Global Business Development

EGS Biweekly Global Business Newsletter Issue 63, Tuesday, August 23, 2022

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

Lots of individual country and brand updates in this issue. Plus, mixed signals on global oil & gas demand, inflation and economic growth. And, as you know if you travel a lot like me, the ease of travel is not back to 2019 when ‘ease’ was not the right word either!

To receive this biweekly newsletter that is read by 1,450 people in 20 countries, click here : https://bit.ly/geowizardsignup

First, A Few Words of Wisdom From Others

“Not everything that counts can be counted, and not everything that can be counted counts.”, William Bruce Cameron

 “Life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans.”, John Lennon

 “You never really learn much from hearing yourself speak.”, George Clooney

Highlights in issue #63:

  • Brand Global News Section: Aqua-Tots®, Dutch Bros.®, F45®, Jollibee”s®, Krispy Kreme®, Marco’s Pizza®, McDonalds®, Popeyes®, Tom Hortons® and Wendy’s®

NOTE: Bolded headlines in this newsletter are live links where the article is freely available

Interesting Data and Studies

Brands Play A Role In Happiness Even When The World Is In Crisis – Happiness is currently getting a lot of attention and it should. It’s a vital element to a healthy balanced life and in the current climate it feels in short supply. During times of turmoil, like now, it can seem wrong to be focused on something so individual when bigger problems fill our thoughts and news feeds. Research is showing that it’s more helpful to think of happiness as an active noun and complex concept that requires regular review and updating. To make happiness part of life we need to reframe our understanding of it to encompass a wider emotional and intellectual range. Brands can help with that.”, Forbes, August 11, 2022

Global Supply Chain, Energy, Commodities, Inflation & Trade Issues

Inflation Rates Are Rising Unevenly Around the World – Prices are rising all over the world at a pace that hasn’t been seen in decades, and central banks have responded by lifting rates. Here, we provide a snapshot of global and US data that help explain what’s happening. The war in Ukraine, the pandemic, and supply chain stress are all playing a role. Larger economies in Europe and the Americas, particularly Brazil, have seen a more dramatic upswing in consumer prices in the past few years than countries in Asia, where inflation gains in Japan and China have been muted.”, Bloomberg, August 12, 2022

Oil Demand Accelerates as Gas Crisis Spurs Switch, IEA Says – Consumption growth boosted by 380,000 b/d to 2.1 million b/d Oil market spared squeeze as stockpiles seen accumulating. World oil consumption will now increase by 2.1 million barrels a day this year, or about 2%, up 380,000 a day from the previous forecast, the Paris-based agency said in its latest monthly report. The extra demand that prompted the revision is “overwhelmingly concentrated” in the Middle East and Europe.”, Bloomberg, August 11, 2022

OPEC Cuts Oil-Demand Forecasts as Economic Growth Slows – Oil supply and demand were close to balanced in second quarter. OPEC’s revisions come as oil prices have eased significantly from the highs they hit in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Fears about slowing economic growth and signs of respite from a global energy crisis have undercut oil prices, which this month fell to their lowest level since February. While OPEC lowered its forecast for global economic growth this year and next, it said demand for oil—while more modest—would still be robust.”, The Wall Street Journal, August 11, 2022

LNG, Fastest-Growing U.S. Export Since Covid-19, Heading To Europe – The fastest-growing top 100 U.S. export from pre-pandemic 2019 is LNLN 0.0%G and other natural gases, up almost 10 times as much in value as the overall average. This year, the fastest-growing markets for the United States’ No. 3-ranked export are in Western Europe, when compared to the comparable first six months of last year. According to the latest U.S. Census Bureau data, overall U.S. exports topped $1 billion through June for the first time.”, Forbes, August 13, 2022

Key European Power Price Doubles in Two Months as Crisis Deepens  – German and UK day-ahead prices also soar to record highs Governments are under pressure to ease burden on households. Next-year electricity rates in Germany advanced as much as 3.7% to 477.50 euros ($487) a megawatt-hour on the European Energy Exchange AG. That’s almost six times as much as this time last year, with the price doubling in the past two months alone.”, Bloomberg, August 15, 2022

Global & Regional Travel Updates

Forget 2022: Travel isn’t expected to improve until next year – As predicted, the summer 2022 travel season turned out to be unlike any summer in recent memory. After a trickle of COVID-19 restrictions eased over many months, travelers flooded airports and tourist destinations at rates not seen in three years and with a fervor not seen in even longer than that. It’s safe to say it did not all go according to plan. While hours-long waits and piles of luggage proved nightmarish for travelers overseas, flight disruptions in the U.S. surpassed ordinary frustration.”, The Points Guy,  August 19, 2022

