Global Business Development

EGS Biweekly Global Business Newsletter Issue 26, Monday, March 22, 2021

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

“As the case counts are coming down … and the vaccinations are starting to grow, people are ready to reclaim their lives. And we’re seeing bookings pick up. … They’re ready to reclaim that lost period.”, Delta Air Lines CEO Ed Bastian, INC., March 21, 2021

“If you are not willing to learn, no one can help you. If you are determined to learn, no one can stop you.”, Zig Ziglar

“Positive Mind, Positive Vibes, Positive Life.”, Anonymous

Introduction

Our biweekly newsletter focuses on what is happening around the worldthat impacts new trends, health, consumer spending, business investment and travel.  

Highlights in issue #26:

Starting with this, our 1st anniversary issue, the first line of each update is a link to the article, where available

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

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

First, a few Personal Comments

This is the first anniversary of our biweekly newsletter. Today almost 500 people receive our biweekly newsletter in the Americas, Asia, Europe and the Middle and Near East.

The world has come a long way since our first COVID-19 era newsletter. The USA and UK economies are recovering fast. While proven vaccines are beginning to be given around the world and the projections for 2021 world GDP growth are sitting at 6%, we still have a way to go to get back to open businesses and international travel are back to an acceptable level.  I am very encouraged by a statement this week by Ed Bastian, CEO of Delta Airlines, “People are ready to reclaim their lives.” 

Global Vaccine Update

The biggest vaccination campaign in history is underway. More than 447 million doses have been administered across 133 countries, according to data collected by Bloomberg. The latest rate was roughly 11 million doses a day.”, Bloomberg, March 21, 2021

Interesting Data and Studies

Numbers tell a story, but we know there’s more to most stories than numbers. That’s why we’ve combined the findings from our 5,050 survey responses, gathered in January and February of 2021, with qualitative insights: interviews with chief executives conducted as part of our Inside the Mind of the CEO series and analysis from our Take on Tomorrow series, published between January and March, which tackles today’s most pressing issues to help leaders as they think about what’s next.”, PWC, mid-March 2011

Countries are now able to assess the damage to economic growth wrought in 2020 by the restrictions put in place to control the spread of the COVID-19 virus. All GEI-surveyed economies went into reverse gear in the early months of the year., McKinsey, March 8, 2021

The massive ten- to 20-percentage-point spike in the savings rate across the United States and Western Europe (amounting to a doubling of annual savings in the United States in 2020) left many households in a strong position to spend. That means an effective vaccine rollout to bring the pandemic to an end could restore consumer demand to pre-pandemic levels, fueled by rising consumer confidence, pent-up demand, and accumulated savings.”, McKinsey, March 17, 2021

Global and Regional Travel Updates

Your most prized travel accessory is about to become your vaccine passport: Travel is definitely beginning to pick back up, but depending on where you’re headed and what type of trip you want to take, you may need to pack more than just your photo ID and wallet. Now, you might also need a vaccine or digital health passport before you hit the road.”, The Points Guy, March 22, 2021

When will international travel return? A country-by-country guide to coronavirus recovery: Coronavirus has us frozen in place for the most part and dreaming of when we can start booking travel again. In the meantime, we’ve been doing a lot of stories at The Points Guy about what those dream trips look like.”, The Points Guy, March 15, 2021

Magic is Back at Disneyland Resort! Theme Parks Plan to Reopen on April 30: After being closed for more than one year, magic is finally returning to the Disneyland Resort theme parks! Disneyland park and Disney California Adventure park are planning to officially reopen to the public on April 30, with limited capacity.”, Disney Park Blogs, March 17, 2021

“Is Travel Coming Back? Airports Have Busiest Days Since March 2020: While CDC still advises against travel, bookings rise as airline executives voice optimism for demand rebound: ‘This seems like it’s real,’ says Delta chief….Airports screened nearly 1.36 million people Friday and more than 1.34 million people on Sunday, two of the busiest days since March 2020.”, The Wall Street Journal, March 15, 2021

Desperate to Revive Tourism, the EU Proposes a Digital COVID-19 Certificate: The European Commission’s proposed Digital Green Certificate will have a modest impact on the European Union’s tourism and hospitality sectors in the short term. But lingering questions on how COVID-19 immunity works and data privacy issues could complicate the implementation process. The European Commission unveiled on March 17 a plan to create a Digital Green Certificate with verified information on people’s COVID-19 status.”, Stratfor, March 18, 2021

IATA Travel Pass Trialed on First International Flight: The International Air transport Association(IATA) Travel Pass is a reality, successfully trialed on a Singapore Airline (SG) flight to London where a group of passengers used the new travel credential system to enter the UK.”, Airways, March 18, 2021

British Airways rolls out vaccine passports (and free snacks) to get us flying again: British Airways will launch a digital global vaccine passport in time for the planned resumption of international travel on May 17. Passengers who have had two Covid-19 jabs will be able to upload their vaccination details to the BA app on their smartphone to prove that they are safe to fly.”, The Sunday Times of London, March 14, 2021

