Global Business Development

EGS Biweekly Global Business Newsletter Issue 20, Monday, December 28, 2020

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

 “It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit”, President Harry Truman

“Great minds discuss ideas, average minds discuss events, small minds discuss people”, Eleanor Roosevelt, compliments of Jeff Bevis

“The best way to predict the future is to create it”, Peter Drucker

Introduction

Best wishes to our readers in 20 countries for the holidays and a calmer, healthy and prosperous 2021. Our biweekly newsletter focuses on what is happening around the world that impacts new trends, health, consumer spending, business investment and travel. This is our 20th edition, 40 weeks since the COVID crisis formally hit.

A few highlights in issue #20:

  • Three vaccines have now been approved and two are being distributed in the EU, USA and the United Kingdom – a global vaccine update
  • The United Kingdom and the European Union have an agreement to part ways as of January 1, 2021
  • Nobel Perspectives & Economic Views: Asking the questions that matter. A UBS current knowledge resource
  • The Impact of Covid-19 on Global & Local Supply Chains
  • McDonald’s China releasing Oreo, Spam burger for limited time…..seriously!
  • A bit of fun: Stroll down memory lane with a 1996 instructional video on “How to Internet”

For our biweekly newsletter, we monitor 30+ countries, 40+ international information sources and six business sectors to keep up with what is going on in this ever-changing environment. Our GlobalTeam™ on the ground covers 43 countries and provides us with updates about what is happening in their specific countries.

Please feel free to send us your input and sources of information. Our contact information is at the bottom of this newsletter.

 First, a few Personal Comments

The world is a mixed place at the time of this holiday season report. Multiple vaccines are being deployed. Businesses are open in Asia but not as much in Europe and the USA. Cross border travel and tourism remains constrained, but airlines and governments are seeking ways to get planes flying long hauls once again. Predictions for the world’s economy for 2021 are optimistic. Let’s start with a vaccine update.

A COVID Vaccine Update

Astra Zeneca’s Soriot says vaccine has a “winning formula’: After the strangest festive period many of us have lived through, there is a rare dose of good news in today’s section – one has the potential to make a lot of difference to all our lives. It’s contained in Sabah Meddings’ interview with Pascal Soriot, the boss of Astra Zeneca. He has won our award for businessperson of the year – thanks to the drugs giant’s work tackling Covid-19. Soriot reveals that its vaccine – which we have bought 100 millions doses of – should work against the new strain of the virus, and that it should be just as effective as the other jabs being developed.”, The Sunday Times of London, December 27, 2020

“’The beginning of the end’: Europe rolls out vaccines to fight pandemic: Europe launched a mass COVID-19 vaccination drive on Sunday with pensioners and medics lining up to get the first shots to see off a pandemic that has crippled economies and claimed more than 1.7 million lives worldwide.”, Reuters, December 27, 2020

EU Begins Covid-19 Vaccinations After Clearing Pfizer Shot: European Union countries began vaccinating against Covid-19 as members of the 27-nation bloc struggle with a rising death toll from the virus. The coordinated rollout launched on Sunday is getting underway less than a week after the EU cleared a shot developed by Pfizer Inc. and BioNTech SE. Several European countries, including Germany, have imposed tougher restrictions in an effort to contain a winter surge in infections and deaths.”, Bloomberg, December 27, 2020

http://bit.ly/2KIsAHm

The COVID-19 vaccines are here: What comes next? Countries must prepare now for the largest simultaneous public-health initiative ever undertaken”, McKinsey & Co., December 9, 2020

http://mck.co/3nPbhDf

The United Kingdom and the Remaining 27 EU Countries reach an Agreement

“’Parting is such sweet sorrow’: EU and UK clinch narrow Brexit accord: Britain clinched a narrow Brexit trade deal with the European Union on Thursday, just seven days before it exits one of the world’s biggest trading blocs in its most significant global shift since the loss of empire.”, Reuters, December 23, 2020

http://reut.rs/3rvVCdY

The European Union and the United Kingdom have a final agreement to separate as of January 1, 2021. This is what the regional alliance map looks like post January 1, 2020.

Some Interesting Year End Data

“The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) projects that after a 4.2% drop this year, the global economy will reach pre-pandemic levels in 2021. This chart, which uses data from the OECD, shows which countries will recover the fastest from the global recession in 2020”, Visual Capitalist, December 15, 2020

http://bit.ly/3r2HBED

http://mck.co/3nPd5Mx

Bill Gates: These breakthroughs will make 2021 better than 2020. The latest on the innovations that will let us go back to normal.” GatesNotes, December 22, 2020

http://gatesnot.es/3aMnHrO

Global cargo logjam deepens, delaying goods bound for retailers, automakers: A surge in demand for furniture, exercise equipment and other goods for shoppers sheltering at home in a worsening COVID-19 pandemic has upended normal trade flows. That has stranded empty cargo containers in the wrong places, spawning bottlenecks that now stretch from factories to seaports.”, Reuters, December 23, 3030

http://reut.rs/2KWuaW4

A Bit of Fun in these Times

Stroll down memory lane with this 1996 instructional video on How to Internet: Everything You Need to Know About… Introduction to the Internet is on the Internet Archive.”, Ars Technica, December 13, 2020

http://bit.ly/2WvkTXp

Global and Regional Travel Updates

“US to Require Negative COVID-19 Test for UK Arrivals Tomorrow: The US is set to require a negative COVID-19 test for travelers arriving from the UK starting December 28, 2020. Following the emergence of a new COVID-19 variant in the UK, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) on December 25 approved the order requiring the negative tests. Canada itself, along with over 60 other countries, have virtually shut their borders to the UK while New York City has imposed a 14 day quarantine for international arrivals.”, Airways Magazine, December 27, 2020

