in North America. In addition to the sales growth, the Louisville-based pizza chain is also planning an aggressive footprint expansion — especially in international markets — with plans for 1,400-1,800 new stores opening by the end of 2025, and 320 units opening in fiscal ’22, CEO Rob Lynch said.”, Nation’s Restaurant News, May 5, 2022

“Restaurants’ Virtual Stores Test Consumers’ Appetite for Metaverse Marketing

Wendy’s and Chipotle join a growing number of companies exploring the potential of virtual worldsFast-food chains Wendy’s Co. and Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. are testing new experiences in virtual worlds as brands try to better understand the marketing potential of the metaverse. The metaverse is a term used to describe a virtual environment in which people can use digital avatars to work, play and shop. The concept has drawn attention particularly since the parent company of Facebook last year promised to spend heavily on building the metaverse and changed its name to Meta Platforms Inc.

Wendy’s last week opened a virtual restaurant in Horizon Worlds, the virtual reality game from Meta. Visitors cannot buy food there, virtual or otherwise, but they can play a basketball-themed game located near the restaurant.”, The Wall Street Journal, April 5, 2022

Articles & Studies For Today And Tomorrow

The State of Global Democracy in 2022 – The world’s (almost) eight billion people live under a wide variety of political and cultural circumstances. In broad terms, those circumstances can be measured and presented on a sliding scale between “free” and “not free”—the subtext being that democracy lies on one end, and authoritarianism on the other.

According to EIU, the state of democracy is at its lowest point since the index began in 2006, blamed in part on the pandemic restrictions that saw many countries struggling to balance public health with personal freedom.”, Visual Capitalist, May 13, 2022

IFA CEO on what’s ahead for franchise businesses – The past two years have presented unique challenges, with business owners managing the impact of the pandemic and, more recently, elevated inflation. Matthew Haller, president and CEO of the International Franchise Association, discusses the growth outlook for franchising, the group’s advocacy efforts and the advantages of franchised businesses.”, SmartBrief, May 12, 2022

Coffee Producing Countries 2022 – There’s a prime location for coffee growth and it is called the Bean Belt. This title refers to the area between 25° N and 30° S. Coffee thrives in warmer locations, so anywhere that is too extreme in relation to the northern and southern poles will not be substantial or feasible places to grow coffee. Coffee exportation, as well as coffee as imports, is most common in Africa, Asia, South America, and North America, with the exception of the country of Canada.”, World Population Review, May 13, 2022

Asia’s net-zero transition: Opportunity and risk amid climate action – Within just a few generations, life expectancy in Asia–Pacific has more than doubled, the infant mortality rate has fallen more than 70 percent and per capita GDP has risen nearly eighty-fold. People are living longer, healthier, and more prosperous lives. Yet, the environmental cost of human progress, in Asia and elsewhere, is now threatening the stability of the Earth’s climate.”, McKinsey, April 29, 2022

To receive our biweekly newsletter, sign up here: https://bit.ly/geowizardsignup

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™ covers 43 countries and provides us with updates about what is happening in their specific countries.  Please feel free to send us your input for the biweekly report. bedwards@edwardsglobal.com

To sign up for our biweekly newsletter click here: https://bit.ly/geowizardsignup

William (Bill) Edwards, Your Newsletter Editor, has a four-decade career successfully accelerating the international growth of more than 40 brands. 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.  He has lived in China, the Czech Republic, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Iran and Turkey and has worked on projects in over 50 countries.

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

www.edwardsglobal.com

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

Our latest GlobalVue™ 40 country rankingFor advice on doing business successfully across 40+ countries, contact Bill Edwards at bedwards@edwardsglobal.com or +1 949 224 3896. 


EGS Biweekly Global Business Newsletter Issue 55, Tuesday, May 3, 2022

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

Trends in this issue:

In this issue: Did the U.S. economy really shrink in the 1st quarter of 2022? What will it cost the European Union to switch to clean energy by 2050? Did White Castle really sell 28 billion hamburgers? Australia and New Zealand are open for business!  And China decides to jump start their COVID hampered economy.