Disney to offer summer cruises from Miami — a first for the line: Disney’s cruising arm on Thursday said its 2,500-passenger Disney Dream would sail a series of three- and four-night summer voyages to the Bahamas out of the city starting on June 7, 2022. The trips will feature calls at Nassau and Castaway Cay, Disney’s private island in the Bahamas.”, The Points Guy, March 19, 2021

Hawaiian Airlines Begins Offering Quarantine Free Travel From Japan: Beginning last weekend, Hawaiian Airlines passengers out of Narita who use Hawaii’s Pre-Clear Program and meet its requirements can now avoid a 10-day quarantine after arriving in Hawaii. On Thursday, Hawaiian Airlines will start checking-in Pre-Clear passengers at Kansai International Airport in Osaka. On Friday, Seoul’s Incheon International Airport will join the club.”, Simple Flying, March 16, 2021

The American Express Travel Trends Report Says Exactly What We’re All Thinking — People Want to Travel: In March, American Express released its report, providing a glimpse into consumer sentiment toward travel. The biggest takeaway is that people not only want to travel again but are already hard at work planning their dream post-pandemic getaways. Who isn’t ready for a vacation?”, Travel + Leisure, March 10, 2021

Delta offers more quarantine-free flights to Italy with new services from New York-JFK to Milan and Rome: Delta will offer quarantine-free flights from New York-JFK to Milan Malpensa airport starting April 2, 2021, a day after it launches to Rome Fiumicino. The services will enable customers eligible to travel to Italy to avoid the mandatory 14-day quarantine on arrival, following a rigorous testing protocol before and after travel.”, Delta News Hub, March 17, 2021

Country & Regional Updates

Latin America

For emerging and developing economies, foreign direct investment plays a crucial role in financing major development projects and growing their economies. This is especially true of Latin America. FDI into Latin America hit historical highs between 2011 and 2012, totaling almost $220 billion and accounting for 14 percent of the global total. But since then, FDI has been trending downward, and in 2019 it dropped by 7.8 percent.”, Geopolitical Futures, March 19, 2021

Australia

Australia unveils $928 million COVID-19 stimulus package for tourism industry: The basket of airline ticket subsidies for travellers, cheap loans to small tour companies and financial aid for the country’s two largest airlines is designed to keep the critical sector ticking over until foreign tourists return.”, Reuters, March 10, 2021

Brazil

Brazil economy its largest since 2015, central bank activity index shows: Brazilian economic activity rose sharply in January, a central bank index showed on Monday, indicating that Latin America’s largest economy has not only recovered all its pandemic-related decline but is now back to the size it was over five years ago.”, Reuters, March 15, 2021

Canada

“A return to patio dining — and sunny spring weather — inspires excitement in Toronto and Peel: Excitement was on the menu for patrons and staff alike as outdoor dining returned to Toronto and Peel Region this weekend with the help of spring sunshine and double-digit temperatures. ‘We are really excited to see our neighbours again,’ said Shahd Moustafa, manager of Eggstatic on Bayview Ave., in Toronto.”, The Star, March 21, 2021

Walmart opens its first ghost kitchen in Canada: The retail giant’s Canada division has partnered with Ghost Kitchen Brands to open a delivery and pickup-only restaurant — also called a ghost kitchen — at its location in St. Catharines, Ontario. The companies plan to open four more locations in Woodstock, Ontario; Toronto; Lachenaie, Quebec; and Saint-Constant, Quebec, “in the coming months,” an announcement said.”, FOX Business, March 13, 2021

Chile

How Chile’s vaccination push outpaced the rest of the Western Hemisphere: Between mass protests over inequality, a push for a constitutional overhaul and one of the worst coronavirus outbreaks in Latin America, Chile has weathered its share of turmoil over the past year. But the country’s virus vaccination campaign is going about as smoothly as anyone could hope. More than a quarter of Chile’s population has received at least one shot, a feat that only Britain, Israel and the Seychelles have managed to top. Chileans have not had to wait in long lines or navigate confusing signups. Anti-vaccine sentiment, a major hurdle elsewhere, remains low.”, The Washington Post, March 17, 2021

China

US-China relations: investment environment improving for American firms, AmCham survey shows. Only 12 percent of the 345 US firms surveyed by the American Chamber of Commerce in China said the investment environment was deteriorating. This represented the lowest proportion since the question was first introduced in the 2012 survey.”, South China Morning Post, March 9, 2021. Compliments of Paul Jones, Jones & Co., Toronto

China’s Factory Gate Prices Rise at Fastest Pace in More Than Two Years: The producer price index (PPI), which gauges changes in the prices of goods circulated among manufacturers and mining companies, rose 1.7% (link in Chinese) year-on-year last month, accelerating from 0.3% growth in January, according to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS). The figure marks the highest since November 2018 and exceeds the median estimate of a 1.5% rise (link in Chinese) by a Caixin survey of economists.”, Caixin, March 10, 2021