http://bit.ly/3hkrEVC

“Will you need an immunity passport to fly? How the COVID-19 vaccine will restart travel: The majority of travelers say a proven vaccine will make them feel safe enough to hit the road again, according to a survey by the travel insurance provider Allianz. But vaccines won’t just change the way people feel about traveling: they could completely alter the entire travel experience.”, The Points Guy, December 27, 2020

http://bit.ly/37RMlFl

How Airlines Are Trying to Get Passengers Back on Long-Haul Flights: From virus-sniffing dogs to new testing requirements. Along with COVID-19 testing areas and sanitizer dispensers, air travelers in Dubai or Helsinki might notice another pandemic-era addition to airports: a station where specially trained dogs can detect the presence of coronavirus in arriving passengers.”, The Condé Nast Traveler, December 14, 2020

http://bit.ly/3nUpazN

“Tried and true tricks for getting over jet lag: Here, from the editorial staff of Fortune, is a roundup of the best tips and tricks for going the distance.”, Fortune, December 27, 2020

http://bit.ly/34MZUEl

Qantas Set to Form a Joint Business Agreement With Japan Airlines: Following the drastic reduction in the number of passengers flying this year, many airlines are seeking new ways to attract travelers on board in time for next summer. Australian flag-carrier Qantas is negotiating with Japan Airlines to increase travel between Australia and Japan by a new “joint business.” The two carriers, members of the Oneworld alliance, already have a close partnership with many mutual benefits for its frequent flyers.”, Airline Geeks, December 25, 2020

“XpresCheck, JetBlue Offer Rapid-Tests at Boston Airport: On Monday, XpresSpa Group’s subsidiary XpresCheck announced a partnership with New York-based JetBlue Airways to build a COVID-19 testing site at Boston’s Logan International Airport, reported by GlobeNewswire. The “pop-up” facility will aim to give passengers a convenient place to get tested before or after travel. Currently, officials in Massachusetts require a negative PCR test within 72 hours of entering the state to avoid quarantine.”, Airline Geeks, December 22, 2020

Your next hotel check-in may include a COVID-19 test: Are COVID-19 tests the latest resort welcome amenity? It’s starting to seem that way.”, The Points Guy, December 17, 2020

http://bit.ly/3mw77OY

“British Airways to restore service in first and business class: Currently, all meals are served in snack boxes and there is no hot meal service (with the exception of international first-class cabins). It’s nice to see British Airways — which was one of the airlines to most drastically reduce in-flight services — start reintegrating a more full-service flight experience for business and first-class passengers.”, The Points Guy, December 19, 2020

Asia Pacific Countries

Emerging stronger, fitter, faster: The rise of the Asian corporation: Leading CEOs in Asia explain how COVID-19 has accelerated five business trends in the region and why they’re confident that unprecedented opportunities lie ahead.”, McKinsey & Co., December 17. 2020

http://mck.co/34iT891

Australia

“Melbourne reaps festive benefits from its hard lockdown: Decision to close its borders, however, means many expatriates are stuck abroad for Christmas.  Restaurants, pubs and cafés expect a busy Christmas after Australia’s second most populous city emerged from a strict 112-day-long lockdown in late October. Victoria’s state government recently dropped requirements to wear face masks when dining, removed a ban on dancing and is allowing up to 30 people to visit private homes. In a symbolic moment for a nation hooked on cricket, the Boxing Day Test match between India and Australia will welcome 30,000 spectators — the first time fans will be allowed to attend the Melbourne Cricket Ground since the virus began spreading rapidly in March.”, The Financial Times, December 21, 2020

Flights cancelled, holidays in disarray as Sydney battles pre-Christmas COVID-19 outbreak: Dozens of domestic flights due to leave Sydney were cancelled on Monday and authorities issued more health alerts across the city, as Australia battled to contain a fresh COVID-19 outbreak in its largest city four days before Christmas.”, Reuters, December 20, 2020

http://reut.rs/3h261JK

Chile

Chile becomes first South American country to start COVID vaccination: Chile became the first country in South America to begin coronavirus vaccinations on Thursday after receiving its first 10,000 Pfizer-BioNTech doses, Reuters reports….The country bought 10 million doses from Pfizer-BioNTech and is expected to receive 240,000 doses in January, per Reuters. It has secured 36 million doses overall, Bloomberg writes.”, Axios, December 25, 2020

Mainland China

“Chinese consumers are spending again—but they remain wary of restaurants: As the first in and the first out of the pandemic, China’s economy has staged a dramatic recovery this year. It surged 3.2% and 4.9% in the second and third quarters, respectively, after plunging 6.8% in the first, compared with the same periods last year. But spending at restaurants has been especially slow to bounce back.”, Fortune, December 17, 2020

http://bit.ly/38hjUQ6

“McDonald’s China releasing Oreo, Spam burger for limited time: The fast food chain is only making 400,000 of the burgers. The fast food chain announced the limited-time menu item on Chinese social media platform Weibo earlier this week.  On Friday, video game analyst Daniel Ahmad tweeted pictures of the ‘Oreo x Spam’ burger, which shows a layer of crumbled Oreos on top of two slices of Spam.”, Fox News, December 19, 2020

Dr. Zhang Wenhong Talks COVID-19 and Vaccines: Greg Gilligan, Chairman of AmCham China and Dr. Zhang Wenhong, Professor and Head of the Center for Infectious Disease at Huashan Hospital of Fudan University, discussed the current global fight against COVID-19 during a fireside conversation with member companies.”, AmCham China, December 10, 2020

https://bit.ly/3nBiVkd

Sinopec Yijie and Lian Coffee set up a joint venture to push gas station coffee: Yijie has 27,800 convenience stores nationwide, covering more than 90% of Sinopec’s gas stations. Yijie Coffee will rely on Yijie convenience stores to open stores in the future. ) Sinopec entered the coffee market. December 22, Sinopec convenience stores Express announced a partnership with Internet coffee brand ‘even the coffee’ joint venture. “, Caixin, December 22, 2020, compliments of Paul Jones, Jones & Co., Toronto