Country & Regional Updates

Australia

A third of Aussie workers would trade a small pay cut for better work-life balance: LinkedIn – One in four workers would also take lower pay in exchange for a stronger chance to grow in the role, more flexibility to work onsite or remote, more inspiring company leadership, and a greater focus on their whole self at work, according to the index released this week. Cayla Dengate, LinkedIn Careers Expert, said a focus on workplace flexibility may be driven by many Aussies taking stock of what’s most important in their life following two years of disruption.”, Smart Company AU, August 5, 2022. Compliments of Jason Gehrke, Franchise Advisory Centre, Brisbane

Brazil

Brazil’s central bank chief predicts end of credit cards – Brazil’s central bank chief Roberto Campos Neto on Friday said he believes credit cards will cease to exist soon due to the growth of the open finance system, through which clients authorize financial data sharing with different institutions. Open finance is a central bank project that has been implemented in phases since 2021. Speaking at an event about cryptocurrencies, Campos Neto projected that, through the system, users will control all aspects of their financial life in one “integrator” on their mobile, rather than having many apps from different banks.” Reuters, August 12, 2022

Canada

Metro shoppers ‘trading down’ as inflation weighs, executives say retailer absorbing some cost increases – Grocery store owner Metro Inc. executives say they are not passing on all of their cost increases to shoppers, even as prices in stores have increased and the company reported a 9-per-cent jump in third-quarter profit. ‘Our costs have gone up significantly. We are absorbing some of those costs’, chief executive officer Eric La Flèche said on a call with analysts Wednesday to discuss the financial results. The Montreal-based retailer reported that its food basket inflation was 8.5 per cent. According to Statscan, grocery prices across the country rose by 9.4 per cent in June compared to a year earlier, slowing from a 9.7-per-cent jump in May.”, The Globe and Mail, August 11, 2022

The Great Resignation has arrived in Canada – It took a while for a version of the Great Resignation to take hold in Canada, but now it’s here. It has taken the form of a retirement wave – and its arrival further clouds the outlook for an already murky economy. Last week’s July employment report from Statistics Canada revealed that a record 300,000 Canadians have retired over the past 12 months. That’s up nearly 30 per cent from the same time last year, and nearly 15 per cent from the months leading up to the pandemic in early 2020.”, The Globe and Mail, August 11, 2022

China

China’s Youth Unemployment Rate Rises to Another Record – China’s urban youth unemployment rate reached 19.9% in July, the highest level since record keeping began in January 2018, according to National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) data released on Monday. It’s the fourth consecutive month of record high unemployment among urbanites from 16 to 24 years old, with the rate increasing 0.6 percentage points from June. Fu Linghui, a spokesperson for NBS, cited the slow recovery of the service industry, hampered by Covid-19, and the large cohort of graduates entering the job market during the graduating season around July and August, as reasons for the heightened youth joblessness.”, Caixing Global, August 15, 2022

Shanghai Schools to Reopen After Classes Suspended in March – Shanghai will reopen kindergartens, primary and secondary schools in September, almost six months after in-person classes were suspended, with strict measures in place to avoid the spread of Covid-19. Students and teachers must be in Shanghai for two weeks before schools start on Sept. 1, and take two nucleic acid, or PCR, Covid tests within three days before returning to campuses, the city’s education authority said in a statement on Sunday. They will also need to produce a negative test result everyday to attend classes as China continues to pursue a Covid Zero policy.”, Bloomberg, August 13, 2022

Euro Zone Countries

Economists Say a Euro-Zone Recession Is Now More Likely Than Not – Respondents in survey see 60% chance of downturn in next year……The risk of a euro-area recession has reached the highest level since November 2020 as energy shortages threaten to drive already record inflation higher still, according to economists polled by Bloomberg.”, Bloomberg, August 14, 2022

Germany

Forget Inflation. Shrinkflation Is Sparking Fury in Germany – Packages of goods are getting smaller as prices hold firm Shoppers are inundating consumer authorities with complaints. German shoppers are getting increasingly angry at attempts to hike goods prices by stealth. While so-called shrinkflation — where the cost of a product stays the same though its size declines — isn’t a new phenomenon, consumer-protection authorities in Europe’s top economy are being inundated by complaints. Food prices are the biggest driver of German inflation after energy, rising at an annual pace of 14% in July — almost twice as much as the overall index.”, Bloomberg, August 12, 2022

