Global Business Development

EGS Biweekly Global Business Newsletter Issue 32, Monday, June 14, 2021

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

“It’s choice, not chance that determines your destiny”, Jean Nidetch, compliments of Rafik Farouk on LinkedIn

“The ones who are crazy enough to think they can. Change the world are the ones who do.”, Steve Jobs

“Today is your opportunity to build the tomorrow you want.”, Ken Poirot

Highlights in issue #32:

First, a few Personal Comments

This issue covers 18 countries, highlights global employment issues, international travel as well as updates the level of vaccinations that are collectively leading to businesses reopening and high GDP growth in many countries.

Our Mission and Information Sources

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

We daily monitor 30+ countries, 40+ international information sources and six business sectors to keep up with what is going on in this ever-changing environment. Our GlobalTeam™ on the ground 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.

Interesting Data and Studies

World Bank boosts growth forecasts as U.S. stimulus, vaccines stoke demand – The World Bank on Tuesday raised its global growth forecast to 5.6% for 2021, marking the strongest recovery from a recession since 1940 due to U.S. stimulus spending and faster growth in China but held back by “highly unequal” access to COVID-19 vaccines.”, June 8, 2021

As the number of vaccinated people increases, so does optimism about the economic recovery. But despite the general positive trends, the defining characteristic of the recovery will be its unevenness. The success or failure of the recovery in a given country depends on the government’s vaccination program and public health policies, according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.”, Geoploitical Futures, June 4, 2021

OECD: Global prospects are improving but performance diverges strongly across countriesProspects for the world economy have brightened but this is no ordinary recovery. It is likely to remain uneven and dependent on the effectiveness of vaccination programmes and public health policies. Some countries are recovering much faster than others. Korea and the United States are reaching pre-pandemic per capita income levels after about 18 months. Much of Europe is expected to take nearly 3 years to recover. In Mexico and South Africa, it could take between 3 and 5 years.”, OECD, June 2021

COVID-19’s Impact on Employment Worldwide – In 2020, some 114 million workers around the world lost their jobs or withdrew from the labor force. An estimated 30 million jobs were never created because of the disruption caused by the pandemic. It will take months or, in some sectors or locations, years for the labor force to recover. The International Labor Organization projects a shortfall of 23 million jobs even through 2022.”, Geopolitical Futures, June 11, 2021

Worldwide food costs hit decade high – A UN index of food prices “has reached its highest since September 2011, climbing almost 5% last month,” reports Bloomberg. Another tracker of ‘prices from grains to sugar and coffee is up 70% in the past year.’”, Axios, June 4, 2021

PwC ranked the largest publicly-traded companies by their market capitalization in U.S. dollars – The 100 biggest companies in the world were worth a record-breaking $31.7 trillion as of March 31 2021, up 48% year-over-year. As a point of comparison, the combined GDP of the U.S. and China was $35.7 trillion in 2020.”, Visual Capitalist, June 10, 2021

Global Vaccine Update

“Uneven vaccination rates are creating a new economic divide – The global economy should grow briskly this year: by 5.6%, according to the World Bank, which updated its forecasts this month. But where vaccination has lagged, especially in the poorest countries, some economies seem to be going directly the other way.”, The Economist, June 13, 2011

Share of people partially or fully vaccinated against COVID-19. 12.5% of the world population has received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. 2.4 billion doses have been administered globally, and 33.3 million are now administered each day.  Only 0.8% of people in low-income countries have received at least one dose.”, Our World in Data, June 12, 2021.  

Growth Projections After the Pandemic – Getting shots in arms gives the economy a shot in the arm. The success or failure of the recovery in a given country depends on the government’s vaccination program and public health policies, according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. Other key factors include the degree of state support for businesses and workers as well as the country’s dependence

Canada Set to Ease Quarantine Rules for Vaccinated Travelers – The government is crafting plans to loosen the current 14-day isolation period for border-crossers who’ve had two vaccine doses, said the people, speaking on condition they not be identified. Travelers entering Canada would still be tested for the virus and may be required to quarantine for a shorter period.”, Bloomberg, June 8, 2021

Mexico, Brazil: Vaccine Progress and Resilience – In Brazil and Mexico the vaccine rollout will likely pick up pace in the rest of the year, but to receive a vaccine some eligible people will have to wait until 2022 (H1 2022 in Brazil and H2 2022 in Mexico). However, the economies have proved resilient as they adapted better than expected to restrictions.”, Continuum Economics, May 27, 2021