India

India’s Domestic Passenger Air Traffic Grows in November: The demand for air travel during the holidays has helped India’s air traffic recover after a dark period. Indeed, passenger volume saw sequential growth of 22% in the previous month, India’s ICRA rating agency NSE said Wednesday. The ICRA also said that November domestic passenger traffic was close to 50% of domestic air travel demand in November 2019.”, Airways, December 23, 2020

Japan

COVID-19 clampdown: Japan closes borders to foreign nationals: Effective on Monday, Dec. 28, the Japanese government will bar most foreign nationals in an effort to curb the spread of the virus. Entry bans were already in place for international travelers from more than 150 countries all over the world, including the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom. The latest move, which will last until at least the end of January, simply builds upon the nation’s already strict entry requirements, and even Japanese nationals and foreigners with residency returning from short business trips, according to Bloomberg, must now comply with a 14-day quarantine, along with multiple COVID-19 tests.”, The Points Guy, December 26, 2020

https://bit.ly/2KZDSqR

Korea

S. Korea to accelerate virus vaccine efforts as first U.K. variant detected: South Korean officials are vowing to speed up efforts to launch a public coronavirus vaccination programme as the country on Monday announced it had detected its first cases of the virus variant linked to the rapid rise in infections in Britain.”, Reuters, December 28, 2020

New Zealand

“New Zealand’s ‘go hard and early’ Covid policy reaps economic rewards: New Zealand’s economy has accelerated out of a coronavirus-induced recession to grow a record 14 percent in the third quarter, reflecting authorities’ adept handling of the pandemic.”, The Financial Times, December 16, 2020

Singapore

“Singapore To Open For Business Travel In January Under ‘Bubble’ Arrangement: Singapore will allow a limited number of business, official and high economic value travelers from all countries to come to the city-state and stay at dedicated facilities under a “bubble” arrangement. Applications for the new travel arrangement, which was announced by the Ministry of Trade and Industry on Tuesday, will open next month. Travelers who qualify will be allowed into Singapore from the second half of January for up to 14 days.”, Forbes, December 15, 2020

Spain

“AmCham Spain in 2020: A Year in Review”, compliments of Angela Turrin, International Trade Advisor, U.S. Commercial Service, Madrid, December 16, 2020

https://bit.ly/2Wmam0O

Switzerland

“With Ski Resorts Closed Across Europe, Die-Hards Descend on Switzerland: Resisting pressure to close resorts in pandemic, the country says it can make skiing safe. Switzerland is holding out against pressure from other European countries to shut down its ski lifts, even though the country is struggling with one of Europe’s highest Covid-19 infection rates. Like elsewhere in Europe, anti-contagion measures punctuate Swiss daily life: Face masks are obligatory almost everywhere, large gatherings are banned, and restaurants and bars have limited hours. But Swiss authorities say skiing is safe.”, The Wall Street Journal, December 19, 2020

United Kingdom

“Britain is fifth-largest economy in world again after leapfrogging India: Britain has retaken fifth place in the rankings of the world’s biggest economies despite suffering one of the deepest recessions in the pandemic. According to the annual league table produced by a leading British economics consultancy, the UK has leapfrogged India and will accelerate away from France in the decade after Brexit.”, The Sunday Times of London, December 26, 2020

Brexit: EU ambassadors approve EU-UK trade deal: Ambassadors from the 27 EU member states have unanimously approved the EU-UK post-Brexit trade deal, paving the way for it to take effect. The deal is likely to become law on 1 January, as the UK Parliament is expected to approve it on Wednesday.”, BBC News, December 28, 2020

United States

U.S. Starts Delivery of Moderna’s Covid-19 Vaccine: Trucks carrying the shot will start rolling out Sunday, with injections slated to commence Monday. Immunizations using the newly authorized Covid-19 vaccine from Moderna Inc. are slated to start Monday, boosting the mass inoculation campaign that was launched just last week.”, The Wall Street Journal, December 20, 2020

TSA screens highest number of travelers since pandemic began: The Transportation Security Administration screened 1,284,599 people at airport checkpoints around the U.S. on Sunday, according to agency data.  It’s the highest number of travelers the TSA has recorded since the COVID-19 pandemic was declared in March. It’s also the sixth day in the last 10 that more than a million people have flown….”, Axios, December 28, 2020

Vietnam

Vietnam prepares for supply chain shift from China: Multinationals look to build up bases despite infrastructure and labour issues. Veteran business people in the region like to compare its rising economy and exuberant business climate to Thailand’s during its foreign investment-driven boom that began in the 1980s, or China’s 20 years ago when its manufacturing sector was taking off.  The boosters point to Vietnam’s solid record in making products to global standards, and to a widening network of free trade agreements, including recently with the EU and the UK.”, The Financial Times, December 27, 2020

Brand News

Domino’s launches ‘press for pizza’ button service for people bored of Christmas leftovers: The fast food chain has launched the “Turkey Panic Button” on 27 December in the hope that it will appeal to consumers who have tired of traditional Christmas foods.