China’s Export Surge Fuels Global Buying Spree of Cargo Ships, Containers: As of March 1, global shipyards had received orders for 66 new container ships so far this year, representing 2.45 million in revised gross tonnage and driving up the total demand for containers to 530,000 twenty-foot equivalent unit (TEUs) at a cost of over $4.6 billion, according to data on Clarksons website published on Tuesday.”, Caixin, March 12, 2021

India

An interview with the Press Trust on India’s economic situation, its budget, bank privatization by Dr, Raghuran Rajan, Former Governor, Reserve Bank of India, LinkedIn post, March 14, 20211

Japan

International spectators to be barred from Olympics in Japan: International spectators will not be allowed to enter Japan for this summer’s Olympic Games amid public concerns over coronavirus, organisers said on Saturday, crushing many fans’ hopes and setting the stage for a drastically scaled-back event. Some 600,000 Olympic tickets purchased by overseas residents will be refunded, as will another 300,000 Paralympic tickets, Toshiro Muto, the chief executive of the Tokyo 2020 organising committee, told a news conference.”, Reuters, March 20, 2021

Mexico

Popeye’s coming to hundreds of locations in Mexico: Fried chicken chain Popeye’s announced on Friday a deal with the investors and business developers at JK Capital to bring hundreds of Popeye’s locations to Mexico. Currently, Popeye’s is only available in Guadalajara. There are 3,400 Popeye’s locations around the world. New locations in Mexico City will open this year. Popeye’s is part of the Restaurant Brands International Inc. (QSR) portfolio.”, MarketWatch, March 19, 2021

Saudi Arabia

Without Vaccines, Saudi Efforts to Restore Hajj 2021 Won’t Be Enough: On March 9, Saudi King Salman approved a series of measures designed to help restart the kingdom’s dormant hajj economy ahead of the annual pilgrimage, which this year will take place in July. The measures include easing fees for companies, residents and transport that rely on the annual hajj pilgrimage for income. This indicates that Saudi Arabia is preparing to restart its religious tourism industry after a quiet 2020……”, Stratfor Worldview, March 11, 2021

Saudia Signs Fleet Expansion Deal Worth US$3bn:  In a significant financial deal, Saudia (SV) has signed a loan agreement worth SR11.3bn (US$3bn) for the purchase of 73 new planes. This would be the largest aircraft purchase ever made in Saudi Arabia.”, Airways, March 19, 2021

Singapore

Singapore PM says may reopen borders by year-end: Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said in a TV interview he hoped Singapore would start re-opening its borders by the end of the year as more countries ramp up vaccination drives against COVID-19 infections. The Southeast Asian island nation has largely banned leisure travel, but has put in place some business and official travel programmes. It is also discussing the mutual recognition of vaccine certificates with other nations.”, Reuters, March 13, 2021

Spain

Locked-down Spaniards seethe with envy as Germans flock to Mallorca: Tens of thousands of Germans are planning last-minute Easter getaways to Spain’s sun-kissed islands, leaving many Spaniards, who are not allowed to do the same because of a travel ban, upset.”, Reuters, March 18, 2021

United Kingdom

Britain set to give Covid vaccines to all adults by early June: Being ahead of the EU by two months will save tens of billions. Every adult will be offered at least one jab by about June 10, beating the government target of the end of July, the research company Airfinity estimates.”, The Times of London, March 13, 2021

UK economy rebounds ahead of schedule, says Bank of England: Government borrowing costs hit a one-year high as markets repriced for recovery and inflation after the Bank of England said the economic rebound was ahead of schedule and kept monetary policy on hold yesterday.”, The Sunday Times of London, March 19, 2021

Britain says 26.85 million people have had first shot of vaccine: Britain said on Saturday that 26.85 million people had received a first dose of coronavirus vaccine, in line an earlier announcement that more than half the country’s adults had now had one shot.”, March 20, 2021

Gym Group predicts a healthy future after reopening: Shares in Gym Group strengthened this morning amid optimism that people will still want to go to the gym once lockdowns are over. Fewer members have cancelled in this lockdown than in previous ones and 97 percent of Gym Group customers have said that they expect to get back to the gym as soon as possible.”, The Sunday Times of London, March 18, 2021

“I’m ready to set up rural office hubs, says IWG boss: Mark Dixon, 61, chief executive of IWG, is convinced that the world of work has changed forever as a result of the pandemic, marking the end of the large corporate headquarters where thousands work for one company. ‘People are moving to nice places to live because they know they can work from there. They think that there’s a future of not having to go to the office every day,’ he said.”, The Times of London, March 10, 2021

United States

“(U.S.) Vaccine manufacturing output expected to have tripled from February to March: Vaccine makers have drastically increased their manufacturing capacity, and output of the three vaccines authorized in the U.S. is expected to in March be nearly triple the amount produced in February, the Wall Street Journal reports.”, Axios, March 22, 2021