Global, Regional & Local Travel Updates

(U.S.) TSA screened more than 2 million flyers for the first time since March 2020 – The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) said it screened 2,028,961 travelers, the highest number since Sunday, March 8, when 2,119,867 passed through checkpoints at U.S. airports.”, The Points Guy, June 14, 2021

(U.K.) June 21 easing of Covid lockdown rules delayed by four weeks – A government source said that (Prime Minister Boris) Johnson views a delay as the “final stretch”. He has repeatedly argued that the end of lockdown restrictions must be ‘irreversible’.”, The Times of London, June 14, 2021

CDC Travel Guidelines Relax for More than 100 Countries – On Monday the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) revised its coronavirus travel guidelines for over 100 countries “to better differentiate countries with severe outbreak situations from countries with sustained, but controlled, COVID-19 spread,” the agency said on its website. The new CDC travel guidelines now include specific recommendations for both vaccinated and unvaccinated travelers.”, CNN Traveler, June 9, 2021

Americans May Be Able to Obtain the EU’s Digital COVID Certificate for Travel – The European Union’s COVID-19 digital certificate could be extended to non-EU citizens, including from the United States, an EU Commission spokesperson said in an interview this week.”, Travel And Leisure, June 3, 2021

Air Canada Launches COVID-tested Flights Between Canada and Italy – Air Canada’s COVID-tested flights to Italy are scheduled to take off starting July 2. Travelers will need to provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken within 48 hours of their departure from Canada. They’ll also have to take another test upon landing in Italy, but will not be required to isolate or participate in health monitoring programs if they test negative.”, Travel And Leisure, June 3, 2021

Iberia Restores Latin American Services as Spain Reopens to More Tourists – Iberia’s 2021 summer flight program will total more than 90 flights per week to Latin America. The schedule includes 18 destinations in 16 countries.”, Airline Geeks, June 9, 2021

Thai Airways (TG) will commence direct flights from Phuket to Zurich, Paris, Copenhagen, London, and Frankfurt, starting July 2, 2021, as the country prepares to revive its tourism. The decision came right after the government confirmed to reopen Phuket to fully vaccinated tourists. The airline, through its wholly-owned subsidiary – Thai Smile, has increased its frequency on the Hong Kong (HKG) – Phuket route to four weekly flights starting 02 July as well. The flag carrier also plans two routes from Asian cities – Seoul (ICN) and Taipei (TPE) — to Phuket from July, while a route to Tokyo still awaits confirmation.”, Airways Magazine, June 8, 2021

Country & Regional Updates

Canada

Ontario patios, retail to open Friday as province speeds up COVID-19 reopening plan – The staged reopening plan was originally scheduled to kick in next Monday. But the province says it has exceeded its goal for administering first doses of COVID-19 vaccinations, while new cases and hospitalization continue to drop. The changes, approved in a Monday morning cabinet meeting, take effect Friday at 12:01 a.m.”, The Globe And Mail, June 7, 2021

“‘This is 100 per cent the worst thing we’ve ever seen’: How Canadian companies are adjusting to supply chain chaos – Today, unrelenting demand from cash-flush shoppers for certain goods, restocking by companies scrambling to satisfy them as regions emerge from lockdowns, and ever-changing COVID-19 protocols – resulting in more checks and labour shortages at each step of the transportation chain – have created an unprecedented slowdown of goods that is testing the global economy and its distribution networks.”, The Global and Mail, June 14, 2021

China

China’s Factory Inflation Jumps Most in Almost 13 Years as Commodity Prices SurgeSurging commodity prices fueled inflation in China in May, with factory-gate prices jumping the most in almost 13 years and consumer prices accelerating at the fastest pace since September, government data released Wednesday show.”, Caixing Global, June 9, 2021

China’s Manufacturing Expands at Fastest Pace in Five Months, The Caixin China General Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI), which gives an independent snapshot of the country’s manufacturing sector, rose slightly to 52 in May from 51.9 the previous month, according to a report released Tuesday.”, Caixing Global, June 01, 2021

China’s Services Expansion Slows, The Caixin China General Services Business Activity Index, which gives an independent snapshot of operating conditions in the services sector, fell to 55.1 in May from 56.3 the previous month.”, Caixing Global, June 3, 2021

Colombia

Colombia to restart large events as COVID-19 deaths climb past 90,000 – Colombia on Thursday approved the reopening of most large events it had banned to contain the pandemic, even with intensive care units likely to be full until the end of June and more than 90,000 dead from COVID-19.”, Reuters, June 3, 2021