Those who volunteer for the service will receive their own button and be able to push for pizza at their leisure. The pizza will then be delivered for free.”, The Independent, December 26, 2020

8 Things You Probably Never Knew About the Dairy Queen Blizzard: Only the biggest Dairy Queen fans will know these fun facts about the iconic Blizzard treat.”, Taste Of Home, December 21, 2020

http://bit.ly/2JmPIuy

Coronavirus lockdowns ‘accelerated’ innovation, Burger King, Popeyes, Tim Hortons parent say: ‘Despite the challenges we’re facing, there’s hope,’ Restaurant Brands International CEO said. although coronavirus lockdowns have been difficult for many restaurants and small businesses, Jose Cil, Restaurant Brands International CEO told ‘Mornings with Maria’ they have helped with innovation. Leading Burger King, Popeyes, and Tim Hortons, Cil said drive-thru service and delivery has increased significantly over the last 10 months and he expects it to continue when the pandemic is over.”, Fox Business, December 2020

http://fxn.ws/2Kx4n6O

Casual Dining – Alive and Well: Casual dining has been around as long as the concept of eating out has existed.  It has always held a large market share, falling nicely between fine dining and quick service restaurants.  So, let’s look at what casual dining really is, why some question its sustainability after 2020, why people go out in the first place, and how casual dining restaurants must adapt to be successful in 2021.”, Sean Ngo, VF Franchise Consulting, Ho Chi Minh City

http://bit.ly/34te2m0

Articles and Charts About Doing Business in The Times Of COVID-19 and Beyond

“Nobel Perspectives & Economic Views: Asking the questions that matter. In a global, forward-thinking future, knowledge holds the key. That’s why UBS offers you the credible source of information, Nobel Laureates in Economic Sciences, who answer the questions that shape our world. Invest in knowledge, learn from the smartest minds in science, and be better prepared for the future., UBS, December 26, 2020

http://bit.ly/2WMSigH

The Impact of Covid-19 on Global & Local Supply Chains: The coronavirus pandemic has become a “black swan” event. Its presence has shaken things up globally across all industries, particularly the global freight field, resulting in significant impacts to the world economy. The pandemic has exposed the vulnerabilities of numerous companies, especially those that rely on global supply chains, as well as international trade.”, Franchising.com, December 22, 2020

http://bit.ly/38savW7

“The biggest small business trends and challenges of 2020: Each year, SmartCompany surveys its readers to understand what they’re focusing on and investing in, and this year’s Reader Survey provides a snapshot of what the ‘new normal’ looks like after a year that has fundamentally changed the way we do business.”, Smart Company Australia, December 2020

http://bit.ly/3h3MDvR

Guide to investment trends 2021: We assess the investment opportunities thrown up by the pandemic – the possibility of battered companies and share prices making a comeback – as well as the themes that have leapt up the agenda in 2020, such as ethical investing and technology, or are set to emerge in 2021, such as healthcare.”, The Times of London, December 214, 2020

https://bit.ly/2WxLC5Q

“This way out: How leading companies chart a full-potential COVID-Exit: Half measures and incrementalism won’t work when your company emerges from a crisis. Here’s jhow leading organizations are thinking about holistic transformation to go all in”, McKinsey & Co., December 15, 2020

http://mck.co/3oZkAjS

Buy into themes accelerated by COVID-19: Technology disruption as the world undergoes a digital transformation has been accelerated by COVID-19. Trends that are here to stay….”, UBS, December 2020

https://bit.ly/2KqeOc0

 

Who We Are and What We Do for Companies ‘Going Global’?

Edwards Global Services, Inc. (EGS) provides a complete International solution for U.S. businesses Going Global. From initial global market research and country prioritization, to developing new international markets, providing in-country operations support and problem solving. around the world. Our U.S. based executive team has experience living and working in many countries. Our Associate network on the ground overseas covers 40+ countries.

Founded in 2001, Edwards Global Services, Inc. (EGS) takes U.S. businesses global and currently has activity in 25 countries.  Our Clients are all consumer-faced brands.  Edwards Global Services, Inc. (EGS) has twice received the U.S. President’s Award for Export Excellence

Find out more about the services we provide U.S. companies Going Global at:

www.edwardsglobal.com

Download our 4th quarter 2020 GlobalVue™ 40 country ranking chart at this link:

http://bit.ly/EGSGlobalVue

To download our latest published article, “2021 International Outlook – Mixed Prospects Amid Global Uncertainty”, go to this link:

https://bit.ly/EGS1220article

William Edwards, CFE, is CEO and Global Advisor of Edwards Global Services (EGS). He has 46 years of international operations, development, executive and entrepreneurial experience and has lived in 7 countries. With experience in the franchise, oil and gas, information technology and management consulting sectors, he has directed projects on-site in Alaska, Asia, Europe and the Middle and Near East.  Mr. Edwards advises a wide range of companies on early to long term global development of their brands.

 

For market research, operations and development support on taking your business global, contact Mr. Edwards at bedwards@edwardsglobal.com or +1 949 224 3896.


EGS Biweekly Global Business Newsletter Issue 19, Monday, December 14, 2020

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

“The true test of leadership is how well you perform in a crisis”, Brian Tracy

“When life gives you a hundred reasons to break down and cry, show life that you have a million reasons to smile and laugh. Stay strong”, contributed on LinkedIn by Erik Premont and Paul Segreto

“We must accept finite disappointment, but we must never lose infinite hope”, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Introduction

Our biweekly newsletter focuses on what is happening around the world that impacts new trends, health, consumer spending, business investment and travel. A few highlights in issue #19:

  • The USA and United Kingdom approve the Pfizer vaccine and distribution starts while the EU is close to approving 1 or 2 vaccines. Bloomberg maps vaccine contracts
  • A number of sources see rapid economic growth from the middle of 2021. But resurgence of the COVID virus in some parts of Asia, Europe and in the USA means global vaccines are crucial
  • Over 900 cars paid for each other’s meals at a Dairy Queen drive-thru in Minnesota
  • Australia is seeing good economic growth as it reopens
  • Nearly a third of workers don’t want to ever return to the office in Fortune magazine survey

For our biweekly newsletter, we monitor 30+ countries, 40+ international information sources and six business sectors to keep up with what is going on in this ever-changing environment. Our GlobalTeam™ on the ground covers 43 countries and provides us with updates about what is happening in their specific countries.

