Global Business Development

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

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

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

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

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

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First, A Few Words of Wisdom From Others

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

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

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

Highlights in issue #56:

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

Interesting Data and Studies

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

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

Global Energy

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

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

Global Supply Chain & Trade Update

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

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

Global, Regional & Local Travel Updates

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

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

Country & Regional Updates

China

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

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

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

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

European Union

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

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

India

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

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

New Zealand

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

The Philippines

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

Russia

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

United Kingdom

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

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

United States

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

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

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

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

Brand News

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Articles & Studies For Today And Tomorrow

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

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

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

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

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

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Our Mission, Information Sources & Who We Are

Our biweekly global business update newsletter focuses on what is happening around the worldthat impacts new trends, health, consumer spending, business investment, economic development and travel. We daily monitor 30+ countries, 40+ international information sources and six business sectors to keep up with what is going on in this ever-changing environment. Our GlobalTeam™ covers 43 countries and provides us with updates about what is happening in their specific countries.  Please feel free to send us your input for the biweekly report. bedwards@edwardsglobal.com

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William (Bill) Edwards, Your Newsletter Editor, has a four-decade career successfully accelerating the international growth of more than 40 brands. With experience in the franchise, oil and gas, information technology and management consulting sectors, he has directed projects on-site in Alaska, Asia, Europe and the Middle and Near East.  He has lived in China, the Czech Republic, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Iran and Turkey and has worked on projects in over 50 countries.

Edwards Global Services, Inc. (EGS) provides a complete International solution for companies Going Global. From initial global market research and country prioritization, to developing new international markets, providing in-country operations support and problem solving around the world. Our U.S. based executive team has experience living and working around the world. EGS has twice received the U.S. President’s Award for Export Excellence.

www.edwardsglobal.com

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

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