“Economy Revs Up as Americans Increase Spending on Flights, Lodging, Dining Out: Forecasters have raised their predictions for growth as consumers gain confidence; ‘I’d rather travel than do almost anything.’ Restaurant and hotel bookings are up. Airplane tickets are selling fast. Consumers spent more on gyms, salons and spas in recent weeks than they have since the coronavirus pandemic began.”, The Wall Street Journal, March 19, 2021

New Small Business Report Has Silver Lining: The report finds small business optimism has emerged around several of President Biden’s PPP changes, and the new May timeline for widespread vaccine distribution. This shift in vaccine availability should help 28% more small businesses to recover in 2021, according to the Alignable poll taken during the first week of March.”, Franchising.com

Spring break boom boosts business owners’ hopes: ‘Noticeably busy’: Warmer weather and a loosening of restrictions has resulted in a spike in travel. Spring break crowds have brought a much-needed boost to the hopes of business owners across the country after more than a year of struggle and hardship under coronavirus lockdowns and restrictions.”, FOX Business, March 21, 2021

Air Travel in the U.S. Reached Highest Passenger Screenings in Nearly a Year, TSA Spokesperson Says. TSA officers screened 1,357,111 people at airport security checkpoints on Friday. The last time checkpoint throughput was that high was March 15, 2020.”, People Magazine, March 13, 2021

This chart, courtesy of ITR Economics is from a Vistage CEO webinar this week, shows how U.S. population is not only growing but moving. Most existing population movement is to lower tax states and to the south and west.

Brand News

Restaurant Trends 2021: The Year of Reopening & Recovery: A new ebook, “Restaurant Trends 2021: The Year of Reopening & Recovery” from CAKE, takes a look into what the restaurant technology firm sees for the year ahead. The report gathered insights from culinary experts and market analysts to help restaurant operators find the information they need to make the most out of 2021.”, Franchising.com

Restaurant reopenings boost recovery in US jobs market: Lifting of restrictions on indoor dining and warmer weather fuel hopes for further growth. When combined with hotels and recreational facilities, restaurants accounted for the bulk of the 379,000 jobs added to the US economy last month, helping nudge the unemployment rate down to 6.2 percent.”, The Financial Times, March 8, 2021

Minor DKL is gearing up to be a leader in the virtual brand space: International & emerging brands general manager Jarrod Appleby talks to QSR Media about the food group’s approach in creating virtual brands, including Burgers with Bite – now the largest concept of its kind in Australia.”, QSR Media AU, March 14, 2021. Compliments of Jason Gehrke, The Franchise Advisory Centre, Brisbane

Can Popeyes threaten KFC’s dominance in China? It’s going to try: Popeyes will debut in the U.K. this year, the company is expected to announce this week. That will expand its budding empire to about 30 countries, and Australia is also likely on the docket. Popeyes opened its first restaurant (in China) in May with a franchise partner and wants to reach 1,500 in a decade….”, Fortune, March 21, 2021

Shake Shack, Uber Eats expand delivery partnership nationwide: The fast-food company announced it is rolling out a delivery service that will be available through the Shake Shack app for iOS-enabled Apple devices starting Wednesday, March 17.”, FOX Business, March 17, 2021

Smoothie King Soars as a World-Class Brand Future-Focused on Even Greater Franchise Growth: The world’s largest smoothie brand is riding a global wave of momentum into 2021, poised for more expansion as an innovative operator and top health and wellness-focused franchise. After a record-shattering year of growth, Smoothie King shows no signs of slowing down.”, Franchising.com

Sonic Drive-In Finds the Fast Lane During COVID-19: In a year where eating in your car became cool again, the classic brand kept evolving. The brand’s pull-up design and throwback DNA became the ideal “old-is-new” outlet of a global pandemic. Crowd avoidance as the price to entry. A time when eating in your car became the new night out with friends or family.”, Franchising.com

White Castle Is Celebrating Its 100th Birthday with Events, Offers, & New Menu Items: White Castle is purportedly the very first fast food hamburger chain. Ever! And when your captive Zoom audience gamely asks, “how old is it,” you can tip your hat 1920s style and tell ‘em it’s celebrating 100 turns around the sun this very year. In honor of this august occasion, the slider capital of the world has packed 2021 with all manner of celebrations. ‘What started as a few little hamburger stands has turned into a successful family-owned fast-food hamburger chain and retail brand that has withstood the test of time,’ Lisa Ingram, White Castle’s president and CEO, said in a statement.”, Thrillist, March 12, 2021

Articles and Charts About Doing Business Going Forward

The Next Great Disruption Is Hybrid Work—Are We Ready? Exclusive research and expert insights into a year of work like no other reveal urgent trends leaders should consider as hybrid work unfolds. We’re on the brink of a disruption as great as last year’s sudden shift to remote work: the move to hybrid work — a blended model where some employees return to the workplace and others continue to work from home. We’re experiencing this at Microsoft, and today we shared how we’re evolving our own hybrid work strategy for our 160,000+ employees around the world.”, Microsoft, March 2021