Please feel free to send us your input and sources of information. Our contact information is at the bottom of this newsletter.

First, a few Personal Comments 

The approval of the first vaccine for distribution in the USA and United Kingdom is very good news. A second vaccine may be approved this coming week. The actual distribution will take months. But this is very positive news for the world, for businesses and international business travel. In this issue, in addition to country and travel updates we will share charts from excellent sources that tell us what about the world today.

Interesting Data to Start

“Global Economic Forecasts, Q4 2020: The Global Economic Forecasts report focuses on quarterly macro changes for the world’s key economies and what these mean to our view of the likely, optimistic and pessimistic scenarios for the global economy.”, Euromonitor International, December 2020

https://bit.ly/2W3oMD0

This very interesting list is from the ‘Future of business: 2021 and Beyond” McKinsey webinar on December 9th. It generated lots of conversation in my Vistage group’s monthly meeting.

“U.S. Approves First Coronavirus Vaccine to End the Pandemic: We’re tracking the nine most promising shots from around the world. Bloomberg is tracking nine of the most promising vaccines around the globe, from national procurement deals to shots in patients’ arms. By our count, 7.95 billion doses have already been allotted.”, Bloomberg, December 11, 2020

https://bloom.bg/3gQPAjq

Our company’s fourth quarter 2020 GlobalVue™ country ranking chart was issued last week and clearly shows countries that managed the CVID crisis better are doing better economically.

https://bit.ly/egsgv1220

Source: Visual Capitalist, December 11, 2020   https://bit.ly/3gK5IDc

Light at the End of the COVID Tunnel: Light at the End of the COVID Tunnel: While a Winter COVID19 wave in Europe/U.S. is the late 2020 focus, vaccine approval and rollouts will dominate 2021. This should allow a reduction in official and voluntary social distancing – but how will it impact consumption and business investment, and hence growth and inflation? Meanwhile, will policymakers withdraw temporary fiscal measures or undertake some additional fiscal and monetary policy stimulus?” Find out the answers at the Continuum Economic webinar at this link:

https://bit.ly/3p0RpgD

Travel Updates

“Delta and KLM’s Pre-flight Testing Program Will Allow Americans to Travel to Amsterdam Without Quarantine: The program starts Dec. 15 and is for travelers heading out of Atlanta, Ga. Travelers to Amsterdam may be able to skip The Netherlands’ quarantine when Delta Air Lines and KLM Royal Dutch Airlines start their COVID-19 testing program on flights to the European city next week. This latest flight testing program, set to start on Dec. 15, will allow passengers on select flights from Atlanta to Amsterdam to participate in multiple tests before and after the flight, according to Delta. If passengers continually test negative, they will be exempt from quarantine upon arrival in the Netherlands.:, Travel and Leisure magazine, December 7, 2020

https://bit.ly/3a9q3Ay

Cruises and Covid-19: When U.S. Sailings Could Restart and What Safety Precautions Are Expected: Carnival, other operators are looking to resume trips next year, but health officials say cruises are high risk and require changes first. The timing for U.S. voyages ultimately depends on receiving a permit from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which is requiring operators to conduct mock sailings and apply for a certificate at least 60 days before offering passenger cruises.”, The Wall Street Journal, December 14, 2020

Singapore, Hong Kong Postpone Travel Bubble Until 2021: Singapore and Hong Kong have again postponed the launch of the much-awaited travel bubble that would connect the two Asian hubs without the need for a quarantine period. The quarantine-free travel corridor launch was delayed two days before it was due to begin as Hong Kong saw a new hike in the number of COVID-19 cases begin on Nov. 21.”, Airline Geeks, December 3, 2020

Delta Resumes Only Nonstop Flights to China by U.S. Airlines: Delta Air Lines Inc. resumed nonstop flights to China on Wednesday, even as its major U.S. competitors continue to stop first in South Korea. The change extended Delta’s rebuilding of China service since U.S. airlines suspended flights in February because of the coronavirus pandemic.”, Caixin, December 3, 2020.

https://bit.ly/2K0pj6a

Taiwan and New Zealand show business travel’s future: The real boom will be in face-to-face training and sales — as you can’t close deals on Zoom. Companies also feel pressure to limit flying for environmental reasons. Travel will be subdued for some years, but business is a social activity, and memories of this pandemic will fade. ‘We’re wired to forget,’ said Darrin Grafton, chief executive of Serko, a travel technology company. Business travel will be down, he said, but not by 50 percent.”, The Financial Times, November 29, 2020

“Airlines scrap international ticket change fees as demand crumbles in pandemic: Delta and United are joining American Airlines in scrapping international change fees. The measure is an effort to drum up demand for air travel abroad, which has suffered more than domestic trips in the coronavirus pandemic.”, CNBC, December 9, 2020

https://cnb.cx/3oHsoGS

“ India domestic air travel 65% back to pre-COVID levels:

American Airlines starts offering $129 at-home Covid tests for U.S. travel to avoid quarantines: American will start offering the tests on Wednesday. The tests are meant to help travelers avoid quarantine requirements that could preclude them from booking. The at-home tests are $129 and ordered online.”, CNBC December 8, 2020

https://cnb.cx/34aMx09

Hong Kong temporarily blocks some airlines’ routes in Covid-19 prevention measure: Hong Kong has put a temporary ban on four international airlines flying specific routes into the city under a new law aimed at stopping the spread of Covid-19, the Hong Kong government told CNN Friday. In a blow to potential holiday travelers, British Airways passenger flights from London into Hong Kong have been banned from December 12 to December 25, authorities said.”, CNN Travel, December 11, 2020