To receive our biweekly newsletter, click on this link: https://bit.ly/geowizardsignup

First, A Few Words of Wisdom From Others

“The future does not belong to the fainthearted, it belongs to the brave.”, President Ronald Regan” Space Shuttle Disaster Speech, January 28, 1986 

“The secret of change is to focus all of your energy not on fighting the old, but on building the new.”, Socrates

“Every day the clock resets. Your wins don’t matter. Your failures don’t matter. Don’t stress on what was, fight for what could be.”, Sean Higgins

Highlights in issue #55:

  • Brand Global News Section: Jack’s Café®, McDonald’s®, Sonic®, Unleashed Brands, White Castle® and WingStop®

Interesting Data and Studies

Lessons from the Pandemic: How Covid is changing franchising – Which industries continued to experience franchise growth and, conversely, which shrank? How well did they perform, and how much “new” unit activity was there? In a typical year, we see about 300 new brands emerge. What about an atypical year like the one we just experienced? As you consider your next franchise investment opportunity, let’s shed some light on these questions.”, Franchising.com, April 2022

Global Energy

Citing failure to pay in rubles, Russia halts gas supplies to NATO members Poland and Bulgaria. European gas prices rose roughly 20 percent after state-owned Gazprom announced it would stop supplying gas to Poland and Bulgaria—a move the European Commission President called ‘another attempt by Russia to use gas as an instrument of blackmail.’”, Exiger, April 2022 Supply Chain Report

How much will it cost Europe to switch to clean energy by 2050? Europe could free itself from fossil fuels by 2050, according to a new report from BloombergNEF. However, it will require $3.8 trillion of investment in mostly wind and solar projects. And another $1.5 trillion would need to be spent on green hydrogen developments.”, World Economic Forum, April 27, 2022

Global Supply Chain & Trade Update

Indonesia bans palm oil exports, including crude palm oil. The move comes as the price of crude palm oil rose sharply and after the country scrapped previous restrictions imposed in January. In 2020, Indonesia accounted for 46.8 percent of global crude palm oil exports and 52.4 percent of refined exports. Palm oil is the most widely consumed vegetable oil and has applications in other consumer products and biofuels.”, Exiger, April 2022 Supply Chain Report.

Global, Regional & Local Travel Updates

Global airline capacity hits 2022 high as China demand rebounds – OAG – Global airline capacity has surged to its highest level in 2022 this week because of a rebound in Chinese domestic demand despite extended lockdowns in Asia’s biggest aviation market, travel data firm OAG said on Tuesday. Total global domestic and international airline capacity increased by 3.3% this week to 88.6 million seats, about 20% lower than in 2019.”, Reuters, April 26, 2022

WH Smith (U.K.) back in black as travel restrictions ease – The stationery chain posted a headline pre-tax profit of £14 million for the six months to the end of February compared with a £19 million loss a year earlier and consensus forecast of £12.5 million. Statutory pre-tax profit came in at £18 million, against a £38 million loss a year ago, on the back of sales rising by 45 per cent to £608 million. Carl Cowling, 48, the chief executive, said the business had delivered a ‘good performance with a strong rebound in profitability. We have seen a recovery across all of our travel markets despite the impact of the Omicron variant.’”, The Times of London, April 28, 2022

Country & Regional Updates

Australia

Australia set for small business boom, with younger and more diverse founders to start 3.5 million new businesses by 2031, with a massive influx of construction, professional services, and transportation firms helping to add $60 billion to the annual GDP in a decade’s time. A new report from accounting and business services software provider Xero, released Tuesday, states a pandemic-era boom in new business signups, technological progress, and a younger, more diverse class of entrepreneurs will support a million new jobs by 2031. Those new firms are slated to provide 3% to the national GDP in 2031, the report states.”, Smart Company AU, April 26, 2022