97% of Fortune 500 Companies Rely on Social Media. Here’s How You Should Use It for Maximum Impact. Social media platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, YouTube and Pinterest offer countless ways for brands to connect with customers (both old and new). Additionally, as of 2021, there are roughly 3.78 billion social media users all over the world, a 5 percent increase from 2020.”, Entrepreneur, March 18, 2021

Fast growth companies are the true powerhouses of the U.S. economy: A new study examines the economic multiplier effect of so-called “scale ups,” and the challenges these companies face. Executives of scaling companies are extremely optimistic about growth prospects, despite the economic uncertainty caused by the pandemic, according to the study, which surveyed 300 leaders of software companies, including 112 scaling companies…..these are companies increasing revenue and employees 20% or more each year.” Fast Company, February 2, 2021

We accelerate a company’s global development

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

Edwards Global Services, Inc. (EGS) has twice received the U.S. President’s Award for Export Excellence.

Find out more about how we help companies Going Global successfully at:  

www.edwardsglobal.com

Download our latest 40 country ranking chart at this link:

Mid-March 2021 GlobalVue™

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

https://bit.ly/EGS1220article

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

For truly global market research, operations and development support across 40 countries, contact Mr. Edwards at bedwards@edwardsglobal.com or +1 949 224 3896. 

https://calendly.com/geowizard/30min  Click here to schedule a call with Bill Edwards to discuss how to succeed in developing your company around the world.


EGS Biweekly Global Business Newsletter Issue 25, Monday, March 8, 2021

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

“Dare mighty things.”, Theodore Roosevelt. This was in a coded message on the main decent parachute for the NASA’s Perseverance Mars rover when it landed successfully on March 2, 2021

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

“The value of an idea lies in the using of it.” — Thomas Edison, co-founder of General Electric 

Introduction

Our biweekly newsletter focuses on what is happening around the worldthat impacts new trends, health, consumer spending, business investment and travel.  

Highlights in issue #25:

  • Global real GDP growth in 2021 is expected to be 5.3%…..The global recovery is expected to continue in 2022 with real GDP growth of around 4%.
  • More than 299 million (vaccine) doses have been administered across 111 countries, but there is a mixed message in several countries that are being slow to vaccinate their populations.
  • What’s Next For Small Businesses? 4 Trends And Predictions For 2021 And Beyond
  • Milestone: All Apple U.S. stores are back open and Disneyland and other California theme parks can reopen April 1
  • The future of work after COVID-19: A new McKinsey study
  • Chile is leading Latin America in vaccinations
  • Brand News: updates on Carl’s Jr®, Lift Brands®, P.J.’s Coffee®, Sola® Salon Studios and Walk-On’s Sport Bistreaux®

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

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

First, a few Personal Comments

‘Dare mighty things” is a great motto for the future of the world. Global business sentiment is rising as proven vaccines penetrate over 111 countries. Global GDP is projected to grow 5.3% in 2021. Global travel is still somewhat mixed with talk of multiple travel vaccine passports. California theme parks are reopening after a year of closures and that is probably the best news for the 25th issue of our biweekly global business update newsletter started way back on April 6, 2020.

Interesting Data and Studies

The future of work after COVID-19: The pandemic accelerated existing trends in remote work, e-commerce, and automation, with up to 25 percent of workers than previously estimated potentially needing to switch occupations.”, McKinsey, February 18, 2021

http://mck.co/2Or2avu

Global real GDP growth in 2021 is expected to be 5.3% (with a plausible baseline forecast range of 4.3–6.3%). The global recovery is expected to continue in 2022 with real GDP growth of around 4%. Major vaccination campaigns are in progress, and vaccination rates sufficient for herd immunity are likely to be attained in advanced economies in q3–q4 2021, allowing most social distancing restrictions to end by the end of 2021 and leading to a strong economic rebound in the second half of 2021.”, Euromonitor, March 8, 2021

http://bit.ly/3bpiqWL

http://bit.ly/3sK1e4e

Global Vaccine Update

“More than 299 million doses have been administered across 111 countries, according to data collected by Bloomberg. The latest rate was roughly 7.65 million doses a day. In the U.S., more Americans have now received at least one dose than have tested positive for the virus since the pandemic began. So far, 87.9 million doses have been given. In the last week, an average of 2.16 million doses per day were administered.”, Bloomberg, March 6, 2021

Latest update from Our World in Data.  http://bit.ly/3bmxSTx

http://mck.co/3rs3bSR

A New Covid-19 Experiment From Asia: Letting Companies Buy Vaccines: Firms say strategy would allow faster return to full capacity, but public health experts warn it could steer limited shots to the middle class and wealthy. In Indonesia, where Covid-19 infections remain high and many businesses are operating with reduced staff, companies see the plan as an opportunity to return to full capacity faster and reassure workers concerned about contagion.”, The Wall Street Journal, March 8, 2021

Vietnam began vaccinations with medical workers in Hanoi, Hai Duong and Ho Chi Minh City getting the first shots Monday morning, the government website reported. Health Minister Nguyen Thanh Long said Vietnam will receive 1.3 million vaccine doses this month and more are expected in April and May, according to the ministry’s website.”, Bloomberg, March 7, 2021