La Compagnie to Resume Operations in December: French airline La Compagnie (B0) will resume operations in December with three services between Paris Orly (ORY) and New York Newark (EWR). Intending to capture some holiday season travel, the innovative transatlantic business-class-only airline has been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic with operations on hold since March 18, 2020.”, Airways, December 6, 2020

Asia Pacific Countries

“Developing Asia’s projected 2020 contraction to be less severe than expected, ADB says: Developing Asia is on course to contract this year, but probably less than previously thought as China recovers faster than expected, although the prolonged pandemic remains a risk to the outlook, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) said on Thursday.”, Reuters, December 9, 2020

https://reut.rs/3a7ZjjO

Covid-19 Surge Hits South Korea and Japan, After They Had Contained Virus: Uptick in outbreaks among Asia’s coronavirus success stories comes after life had been restored to pre-pandemic levels. Some Asian countries that have been among the world’s most successful at containing Covid-19 are now struggling to beat back a winter resurgence, a sign of how elusive sustained progress can be until a vaccine gets rolled out widely.”, The Wall Street Journal, December 9, 2020

Australia

“Australia consumer sentiment hits 10-year high: A measure of Australian consumer sentiment climbed for the fourth straight month in December to a 10-year high as the country further relaxed virus restrictions and states opened their borders to each other. A measure of Australian consumer sentiment climbed for the fourth straight month in December to a 10-year high as the country further relaxed virus restrictions and states opened their borders to each other.”, Reuters, December 8, 2020

https://reut.rs/37fcJsp

Brazil

Knocked down (but up again): Brazil’s economy: In the three months to June, Brazil’s economy shrank by a record 9.7%, quarter-on-quarter. Most forecasters expect that today’s third-quarter figures will show a rebound of more than 8%. Big stimulus spending—including 265bn reais’ ($51bn) worth of monthly “coronavouchers” for 68m poor Brazilians—have boosted consumption, helped by an easing of social-distancing rules. The stronger-than-expected recovery has prompted the government to project a smaller contraction of GDP in 2020: 4.5%, rather than 4.7%.”, The London Economist, December 3, 2020

https://bit.ly/2WeS7tW

Mainland China

“China Car Sales Rise Again, Cementing Pandemic Recovery: To boost sales, government has been easing purchasing quotas and giving subsidies to car buyers. Car sales in China, the world’s largest auto market, rose for a fifth straight month in November, as strong demand and policy stimulus continued to cement the recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.”, The Wall Street Journal, December 8, 2020

China Business – Opportunity or risk? A smarter approach: Pursuing business in China has never been easy, and now after a trade war, pandemic and other unfavorable conditions, it has become even more tricky. Yet, opportunities still abound for companies able to approach China smartly and employ the latest approaches to business…”, a YouTube® video on doing business right in China today, Chris Wingo, China Sage Consultants, Shanghai

https://youtu.be/8zzCthu4sQI

“‘Made in China,’ Once a Badge of Derision, Finds New Fans—in China: After decades of lagging behind foreign rivals, domestic brands are increasingly competitive.”, Bloomberg Businessweek, December 2, 2020

https://bloom.bg/2K1D58r

Goldman Sachs shifts to full ownership of China securities joint venture: Goldman Sachs Group Inc has signed a pact to buy out its China joint venture partner to make it the most advanced foreign bank to take full ownership of a mainland securities business.”, Reuters, December 7, 2020

Chinese exports grow 21% amid global appetite for pandemic products:  China’s exports grew at their fastest pace this year in November, with rising global demand for the country’s goods pushing its trade surplus to the highest monthly level on record.”, The Financial Times. December 6, 2020

Trending in China: Starbucks Latest Expansion Leaves Netizens Unimpressed, as Some Still Show Love for Luckin: Starbucks has announced that it will open 600 new stores in China in its coming fiscal year. The news seems to be even more popular than an iced guava passionfruit apple latte topped with whipped cream – if such a thing exists – and is trending on Weibo with 90 million views and over 2,000 comments. Starbucks announced at an investor day event on Wednesday that it plans to expand its global footprint from the current 33,000 stores to 55,000 by 2030, focusing on what it calls “walk-thru” locations in busy metropolitan areas where customers can pick up their orders after placing them online using their smartphones.”, Caixing Global, December 11, 2020

European Union

“Europe Relaxes Covid-19 Rules For Christmas: France, Spain, the U.K. and parts of Germany will ease restrictions to let families get together, despite still-high contagion. Many European countries are planning to relax restrictions on travel and social contacts for the Christmas and New Year period despite still-high levels of coronavirus infections, bowing to public pressure to allow more family gatherings.”, The Wall Street Journal, December 4, 2020

“Ski resorts are closed in most of Europe, but not in Switzerland: France and Italy are keeping ski resorts closed through the holidays, but Switzerland’s share of the Alps is already open.”, Axios, December 4, 2020

“ECB gives euro zone new shot in arm to fight pandemic: The European Central Bank rolled out yet more stimulus measures on Thursday to lift the currency bloc out of a double-dip recession and provide support to the economy while its 350 million people wait for coronavirus vaccines to be deployed.”, Reuters, December 9, 2020

https://reut.rs/3a8B4Sw

India

India Domestic Air Travel 65% back to pre COVID-19 Levels:  According to Indian Civil Aviation Secretary Pradeep Singh Kharola. nearly 65% of domestic air travel has returned to pre-COVID-19 levels. The Secretary also said a strategy to bring the tourism industry back to its feet now needs to be established. According to economictimes.indiatimes.com, Kharola also said that air travel had become a favored mode of travel as a secure means of transport during the pandemic.”, Airways Magazine, December 1, 2020