Chile

Chile’s economic activity index bolstered by increase in services – Chile’s IMACEC economic activity index, a close proxy of gross domestic product (GDP), rose 7.2% in March from the same month last year, the country’s central bank said on Monday. That was above market expectations of a 6.3% rise, according to a Reuters poll of economists. In a statement, the central bank said the rise was ‘mainly explained by the increase in services activity.’ It said services, including transport and business services, rose 12.2%. Commerce also registered a 8.6% rise, boosted by retail sales, household equipment and automobile sales.”, Reuters, May 2, 2022

China

China Puts Its Foot on the Gas to Spur a Faltering Economy – The State Council, China’s cabinet, issued sweeping guidelines Monday for bolstering economic activity after retail sales fell 3.5% year-on-year in March, the first contraction since August 2020. The guidelines call for greater assistance to businesses hit by the pandemic, including implementation of tax cuts, tax rebates and fee reductions to support manufacturing, small and micro companies, and sole proprietors. Caixing Global, April 27, 2022

China to end regulatory storm over Big Tech and give sector bigger role in boosting slowing economy, sources say – The key message to tech companies is that the state wants them to grow and play a role in Beijing’s efforts to bolster an economy battered by Covid-19 controls, such as through the distribution of consumption vouchers, according to one source.”, South China Morning Post, April 29, 2022

Germany

Germany Speeds Up Time Frame For Ending Russian Oil Dependence – Germany could end its reliance on Russian oil by the close of summer, the country’s Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology reportedly announced Sunday, stepping up its previous timeline by at least three months—barely three weeks after the European Union announced a ban on Russian coal imports. The ministry said a German oil embargo taking effect near the end of summer following “a sufficient transition period” would be manageable, according to a government report released Sunday and translated by Bloomberg.”, Forbes, May 1, 2022

New Zealand

New Zealand welcomes first tourists in two years as Covid restrictions lifted – Tourists from more than 50 countries including the UK travelled to New Zealand for the first time in more than two years this week after the government dropped most of its pandemic border restrictions. Before the pandemic more than three million tourists visited each year, accounting for 20 per cent of New Zealand’s foreign income and more than 5 per cent of the overall economy.”, The Times of London, May 2, 2022

The Philippines

Companies doing business in the Philippines are assessing the implications of COVID-19 on the country’s economy. They are likely to find that three shifts introduced during the pandemic will persist into the future: economic activity will be digitally enabled but also hyperlocal; the wealth gap is widening, and new consumer segments have emerged; and the pandemic is likely to result in a greener and more sustainable economy. Meanwhile, the consensus view shows the Philippines economy recovering by the fourth quarter of 2022 under a muted scenario, even taking the Omicron wave into account.”, McKinsey, April 26, 2022

Saudi Arabia

Saudi Economy Grows at Fastest Pace in a Decade on Oil Boom – Kingdom’s GDP rose by 9.6% year-on-year in the first quarter. Economy benefiting as crude prices and production increase. Gross domestic production rose by 9.6% year-on-year, the Saudi General Authority for Statistics said. That’s the highest figure since the third quarter of 2011, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.”, Bloomberg, May 1, 2022

South Korea

South Korea’s Recovery Eased Last Quarter Amid Omicron Wave – Gross domestic product expanded 0.7% from prior three months Policy makers aiming to support growth while curbing inflation. The result highlights the challenge for policy makers: supporting an economy that’s set to be buffeted by war in eastern Europe and widespread lockdowns in key trading partner China; yet also battling to stem inflationary pressure that’s mounting worldwide. The upshot is economists expect the Bank of Korea will raise interest rates further, having already hiked twice this year.”, Bloomberg, April 25, 2022

United Kingdom

A guide to Britain’s cost-of-living crunch – In March the rate of annual inflation in Britain reached 7%, the biggest such increase in 30 years. Energy bills are rising most sharply, but price increases are occurring across the board. The consequence will be a fall in living standards over the coming fiscal year of 2.2%, a drop not seen since records began in the 1950s. Energy prices have been rising dramatically for many months, but after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine some types saw a particular surge. The cost of heating oil, used by around 3% of Britons to heat their homes in winter, soared by 44% in March compared with the prior month.”, The Economist, April 23, 2022