Global and Regional Travel Updates

“COVID-19 travel insurance becoming a vacation staple: COVID-19 insurance policies are increasingly joining passports and sunscreen as vacation staples, creating opportunities for insurers as more countries require mandatory coverage in case visitors fall ill from the coronavirus.”, Reuters, March 7, 2021

http://reut.rs/38hoDSX

Etihad Airways (EY) today announced an extension of coverage for their global COVID-19 insurance to September 30, 2021. ‘Extending Etihad’s COVID-19 global wellness insurance reinforces the effectiveness of Etihad Wellness, the airline’s health and hygiene [program],’ said EY Senior Vice President of Sales and Cargo Martin Drew. He further added that the extended coverages is ‘an added benefit automatically provided to all guests – no exceptions.’”, Airways Magazine, March 8, 2021

In the thick of the pandemic, it seemed hard to imagine that we would ever travel for business again. Health and hygiene concerns coupled with global lockdowns, conspired to take all our meetings online. However, now the future is looking brighter, will businesses stay loyal to Zoom, or will we return to the old ways of travel and doing business face-to-face?”, Regus MagazineUK, February 2021

https://bit.ly/2NO9UYa

“‘I even miss the airline delays:’ Meet the business travelers who can’t wait to get back on the road. Some business travelers welcomed the pandemic’s pause. Not these road warriors.”, Washington Post, February 18th, 2021   

http://wapo.st/3dGP0VW

Australia Extends International Border Closure: To prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the country, Australia announces an extension of the closure of its international borders up to June 17.”, Airways Magazine, March 6, 2021

Singapore Airlines will trial ‘vaccine passport’ app on flights between Singapore and London in coming weeks that could store negative Covid test results and proof of jab: The phone software from IATA stores evidence of a negative Covid test as well as the facility to store evidence travellers have had coronavirus vaccinations. It is being trialled over the next few weeks with Singapore Airlines on a route between Singapore and London.”, Daily Mail UK, March 3, 2021

http://bit.ly/3kPGhSz

Qantas To Trial ‘Vaccine Passports’ To Ensure Incoming Passengers Have Covid-19 Jab: Qantas is sticking to its plan to ensure all passengers and crew on their planes are vaccinated against the coronavirus. The Aussie airline was the first in the world to announce a system that would require proof of a Covid-19 vaccination before flying when the jabs were approved and enough of the population had been vaccinated.”, LAD Bible, March 4, 2021

Australia

“The reported demise of the nation’s CBDs greatly exaggerated: research: Reports of the demise of Australia’s CBDs appear greatly exaggerated with new research suggesting they should emerge from the coronavirus pandemic as renewed economic powerhouses.”, Brisbane Times, March 1, 2021

http://bit.ly/3bhuvNJ

Brazil

“Brazilian Airlines Await Vaccine as Recovery Stalls: While the months that have followed the March and April 2020 demand depression have seen a steady recovery in air traffic in Brazil, the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic — which has been razing most states’ health systems — has made passenger numbers collapse again, especially with several states imposing restrictions that are almost analogous to lockdowns.”, Airline Geeks, March 7, 2021

“U.S. Commercial Service Brazil Country Commercial Guide: The Country Commercial Guide (CCG) is your trusted source about how to do business in an international market. Authored by seasoned trade experts at U.S. embassies and consulates, the guides provide insight into economic conditions, leading sectors, selling techniques, customs, regulations, standards, business travel, and more.  Updated 2021

https://bit.ly/3c287qG

Chile

Vaccination is going well in Chile. Why not its neighbours? Jabbing is politicised in much of Latin America. Having vaccinated nearly 20% of its adults, the sixth-best performance in the world, Chile is on track to meet its target of covering 80% of its 19m people by June 30th.”, The London Economist, March 6, 2021

China

“Manufacturing Recovery Slows as Employment Comes Under Pressure, Caixin PMI Shows: The Caixin China General Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI), which gives an independent snapshot of the country’s manufacturing sector, fell to 50.9 in February from 51.5 the previous month…”, Caixing Global, March 1, 2021

Marriott plans to open over 60 new hotels in China in 2021: The operation of these new hotels, as well as Marriott’s existing businesses, will prioritize China’s domestic market as international traveling has not fully resumed due to COVID-19. It will cater to holiday travel demands as well as short-distance travel and staycations. The company also plans to incorporate ways to attract younger guests.”, Shine, March 4, 2021. Compliments of Paul Jones, Jones & Co., Toronto

http://bit.ly/30jBvn9

China is the world’s most populous country with an astounding 1.44 billion citizens. Altogether, the size of the population of China is larger than nearly four regions combined: South America, Europe (excluding Russia), the U.S. & Canada, and Australia & New Zealand. Using data from the United Nations, this unconventional map reveals the comparative size of China’s population next to a multitude of other countries.”, Visual Capitalist, February 22, 2021

http://bit.ly/3kbthGP

Tim Hortons China raises fresh cash plans to add 200 shops in 2021: Tim Hortons China has completed a new fundraising round from Sequoia Capital China, Tencent Holdings and Eastern Bell Capital, and plans to add more than 200 shops to its network this year, the coffee chain operator said on Friday.”, Reuters, February 25, 2021. Compliments of Paul Jones, Jones & Co., Toronto

http://reut.rs/3caTFgj

France

France lifts restrictions on Oxford/AstraZeneca jab for over-65s: New data bring about policy shift as other EU countries likely to abandon age limits. France is to expand its use of the Oxford/AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine after additional clinical data proved its efficacy among people aged over 65, reversing the position Paris took a month ago.”, The Financial Times, March 1, 2021