Israel

Israelis Flock to the Gulf, Undeterred by Government Warning of Iranian Attacks: Israeli concerns come in the wake of the killing of a top Iranian scientist last month. Israelis are traveling in droves to the United Arab Emirates for work and pleasure, filling up the first-ever direct commercial flights between the two countries in pursuit of new opportunities in the Persian Gulf despite heightened tensions in the region.”, The Wall Street Journal, December 11, 2020

Japan

Japan’s third quarter GDP revised up to annualised 22.9% growth: Japan’s economy grew an annualised 22.9% in July-September, better than the initial estimate of a 21.4% expansion, revised data from the Cabinet Office showed on Tuesday, as it rebounded from a COVID-induced recession.”, Reuters, December 7, 2020

Korea

South Korea to allocate 72.4% of 2021 fiscal outlays in first half: South Korea plans to spend most of its annual fiscal budget in the first half of 2021 to shore up growth hit by the coronavirus pandemic, the finance ministry said on Tuesday.”, Reuters, December 7, 2020

https://reut.rs/2JRLADi

As South Korea’s economy rebounds, small businesses struggle with tighter coronavirus curbs: Official figures show the country’s economy rebounding from its pandemic slump, with exports rising and growth data coming in stronger than expected. But all that means little to the small business owners hit by a slew of new Covid-19 restrictions in the wake of surging infection rates.”, South China Morning Post, December 4, 2020

https://bit.ly/384hYdG

Peru

“Peru economy minister sees room to upgrade 2021 growth forecasts: Peru expects to raise its economic growth projection for 2021 from the current forecast of 10% as coronavirus cases fall from this year’s devastating peaks, reinvigorating the world’s No. 2 copper miner, Economy Minister Waldo Mendoza told Reuters.”, Reuters, December 7, 2020

“Peru Will Reopen Its Borders With Europe On December 15: On Dec. 15, Peru will take a definitive step in its process of reopening tourism, with the government again allowing flights more than eight hours long to its territory. As announced, since Oct. 5, and as part of phase four of an economic reactivation plan, international operations with neighboring countries were authorized. And since early November, international flights lasting up to eight hours long have been allowed into and out of the country.”, Airline Geeks, December 10, 2020

Thailand

“Thailand to reopen to the outside world next year, minister says: Thailand’s economy should rebound from the shock dealt by the coronavirus pandemic and be ready to reopen to the outside world by the second half of 2021, the kingdom’s finance minister told the Financial Times.”, The Financial Times, December 9, 2020

United Kingdom

U.K. Allows Banks to Resume Dividend Payments: Regulator says it isn’t necessary to extend precautionary action taken as the pandemic began. U.K. banks can resume paying dividends next year after regulators ended a ban introduced in March to make lenders conserve capital during the coronavirus pandemic.”, The Wall Street Journal, December 10, 2020

Brexit: UK and Singapore sign free trade agreement: Singapore and the UK signed a free trade deal in the Southeast Asian city-state on Thursday. The deal will cover a trade relationship worth more than $22bn (£17bn). The agreement largely mirrors an existing deal between Singapore and the European Union (EU).”, BBC News, December 10, 2020

https://bbc.in/2Wb2IWV

United States

“CDC advisory panel recommends COVID-19 vaccine for widespread use: A U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advisory panel on Saturday recommended the nation’s first COVID-19 vaccine, helping clear the way for public health authorities to begin the largest vaccination campaign in U.S. history.”, Reuters, December 12, 2020

https://reut.rs/37cJhTR

“U.S. expects to have immunized 100 million against COVID-19 by end of March: The United States expects to have immunized 100 million people with the coronavirus vaccine by the end of March, the chief adviser for the U.S. COVID-19 vaccine program said on Sunday.”, Reuters, December 13, 2020

Small business owners’ optimism ticks up, still trails pre-pandemic levels: The latest Wells Fargo/Gallup Small Business Survey reveals an uptick in optimism from some owners regarding the pandemic’s impact on their livelihood, though overall positivity remains far below pre-pandemic outlooks. Results from the fourth quarter survey show small business owners are notably more optimistic about the future compared to responses in April and slightly more hopeful than in July.”, The Hill, December 8, 2020

https://bit.ly/2LziwAP

U.S. economy to slow in first-quarter but reach pre-COVID-19 levels in a year: Reuters poll: U.S. economic growth will lose momentum this quarter and next but expand faster than previously thought after that, according to a Reuters poll of economists, a firm majority of whom now expect the economy to reach pre-COVID-19 levels within a year.”, Reuters, December 9, 2020

https://reut.rs/3nigNxH

Amazon Wants to Train 29 Million People to Work in the Cloud: New programs seek to help people from Montana to Nigeria attain roles ranging from tech support to machine learning. Amazon announced an effort Thursday aimed at helping 29 million people world-wide retrain by 2025, giving them new skills for cloud-computing roles as the pandemic upends many careers. The online giant committed $700 million last year to reskilling 100,000 of its own workers in the U.S. The new effort will build on existing programs and include new ones in partnership with nonprofits, schools and others.”, The Wall Street Journal, December 10, 2020