United States

Did the U.S. Economy Really Shrink in Early 2022? Is a Recession Near? No, and Here’s Why. Let’s start with the 1.4% drop in gross domestic product, the headline number that gets all the attention. GDP is the official scorecard of sorts for the economy. Most of the decline was tied to a record U.S. trade deficit, shrinking inventories and less government spending. Added altogether and these oft-volatile categories subtracted a whopping 4.5 points from GDP.

Strip out reduced U.S government spending and final sales to private customers—that is, households and businesses—rose an even stronger 3.7%. Looked at that way, the U.S. economy actually strengthened from January to March compared to the end of last year, when the headline GDP numbers were much higher. GDP rose at a 6.9% rate in the fourth quarter and 2.3% in the third quarter.”, Barron’s, April 28, 2022

Small Business’ Number One Problem – New small business owners face a myriad of challenges getting their business ideas up and running. Marketing, securing products, staffing, and establishing processes are just few challenges new owners might have to navigate. However, there is a whole other set of challenges that are often unexpected, the unwelcomed “partnership” with government, federal, state, and local. Likely aware of the tax law, what probably surprised them was the plethora of regulations, compliance costs, licensing, etc. associated with their new firm and location.”, Forbes, April 28, 2022

Brand News

Cutting-edge technology is nothing new for Sonic – The concept owes its long run in no small part to recognizing a game-changing piece of equipment back when TV was a novelty. After seven decades in business, Sonic finds itself once again in alignment with the lifestyles of the times, President Claudia San Pedro commented while being honored last week as the 2022 Restaurant Leader of the Year.”, Restaurant Business Online, April 19, 2022

Hungry Jack’s launches Jack’s Cafe across WA restaurants – Hungry Jack’s has launched its sister coffee chain Jack’s Cafe across its 65 restaurants in Western Australia. The state-wide launch is part of the business’ plan to roll out the beverage brand across all 450-plus locations by June.”, QSR Media AUS, April 20, 2022. Compliments of Jason

McDonald’s lost $127m from shuttering restaurants in Russia and Ukraine – The fast-food giant said they’re losing about $55m a month in sales from their pull-out in Russia….CEO Chris Kempczinski noted that the company continues to pay the salaries of its 62,000 employees in Russia, as well as their Ukrainian staff, who similarly saw their 108 restaurants closed in the fallout from the ongoing conflict.”, Independent, April 30, 2022

Unleashed Brands Acquires XP League Esports Franchise – XP League addresses the void between traditional youth athletics and competitive esports. (For the uninitiated, esports are multiplayer video game competitions that are played with spectators.) XP League, an esports league that’s structured like classic youth sports organizations, promotes development of sportsmanship, teamwork and other positive behaviors related to competition.”, FranchiseWire, April 28, 2022

You Won’t Believe How Many Total Hamburgers White Castle Has Sold –  century is a long time to do anything. How many living people have even existed for that long? But White Castle can boast that it’s a centenarian of the food business,  selling its famous sliders for around 101 years……..White Castle has hit a major stat when it comes to sales. The company announced that it has sold more than 28 billion Original Sliders and Cheese sliders.”, Mashed, April 30, 2022

Wingstop doubles its expansion plans in Indonesia – The wing chain on Wednesday said its franchisee will double its commitment in the Southeast Asian country, from 60 to 120 restaurants, by 2028. Wingstop has previously stated a goal to open more than 7,000 global locations, with at least 3,000 of them located outside the U.S. Wingstop ended 2021 with 1,731 restaurants worldwide, 197 of which were outside the U.S.”, Restaurant Business Online, April 27, 2022