India

New Delhi and Mumbai loosen lockdowns as India’s Covid-19 crisis eases in cities –  India’s capital New Delhi and financial hub Mumbai began a gradual easing of restrictions on Monday as coronavirus infections in the country fell to a two-month low.”, France 24, June 7, 2021

New Zealand

The world’s most livable cities in 2021 –  Auckland came out on top on The Economist Intelligence Unit’s Global Liveability Index of 140 cities around the world thanks to its success in containing the pandemic quickly, enabling restrictions to be lifted early on.”, CNN, June 9, 2021

Philippines

World Bank slashes GDP growth forecasts for the Philippines – The World Bank has slashed its Philippine growth projection for this year due to a deeper-than-expected contraction in the first quarter and the reimposition of stricter quarantine measures in the capital region to contain a surge in COVID-19 cases. While growth in the Philippines remains on track for recovery, the bounce back this year will likely be lower than previously expected at 4.7%…”, Reuters. June 7, 2021

Russia

“Every third coffee (in Russia) comes from McDonald’s  – The CEO of the chain in Russia spoke about the food preferences of Russians. The coronavirus pandemic has made adjustments even in the preferences of Russians in the food they order at McDonald’s . Mark Karena , general director of McDonald’s in Russia , told Lente.ru how the network will develop in Russia, what they will do with security and what new products to expect in the menu.”, Lente.ru, June 7, 2021. Website translated compliments of Paul Jones, Jones & Co., Toronto

Russia raises key rate to 5.5%, flags more hikes to curb inflation – After slashing the rate to a record low of 4.25% last year during the COVID-19 pandemic, the central bank has now raised it three times in 2021 to slow inflation that shot above its target in November and is on track to accelerate further. ‘Our main task is to normalise the price growth rates,’ Governor Elvira Nabiullina said.”, Reuters, June 11, 2021

Singapore

Singapore to start easing Covid restrictions as daily infections fall – Starting Monday, Singapore will allow social gatherings of five people — an increase from the current two-person limit. Limits on event attendees and operating capacity at venues such as public libraries and museums will also be relaxed, the government said.”, CNBC, June 11, 2021

United Kingdom

Housing boom drives biggest rise in construction for seven years – The IHS Markit/CIPS construction purchasing managers’ index rose from 61.6 to 64.2, its highest level since September 2014 and above economists’ forecasts of 62.3.”, The Sunday Times of London, June 5, 2021

New car sales rose sharply in May, the first full month that showrooms have been open this year. Registrations rose to 156,737, up from the 20,247 in the same month last year when dealerships were closed. Mike Hawes, chief executive of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), said: ‘With dealerships back open and a brighter, sunnier, economic outlook, May’s registrations are as good as could reasonably be expected.’”, The Times of London, June 4, 2021

United States

US inflation hits 5% for first time since 2008Policymakers continue to insist that inflation’s ascent will be transitory as Covid-19 restrictions are loosened, but apprehension that a sustained rise would inevitably twist their arms — leading them to tighten the monetary policy that has helped to fuel markets’ record run during the pandemic — has rattled equities and bonds in recent months.”, The Times of London, June 4, 2021

Small business optimism slips on hiring, inflation worries – U.S. small-business confidence edged lower last month, the first decline in four months, as a nationwide labor shortage and inflation worries weighed on business owners’ economic outlook, according to a survey released on Tuesday. The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) Optimism Index fell 0.2 point to a reading of 99.6 in May after three straight monthly increases.”, Reuters, June 8, 2021

The (U.S.) restaurant industry achieved stronger two-year sales for the second consecutive month in April. Same-store sales growth was 6.8% on a two-year basis in April, an improvement of 4.6 percentage points from the 2.3% two-year growth reported for March. This is optimistic news for the industry as April became the best month for restaurants based on sales growth in over three years.”, Nation’s Restaurant News, May 19, 2021

Report Says Half Of Small Businesses Unable To Fill Job Openings – A record-high 48% of small business owners in May reported unfilled job openings (seasonally adjusted). That makes May the fourth month in a row of record-high readings for unfilled job openings and is 26 points higher than the 48-year historical reading of 22%. ‘Small business owners are struggling at record levels trying to get workers back in open positions,’ said NFIB Chief Economist Bill Dunkelberg.”, Franchising.com, June 10, 2021

Brand News

Chuck E. Cheese expanding franchise footprint to Europe – Chuck. E Cheese, the family entertainment restaurant franchisor with 556 franchised locations open in 47 states and 17 countries, has signed an agreement with EWAS Management Solutions to bring the brand to Romania for the first time.”, Global Franchise, June 11, 2021