More Americans Are Becoming Their Own Bosses in the Coronavirus Economy: To adapt to pandemic-related job loss, Americans are becoming entrepreneurs. Emerging entrepreneurs have found success by offering services to people who are faring better economically. Interest in freelancing has also increased during the pandemic….”, The Wall Street Journal, November 18, 2020

https://on.wsj.com/2K0dwoq

Brand News

Health and Fitness Trends in Asia”, Sean Ngo, VF Franchise Consulting, December 9, 2020

https://bit.ly/33Zwfat

Over 900 cars paid for each other’s meals at a Dairy Queen drive-thru in Minnesota: What started as a random act of kindness from one man paying for the car behind him in a Dairy Queen drive-thru resulted in over 900 cars also taking part in the pay it forward chain.”, CNN, December 9, 2020

“3 actionable insights with… Denny’s brand chief John Dillon: ‘America’s Diner‘ has managed to beat earnings estimates thanks to some smart, speedy and soul-searching adjustments throughout the year. Denny’s 1,700 locations dialed up four key guest-centric themes: reassurance, value, comfort and convenience. Changes have included a greater emphasis on its Denny’s on Demand curbside offering, value deals like free pancakes delivered and a thoughtful programs honoring US veterans – with more on-deck for this challenging holiday season.”, The Drum, December 3, 2020

https://bit.ly/2WdSllj

“You won’t be able to get Popeyes in this country anymore: The fast-food restaurant business is growing fast in South Korea (via Statista), but Popeyes won’t be part of that wave. The Korea Herald reports the chicken chain will close all of its South Korean locations at the end of this year.”, Mashed, December 9, 2020

https://bit.ly/37d591u

Starbucks chief bullish as crisis engulfs smaller coffee shops: Kevin Johnson targets market share gains as rivals falter and customers return to the office: The global pandemic will only briefly interrupt Starbucks’ industry-beating growth, Kevin Johnson told the Financial Times, as he overhauls cafés, deploys artificial intelligence and raises wages to sharpen the competitive advantage of the world’s biggest coffee chain. ‘People will be back in Starbucks stores at a rate far beyond what they were pre-pandemic,’ he said in an interview on the eve of a biennial investor day.”, The Financial Times, December 8, 2020

https://cnn.it/3aaNkSC

5 Popular Fast Food Restaurants That You Won’t Even Recognize Next Year: Recent innovations inspired by the COVID-19 pandemic have dramatically changed several brands’ image.”, Eat This, Not That!, December 9, 2020

https://bit.ly/3a80ekg

At InXpress, Covid Has Shortened the Time from Signing to Opening”, Franchising.com, December 2020

https://bit.ly/3guaGE3

Articles and Charts About Doing Business in The Times Of COVID-19 and Beyond

“Worldwide Cost of Living 2020: How is Covid-19 affecting the prices of consumer goods?”, The Economist Intelligence Unit, December 2020

https://bit.ly/341Pikl

Nearly a third of workers don’t want to ever return to the office: To get an eye on the future of work, Future Forum by Slack conducted a three-month survey of over 9,000 knowledge workers or skilled office workers around the world—something they used to build their Remote Employee Experience Index. Future Forum by Slack gave Fortune Analytics exclusive access to that raw data.”, Fortune, December 6, 2020

https://bit.ly/2LpPNOI

Speeding up to become even more consumer-obsessed: An interview with GSK’s Keith Choy: The leader of GlaxoSmithKline’s Asia–Pacific Consumer Healthcare group describes how his organization is speeding up to serve consumers, despite the heightened uncertainty of COVID-19. The massive uncertainty around COVID-19 has fixed some companies—and managers—in place, making them unable to react quickly to the changes affecting their business. But for others, it’s been a catalyst for change and an opportunity to gain new insights about their customers’ needs and to demonstrate their agility to adapt and grow.”, McKinsey, December 9, 2020

https://mck.co/2K0hLjQ

Grading Our 2020 Annual Forecast as 2021 Approaches: Every December here at Stratfor, we sit down and do the critical work of self-assessment, taking the forecast we made the previous December and seeing how it stacked up against actual world events. Even with the pandemic throwing the world a little askew, we still had a strong 2020 forecast with quite a few hits and just a handful of misses.”, Stratfor, December 11, 2020

https://bit.ly/2JLJF35

“Rethinking Supply Chains”, Council on Foreign Relations, December 10, 2020

https://on.cfr.org/3oG1Ky8

Who We Are and What We Do for Companies ‘Going Global’?

Edwards Global Services, Inc. (EGS) provides a complete International solution for U.S. businesses Going Global. From initial global market research and country prioritization, to developing new international markets, providing in-country operations support and problem solving. around the world. Our U.S. based executive team has experience living and working in many countries. Our Associate network on the ground overseas covers 40+ countries.

Founded in 2001, Edwards Global Services, Inc. (EGS) takes U.S. businesses global and currently has activity in 25 countries.  Our Clients are all consumer-faced brands.  Edwards Global Services, Inc. (EGS) has twice received the U.S. President’s Award for Export Excellence

Find out more about the services we provide U.S. companies Going Global at:   www.edwardsglobal.com

Download our 4th quarter 2020 GlobalVue™ 40 country ranking chart at this link:

http://bit.ly/EGSGlobalVue

To download our latest published article, “2021 International Outlook – Mixed Prospects Amid Global Uncertainty”, go to this link:

https://bit.ly/EGS1220article

William Edwards, CFE, is CEO and Global Advisor of Edwards Global Services (EGS). He has 46 years of international operations, development, executive and entrepreneurial experience and has lived in 7 countries. With experience in the franchise, oil and gas, information technology and management consulting sectors, he has directed projects on-site in Alaska, Asia, Europe and the Middle and Near East.  Mr. Edwards advises a wide range of companies on early to long term global development of their brands.

 

 

For market research, operations and development support on taking your business global, contact Mr. Edwards at bedwards@edwardsglobal.com or +1 949 224 3896.


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