To receive our biweekly newsletter, sign up here: https://bit.ly/geowizardsignup

Our Mission, Information Sources & Who We Are

Our biweekly global business update newsletter focuses on what is happening around the world that impacts new trends, health, consumer spending, business investment, 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™ covers 43 countries and provides us with updates about what is happening in their specific countries.  Please feel free to send us your input for the biweekly report. bedwards@edwardsglobal.com

To sign up for our biweekly newsletter click here: https://bit.ly/geowizardsignup

William (Bill) Edwards, Your Newsletter Editor, has a four-decade career successfully accelerating the international growth of more than 40 brands. Bill Edwards has a four-decade career successfully accelerating the international growth of more than 40 brands. 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.  He has lived in China, the Czech Republic, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Iran and Turkey and has worked on projects in over 50 countries.

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

www.edwardsglobal.com

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

Our latest GlobalVue™ 40 country ranking

For advice on doing business successfully across 40+ countries, contact Bill Edwards at bedwards@edwardsglobal.com or +1 949 224 3896. 


EGS Biweekly Global Business Newsletter Issue 54, Tuesday, April 19,2022

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

Trends in this issue:

As I return from a two week business trip to them Middle East and Central Europe, the 54th issue of our newsletter focuses on energy, globalization, global trade, inflation, rapidly opening global travel, social media a fully automated Pizza Hut® restaurant in Israel. A truly eclectic sample of global business trends today including the first automated Pizza Hut® restaurant in the world in Israel.

To receive our biweekly newsletter, click on this link: https://bit.ly/geowizardsignup

First, A Few Words of Wisdom From Others

“In the midst of chaos, there is also opportunity” – Sun Tzu 

“The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in the mind at the same time, and still retain the ability to function,” F. Scott Fitzgerald.

“Opportunities come infrequently. When it rains gold, put out the bucket, not the thimble.”, Warren Buffett, Yahoo Finance

Highlights in issue #54:

Brand Global News Section: California Pizza Kitchen®, Chipotle®, Dairy Queen®, Lawn Rite® (New Zealand), McDonalds®, Pizza Hut® and QC Kinetix®

Interesting Data and Studies

Visualizing the Distribution of Household Wealth, By Country – A majority of the world’s wealth is concentrated in just a few countries. In fact, almost a third of household wealth is held by Americans, while China’s population accounts for nearly a fifth. Using data from Credit Suisse, this graphic by Eleonora Nazander shows the distribution of household wealth worldwide, highlighting the wealth gap that exists across regions. To help simplify things, this graphic shows how much household wealth each country would have if the world only had $100.”, Visual Capitalist, April 13, 2022

Global Energy

US natural gas export fever tempered by costs and climate concerns – Suppliers must weigh Europe’s demand for LNG with its long-term goal to reduce fossil fuel use. European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen announced a deal with US president Joe Biden last month under which the EU would guarantee long-term demand for another 50 bcm (billion cubic meters) a year of LNG. The volumes would offset some of the 155 bcm of gas the EU imported from Russia last year.”, The Financial Times, April 17, 2022

““Biden’s Energy Marshall Plan for Europe Is No Quick Fix – Facilities to export and receive liquefied natural gas cost billions of dollars and take years to build. Six years after the first cargo of American shale gas sailed out of Cheniere Energy Inc.’s Louisiana terminal, the U.S. is vying with Qatar and Australia for the title of world’s top LNG exporter. (It’s a constantly shifting ranking, but the U.S. is currently in the lead.) Nevertheless, U.S. exports alone won’t be enough to wean Europe off Russian gas completely, at least in the short term.”, Bloomberg,  March 30, 2022

The History of Energy Transitions – Over the last 200 years, how we’ve gotten our energy has changed drastically⁠. These changes were driven by innovations like the steam engine, oil lamps, internal combustion engines, and the wide-scale use of electricity. The shift from a primarily agrarian global economy to an industrial one called for new sources to provide more efficient energy inputs. The current energy transition is powered by the realization that avoiding the catastrophic effects of climate change requires a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. This infographic provides historical context for the ongoing shift away from fossil fuels using data from Our World in Data and scientist Vaclav Smil.”, Visual Capitalist and Our World in Data, April 8, 2022