’Ahora en Denny’s Vista Hermosa estamos atendiendo 24 horas,’ read one social media post announcing the newest Denny’s restaurant on Vista Hermosa Boulevard in Guatemala City is open and serving 24 hours a day. That 24/7 presence is central to the identity of Denny’s in Guatemala and elsewhere in Central America, where the brand now has 11 locations after franchisee Grupo Comidas opened its third in Guatemala in February.”, Franchise Times, May 27, 2021

Krispy Kreme goes public with IPO filing, looking to raise $100 million. The JAB Holding brand will be trading on the Nasdaq under the ticker symbol ‘DNUT’. The company made $321.8 million in revenue for the first quarter of 2021, ended April 4, up 23% from $261.2 million the same quarter the year prior. The filing also noted that Krispy Kreme achieved its highest level of sales — $1.1 billion — in the company’s history in 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic.”, Nation’s Restaurant News, June 1, 2021

How Hilton’s CEO moved the company forward by focusing on the past – Though the COVID-19 pandemic is expected to result in more deaths globally in 2021 than in 2020, summer travel bookings are on the rise. Many people around the world—and nearly 52% of American adults—are fully vaccinated, and polls show that people are excited to get back out into the world.”, Fortune, June 3, 2021

Jack In The Box Jumps Into The Virtual Restaurant Space With Jason Derulo Collaboration – The chain today announced a partnership with award-winning singer/songwriter Jason Derulo to launch the One in a Milli Virtual Restaurant out of 10 Los Angeles Jack in the Box locations.”, Forbes, June 14, 2021

Nathan’s Famous is relaunching Arthur Treacher’s as ghost kitchens. Nathan’s is adding the famous fried seafood restaurant to its portfolio and helping to evolve their menu. Nathan’s Famous is bringing back the iconic 1970s quick-service brand.”, Nation’s Restaurant News, May 27, 2021

Covid Accelerates Franchising’s Adoption of Marketing Technologies, Part 1 – Del Taco®, Capriotti’s Sandwich Shop®, Pizza In®.”, Franchising.com, June 9, 2021

How Data Transformed Urban Air From A Trampoline Park To Adventure Park – When Michael Browning started Urban Air, the business was a trampoline park for kids like many others in the industry. But with a background in data science and analytics, Browning was able to see the opportunity to create a more innovative model that was centered around the needs of parents and kids both.”, Forbes, June 8, 2021

Brits Queue Up for New Wendy’s as American Fast Food Invades U.K. – Brands with expansion plans benefit from glut of available sites. Wendy’s Co. is returning to the U.K. two decades after it left, part of an American fast-food-chain invasion that has been a rare bright spot for restaurant property owners during the pandemic.”, The Wall Street Journal, June 8, 2021

Articles & Studies About Doing Business Going Forward

“Global trade set for strong 2021 rebound after proving resilient during pandemicGlobal trade was more resilient during the pandemic than expected and will rebound strongly in 2021, according to the Dubai Multi Commodities Centre, though the recovery will be uneven and dependent on the roll out of vaccines and easing geopolitical tensions. However, the future of global trade is dependent on the global vaccine drive and governments’ ability to respond quickly to new waves and variants of Covid-19, according to DMCC’s The Future of Trade report.”, The National News, June 9, 2021

What’s next for consumers, workers, and companies in the post-COVID-19 recovery – COVID-19 changed how we live and work in ways that will alter our behavior long after the pandemic subsides. Companies moved rapidly to deploy digital and automation technologies, dramatically accelerating trends that were unfolding at a much slower pace before the crisis. Work went remote, shopping, entertainment, and even medicine went online, and businesses everywhere scrambled to deploy digital systems to accommodate the shifts.”, McKinsey, May 18, 2021

Pandemic drove small businesses online — and they’re staying – Small businesses are the engines of the economy. While many did not survive the last 15 months, new businesses have popped up and found ways to find customers in the new, all-online-all-the-time environment.”, Axios, June 4, 2021

Understanding who we have becomeChange accelerates under pressure, as illustrated by the last year and a quarter. This week, McKinsey drilled into numerous changes that have reset the context for companies, employees, and societies. McKinsey experts analyzed changes to consumer profiles in Asia, the consequences of women’s exodus from the workforce, and why more than 70 HR leaders believe this is a new era for their profession.”, McKinsey, June 9, 2021


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Mid-March 2021 GlobalVue™

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

My latest article:  “LEADERSHIP – We Spoke to William (Bill) Edwards of Edwards Global Services on Being an Effective Leader During Turbulent Times.”, Authority magazine, April 22, 2021

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

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