Germany

In major about-face, Germany to give AstraZeneca COVID vaccine to those 65 and over: Germany and Sweden joined countries widening guidelines for AstraZeneca Plc’s coronavirus vaccine, saying recent data now support giving the shot to the elderly.”, Fortune Magazine, March 5, 2021

India

“India’s Covid-19 Vaccine Is Found Effective, Boosting National Efforts: India’s Bharat Biotech said its Covid-19 vaccine has proven 81% effective at protecting people in a large clinical trial, a report that could invigorate India’s inoculation drive and vaccine-diplomacy efforts.”, The Wall Street Journal, March 3, 2011

Ireland

This Economy Grew Faster Than China’s Thanks to Big Tech, Pharma: Ireland lured big tech and pharma companies to its shores with its low taxes. When the pandemic struck, that paid off handsomely. Today, the booming profits from those sectors are generating taxes that are helping the Irish government to pay for the costly lifelines it has thrown to much of the rest of the economy, which has been hammered by the pandemic.

Korea

“South Korea’s central bank says the country’s economy shrank for the first time in 22 years in 2020 as the coronavirus pandemic destroyed service industry jobs and depressed consumer spending. Preliminary data released by the Bank of Korea on Thursday showed the country’s gross domestic product last year contracted 1% from 2019.”, ABC News, March 4, 2021

New Zealand

“Franchize Consultants’ January 2021 Franchising Confidence Index sets the stage for the year, with 30 franchisors providing a window into current and more long-term opportunities and challenges. In terms of sentiment, the franchising community is more positive on most indicators compared to 2020.”, Franchising Confidence Index, February 12, 2021

https://bit.ly/3ba3ax0

Singapore

“Singapore’s economy is slowly recovering as income and spending tick upwards, DBS data shows: Analysing anonymised customer data, the island nation’s largest bank has noted salary improvements among lower-paid workers, and fewer customers showing wage cuts.”, South China Morning Post, March 2, 2021

Thailand

“Thailand starts COVID-19 vaccination campaign: Thailand kicked off its COVID-19 inoculation campaign on Sunday, with cabinet ministers, health officials and medical professionals among the first in the queue to receive vaccinations.”, Reuters, February 28, 2021

Turkey

“Gross Domestic Product obtained by addition of four quarters with chain linked volume index (2009=100), increased by 1.8% in 2020 compared with the previous year. Gross domestic product at current prices increased by 16.8% and reached 5 trillion 47 billion 909 million TRY in 2020 compared with the previous year. The gross domestic product per capita was 60 537 TRY and 8 599 US Dollars at current prices in 2020. Financial and insurance activities increased by 21.4% in 2020.”, Tuik.gov.tr, March 1, 2021

United Kingdom

“Early vaccine data suggests Britain won’t need another lockdown: Vaccination will stop people passing on the coronavirus “almost completely”, the Public Health England head of immunisation has forecast. Dr Mary Ramsay said evidence was mounting that vaccination worked to prevent infections and stop people transmitting the virus, something that would make it much easier to ease lockdown quickly and permanently.”, The Sunday Time of London, March 3, 2021

“Huge rise in holiday bookings as Britons dream of the sun: Spain and Greece top the destinations as firms report 600% increase in a week.”, The Times of London, February 23, 2021

http://bit.ly/2OZSlVv

Schools to reopen across England tomorrow – here are the new safety measures and the key dates in other UK nations. Students have spent months learning remotely and those returning to secondary schools will find several safety measures.”, Sky News, March 7, 2021

http://bit.ly/3bp0bB2

BP’s Office Staff to Work From Home Two Days a Week Under Hybrid Model: BP PLC said Monday that it is introducing a new hybrid model of working for staff who had previously been fully office-based, under which around 25,000 employees will typically work from home two days a week.”, The Wall Street Journal, March 8,  2021

United States

“U.S. Businesses Optimistic About Economy Due to Vaccines and Hiring, Fed Beige Book Says: Most businesses are optimistic about the economic recovery this year as coronavirus vaccines are more widely distributed and hiring picked up slowly across the country, a Federal Reserve report said Wednesday.”, The Wall Street Journal, March 3, 2021