Global Supply Chain & Trade Update

The State of Globalization in 2022 – The DHL Global Connectedness Index, which our team develops at the NYU Stern Center for the Future of Management, measures globalization based on international flows of trade, capital, information, and people. We look here at the latest trends across those four categories of flows — and consider early signals of how the war might alter their trajectories moving forward.”, Harvard Business Review, April 12, 2022

Globalization Isn’t Unraveling. It’s Changing – The flow of trade, people and ideas among countries isn’t inevitably headed toward decline following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. But it could be reshaped. Adjusting for the differing costs of goods and services across countries, Germany’s economy in 1913 accounted for 8.7% of global GDP, according to estimates by economic historian Angus Maddison. Russia’s share of global GDP last year was just 3.1% on that basis, estimates the International Monetary Fund, and an even smaller 1.7% in dollar terms.”, The Wall Street Journal, April 15, 2022

“World food prices hit new record on impact from Ukraine war – Global food prices have struck a new high, soaring at the fastest monthly rate in 14 years after the war in Ukraine hit the supply of grains and vegetable oils, in a shift likely to do the greatest harm in poorer countries around the world. March’s food price index from the UN Food and Agriculture Organization rose to its third record high in a row, jumping 34 per cent from the same time last year, after the war shut down supply lines from Ukraine and Russia.”, The Financial Times, April 8, 2022

Global, Regional & Local Travel Updates

Delta sees ‘meaningful’ profit as travel demand hits ‘historic’ levels – The company said robust consumer demand not only translated into a ‘solid’ profit in March, but is also allowing it to offset soaring fuel costs with higher fares. ‘The demand environment that we have today is at a historic high,’ Chief Executive Officer Ed Bastian told Reuters in an interview. ‘The last five weeks have been the strongest period of bookings that Delta has ever seen in our history.’”, Reuters, April 13, 2022

The Latest Covid-19 Travel Requirements For Central America, Including Belize And Costa Rica  Countries in Central America have been easing their travel restrictions in recent months, making them even easier destinations for Americans to plan visits to during the busy spring summer travel seasons. Still, each country has its own sets of rules and restrictions, and what’s acceptable in one destination may not work for another. Here are the latest travel requirements and restrictions in Central American countries, according to the Central America Tourism Agency.”, Forbes, April 18, 2022

Country & Regional Updates

South East Asia

Why Southeast Asia Will See Stronger Growth in 2022 – Tourism is finally on the rebound. Increasing vaccination numbers are helping the private sector gain momentum. A revitalized private sector means improved supply chains. Increased energy demands mean innovation and jobs.”, Entrepreneur Magazine, April 9, 2022

Australia

Sydney Harbour turns on sunshine as first cruise liner returns since March 2020CLIA Australasia’s managing director, Joel Katz, said more than a million Australians a year took an ocean cruise before the pandemic. ‘We now have an opportunity to return to sailing and revive an industry that was worth more than $5bn annually to the Australian economy,’ he said.”, The Guardian, April 18, 2022

China

China GDP: economy grew by 4.8 per cent in first quarter despite ‘complicated, uncertain’ headwinds – Retail sales fell by 3.5 per cent in March from a year earlier, while industrial production grew by 5 per cent last month. But China’s economy slowed sharply in March due to the Covid outbreaks in many cities.  The unemployment rate for those aged 16 to 24 rose to 16 per cent in March, up from 15.3 per cent in combined figures for January and February.:, South China Morning Post, April 18, 2022

India

India’s annual wholesale inflation rate accelerated to 14.55% in March, completing a year in double-digit territory as firms grapple with rising input costs and pass on higher prices to consumers. Rising input costs for products such as fuel, metals and chemicals have pushed up wholesale prices, a proxy for producer prices. This is adding to pressure on retail prices, economists said. Headline retail inflation accelerated to 6.95% in March, its highest in 17 months and above the upper limit of the central bank’s tolerance band for a third straight month, putting pressure on the bank to raise interest rates.”, Reuters, April 18, 2022

Israel

First Automated Pizza Hut Now Open in Israel – From afar, the restaurant looks like a shipping container, but the 40-foot rectangular unit is packed with all manner of robotics arms, conveyor belts and other gizmos that add toppings and cook the pizza. It’s operated with input 120 sensors, 20 AI-powered cameras and it’s plugged into the location’s ordering and digital infrastructure. To keep it clean, the kitchen floods with ozone-infused water every 40 minutes. The output is a fully cooked, boxed pizza in a drawer, ready for delivery or pickup.”, Franchise Times, February 4, 2022

New Zealand

Why a (New Zealand) lawn mowing company is ditching petrol power for battery power – A swap to solar was a no-brainer for Troy Hillard. Over the past six months as the managing director for the Rite Group franchise, he decided it was time to take the lawn mowing business ‘off grid’. The Waikato-based group has since switched to battery-powered mowing equipment.” Stuff.co.nz, March 28, 2022. Compliments of Jason Gehrke, Founder and Director, Franchise Advisory Centre.

United Kingdom

The headline annual rate of CPI inflation rose to a higher-than-expected 7 per cent in March, according to the Office for National Statistics. City economists had forecast a rise of 6.7 per cent. Amid soaring inflation, traders are pricing as a dead-cert the Bank of England increasing the base rate next month. Money markets suggest that the probability of the base rate rising to 1 per cent, from the current 0.75 per cent, is 100 per cent.”, The Times of London, April 13, 2022

United States

The huge service side of the U.S. economy speeds up in March, ISM finds – An ISM barometer of business conditions at service-oriented companies such as restaurants and theaters rose 1.8 points in March to 58.3%, signaling a faster expansion in the U.S. economy after an omicron-induced slowdown earlier in the year. Yet prices of oil, grains, metals and other supplies rose even faster and indicated little relief from high inflation. Ongoing supply-chain bottlenecks were also complicated by the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Numbers over 50% are viewed as positive for the economy and anything over 55% is considered exceptional.”, Market Watch, April 5, 2022

New Study On How Labor Shortages Impact Franchising – The results were culled from responses from more than 200 franchise executives representing 197 brands and approximately 90,000 units. The results make it clear the availability of qualified labor is the number one challenge facing small businesses and franchisors are helping their franchisees address the shortage. ‘Four out of five franchise systems have experienced labor shortages in recent months,’ said FRANdata CEO Darrell Johnson.”, Franchising.com, April 2022

Brand News

California Pizza Kitchen (US) Signs Two International Franchise Agreements – Recently signed international deals include agreements in Costa Rica and Chile, bringing the brand’s locations to approximately 50 overseas restaurants. Additionally, new locations are set to open in India, Chile, Costa Rica, Alberta, Canada, as well as in the Santiago, Chile and Costa Rica, San Jose airports.”, CISION PR Newswire, March 30, 2022. Compliments of World Franchise Associates

Dairy Queen (US) Plans to Open 600 Locations in China – Dairy Queen on Thursday announced a deal with the investment firm FountainVest Partners to open 600 locations in the country by 2030, joining a rapidly growing number of U.S. brands making a bigger push in the fast-growing country. The agreement promises to further speed the growth of Minneapolis-based Dairy Queen, which already has 1,100 locations in China.”, Restaurant Business News, March 10, 2022. Compliments of World Franchise Associates

Metaverse is restaurants’ new frontier – American restaurant chain Chipotle recently teamed up with online platform Roblox to have users create meals that earn credits for real food. When they began inviting people to join their restaurant in the metaverse and collect credits for their next Chipotle order by receiving special codes, more than 20,000 people were waiting to get in. McDonald’s recently announced that it intends to open restaurants in the metaverse. Wendy’s and Hooters have also made announcements in recent days. In Canada, Restaurants Canada launched a metaverse marketplace for its industry, a trend-hunter partnership to revive the food service industry. It will be launched in May.”, Winnipeg Free press, April 18, 2022