U.S. Set to Power Global Economic Recovery From Covid-19: For the first time since 2005, America may make a bigger contribution to growth than China…After the 2008 financial crisis, the global economic recovery was powered by China, as the U.S. experienced the weakest revival since the Great Depression. The world economy is likely to grow by around 6% this year, according to Oxford Economics, the fastest rate in almost half a century, as vaccine campaigns allow pandemic restrictions to be lifted and businesses to snap back.”, The Wall Street Journal, March 8, 2021

“Disneyland and other California theme parks can reopen April 1 — but it will be different than before: After being closed due to the coronavirus pandemic since March 2020, Disneyland received conditional approval from the state of California to reopen. Other in-state theme parks, such as Universal and Knott’s Berry Farm, can also open as soon as April 1.”, The Points Guy, March 5, 2021

http://bit.ly/38iwC29

Apple says all U.S. stores open for the first time since start of pandemic: The milestone is a sign that the pandemic is winding down in the U.S. The stores closed nearly a year ago as COVID-19 first began to spread rapidly across the country. After two stores in Mexico reopen on Tuesday, there will only be 12 Apple stores in France and two stores in Brazil that are still closed, per CNBC.”, Axios, March 1, 2021

http://bit.ly/3sITv6

Brand News

Ty Menzies and Andy Peat of Snap Fitness®: Many franchise brands project a ‘family-first’ philosophy, but when the times get tough, do they have what it takes to have the tough conversations needed with franchisees – as well as celebrating the victories? Ty Menzies, global CEO for Lift Brands®, believes that Snap Fitness® has exactly that. That’s what has allowed this 24/7 fitness provider to not only have thousands of sites open and in development around the world but also double-down on support for its growing network….”, Global Franchise magazine podcast, February 26, 2021

http://bit.ly/3bPNoXk

Q&A with Christina Russell, CEO of Sola Salon & and The Woodhouse Day Spa: I have always had a true passion for helping others achieve their dreams of business ownership, and franchising has been the vehicle for countless individuals to pursue their entrepreneurial goals. So, there was a natural synergy that existed that immediately attracted me to franchising.”, Franchising.com, March 2021

https://bit.ly/2MWIXS8

Walk-On’s Sports Bistreaux Opens Milestone 50th Restaurant: 20 years ago, the napkin that inspired our concept was drawn. To celebrate, we surprised our founder with a few sentimental gifts and a toast! Here’s to many more years of bringing game day with a taste of Louisiana to the rest of the country (and the world).”, LinkedIn post, March 4, 2021

http://bit.ly/3e6ctQl

Carl’s Jr. just keeps growing and growing … now up to 24 restaurants in Spain with our Master Franchise Beer & Food! Now in Málaga!”, LinkedIn post, March 6, 2021

http://bit.ly/2OdOdBc

PJ’s Coffee Is Brewing Up Franchise Opportunities in 2021: All told, franchisees opened 20 new locations during the year and the brand’s portfolio soared past 120 locations. Even still, brand officials said 2021 has the potential of being an even better year for growth and they expect to open 48 more stores in 2021.”, Franchising.com, March 5, 2021

http://bit.ly/3v20b1n

RFG (Australia) bets on drive-thrus, mobile vans to offset lingering shopping centre pains: Retail Food Group (RFG) is the latest major food & beverage company to bet on additional off-premise channels to offset the lingering impact of COVID-19 to its shopping centre locations.”, QSRMedia.com.au, February 21, 2021

http://bit.ly/3chPsrp

Everything you need to know to make your franchise a global success: A recent survey of Franchisor members of the International Franchise Association indicated more than 80% were either international or planned to go global this decade.”, Geowixard.biz, February 18, 2021

The breakfast daypart is reawakening: Morning comfort foods and indulgences are bringing back home-bound diners. ‘[Consumers] are coming back to different dayparts and breakfast is one of them,’ said Melissa Friebe, senior vice president insights and analytics at Taco Bell.”, Nation’s Restaurant News, February 23, 2021

http://bit.ly/3qW7ANA

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

What’s Next For Small Businesses? 4 Trends And Predictions For 2021 And Beyond: Despite a challenging economy, Salesforce research found that a full third (34%) of small businesses said they’re prioritizing developing customer relationships over one-time transactions.”, Forbes, March 2, 2021

http://bit.ly/3qp2ok7

Assuming control of the COVID-19 pandemic is forthcoming this year, FRANdata predicts that by year-end, franchising will have recovered to nearly 2019 levels in most metrics: business growth, employment, economic outlook, and contribution to the GDP. FRANdata projects that more than 26,000 new franchised business will open in 2021, recovering most of the losses felt in the previous year. Franchises will employ some 8.3 million people, adding nearly 800,000 new jobs.”, Franchise.org, February 2021

https://bit.ly/3bORezU

Baby boomers, to retailers’ surprise, are dominating online shopping: Older Americans are increasingly buying groceries — and just about everything else — on the Internet, and those over 65 are now the fastest-growing category of e-commerce shoppers.”, The Washington Post, March 3, 2021

http://wapo.st/3qvYSVi

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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.

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