What Makes McDonald’s France So Different From McDonald’s America – You may have heard the old saying: “if you’ve been to one, you’ve been to them all.” That same concept can apply to McDonald’s. No matter where you go, be the McDonald’s down the block or across the country, you’ll know exactly what to expect. In France, however, your trip to Mickey Dee’s may be a little more high-class than you were expecting. When you think of French cuisine, you’re probably thinking more along the lines of cheese and wine than anything resembling fast food. While this is a fair assumption, you’d be surprised to learn that McDonald’s in France are designed more around the food and the atmosphere than Playlands or drive-thru’s.”, Mashed, April 11, 2022

Regenerative Medicine Group Celebrates 100th Clinic Opening – QC Kinetix, a regenerative medicine franchise that offers a cutting-edge, non-surgical alternative to joint and pain relief, recently celebrated its 100th clinic opening. On March 26, they celebrated their 100th clinic opening in Mishawaka, Indiana, near South Bend. To mark the milestone opening, the company’s top brass and founders hopped on a plane and made a surprise visit to Mishawaka to congratulate the new team and show their support on the clinic’s first day of business.”, Franchising.com, April 1, 2022

How COVID Forever Changed the Future of Fast-Food DesignAcross the U.S., quick-service brands are aggressively altering store designs to accommodate shifting consumer preferences, so many powered by the COVID-19 pandemic. In TD Bank’s 2021 Restaurant Franchise Pulse survey released earlier this year, 55 percent of restaurant operators said they planned to add more space for pickup orders, while 45 percent were plotting additional drive-thru locations, and another 43 percent were looking to add outdoor dining space. Those figures underscore the fast-changing world of restaurant design.”, QSR Magazine, April 2022. Compliments of Ron Rosenblat, Managing Partner at GlobalKoncepts, LLC

Articles & Studies For Today And Tomorrow

Currently, there are over 4.5 billion people around the world who use some form of social media—about 57% of the global population. Yet, while social media’s audience is widespread and diverse, just a handful of companies control a majority of the world’s most popular social media platforms. Meta, the tech giant formerly known as Facebook, owns four of the five most widely used platforms.”. Visual Capitalist, December 6, 2021

“(U.S.) Social Media Usage by Age – Social media apps are on a lot of phones these days, but some tend towards a younger audience and others an older. Some are common across the population. Here’s the breakdown by age for American adults in 2021, based on data from Pew Research Center. Snapchat, TikTok, and Reddit tend towards a younger audience, as you might expect. Facebook most common in the oldest group seems right. Nextdoor likely rises with home ownership, so that seems to make sense. LinkedIn relies on employment, so the bump up at middle age makes sense.”, Flowing Data, April 2022

To receive our biweekly newsletter, sign up here: https://bit.ly/geowizardsignup

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™ covers 43 countries and provides us with updates about what is happening in their specific countries.  Please feel free to send us your input for the biweekly report. bedwards@edwardsglobal.com

To sign up for our biweekly newsletter click here: https://bit.ly/geowizardsignup

William (Bill) Edwards, Your Newsletter Editor, has a four-decade career successfully accelerating the international growth of more than 40 brands. Bill Edwards has a four-decade career successfully accelerating the international growth of more than 40 brands. Over the years, Bill has made and/or seen most of the mistakes companies make when going global. In Bill’s role as a Global Advisor to ‘C’ level executives, his objective is to impart the wisdom he has learned over time to help them minimize costly mistakes.  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.  He has lived in China, the Czech Republic, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Iran and Turkey and has worked on projects in over 50 countries.

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 around the world. Our Team on the ground overseas covers 40+ countries.  EGS has twice received the U.S. President’s Award for Export Excellence.

www.edwardsglobal.com

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

Our latest GlobalVue™ 40 country ranking

For advice on doing business successfully across 40+ countries, contact Bill Edwards at bedwards@edwardsglobal.com or +1 949 224 3896. 


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