Indonesia

Shiny EVs in Sight, Indonesia Mulls Nickel Export Tax – The biggest producer of the EV battery metal, which is also used to make stainless steel, Indonesia is looking to add more value locally in a bid to boost revenues and jobs, President Joko Widodo told Bloomberg Editor-in-Chief John Micklethwait in a wide-ranging interview in Jakarta. The potential move, which was flagged earlier this year by another official, is one step on a path that could ultimately mean a ban on exports of all raw materials.”, Bloomberg, August 19, 2022

Israel

Israel inflation rate jumps to new 14-year high of 5.2% y/y in July…..the most since October 2008 and following a 4.4% rate in June, as more aggressive interest rate hikes loom and keep the soaring cost of living centre stage ahead of an election in November. A Reuters poll of analysts had projected an inflation rate of 4.6%. CPI rose 1.1% in July from June, led by gains in transport, housing rentals and fresh fruit, the Central Bureau of Statistics said on Monday.”, Reuters, August 15, 2022

Malaysia

Malaysia’s GDP Growth to Quicken on Pent-Up Demand……Local demand, robust trade to help maintain momentum, FM says Government won’t boost borrowings to pay for subsidies. Malaysia’s economic growth will accelerate this quarter after expanding at the fastest pace in a year, driven by private consumption as activities resume, Finance Minister Zafrul Aziz said. ‘People are underestimating the strength of the pent-up demand,’ he said in an interview on Saturday. ‘Restaurants are packed, traffic jams have returned, the unemployment rate has fallen to below 4% and the first-half tax collections have been way above our estimate.’”, Bloomberg, August 13, 2022

The Philippines

Philippines Wealth Creation: Economic Recovery Gains Momentum In 2022 – The Philippines’ economy is expected to shrug off the impact of rate hikes and rising commodity prices to recover to pre-pandemic levels this year. GDP is forecast to hit 7%—thanks to returning tourists and a rise in household spending—before inflationary headwinds slow growth to 6.3% in 2023 and 6.4% in 2024. Even with the budget deficit running over 8% of GDP (the highest in Southeast Asia), the new administration of Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. is eyeing an expansionary fiscal policy as it tackles unemployment and poverty.”, Forbes, August 10, 2022

Thailand

Tourists Pouring Back Into Thailand Underpin Outperforming Baht – Earlier this month, a government spokesman said the nation expects to attract 10 million international tourists this year, compared with the 6.1 million forecast in April. Visitors are seen rising to 30 million people next year, still shy of the 40 million who traveled to the country in the year before Covid spread. That rebound is important for Thailand, considering that the travel-related sector accounted for about a fifth of the nation’s economy before the pandemic.”, Bloomberg, August 14, 2022

Ukraine

McDonald’s Charts Path to Reopen in Ukraine – McDonald’s Corp. plans to reopen some restaurants in Ukraine after shuttering them when Russia invaded the country in February.  The world’s biggest fast-food chain will begin working with partners in the coming months to supply locations with products, prep the properties and bring employees back on site, the company said in a statement. McDonald’s didn’t provide a specific reopening date.”, Bloomberg, August 11, 2022 

United Kingdom

Workers going into office 1.5 days a week, survey suggests – UK workers are going into the office an average of 1.5 days a week, with only 13% coming in on a Friday, a survey suggests. Consultancy Advanced Workplace Associates surveyed 43 offices in the UK, representing nearly 50,000 people, in June and July. It suggests average attendance was 29%, with a peak of 39% mid-week. Pre-Covid, UK workers were going into the office an average of 3.8 days a week, according to the research which covered sectors including banking, energy, engineering, healthcare, insurance and tech.”, BBC News, August 15, 2022

United States

If the Economy Is Shrinking, Why Is Everything Going Gangbusters? Economists are struggling to explain the global outlook. Maybe it’s better to ask someone in oil. A lot of recent data doesn’t sit well with the prevailing economic narrative. The US economy has shrunk for two consecutive quarters, yet the labor market is still going gangbusters, inflation looks increasingly subdued and retail sales for July beat expectations. But this is not a conventional business cycle, argues Jared Dillian. The damage wrought on supply chains by the pandemic, unprecedented fiscal stimulus and years of negative real interest rates have made soothsaying particularly troublesome. ‘But just because the data doesn’t fit Wall Street’s longstanding models that worked in the pre-pandemic era doesn’t mean that it’s “noise,”’ writes Jared. ‘It probably means the models are in dire need of updating.’”, Bloomberg, August 19, 2022

U.S. Companies on Pace to Bring Home Record Number of Overseas Jobs – After Covid-19 pandemic upended supply chains, American companies are shifting jobs and processes to the U.S. U.S. companies are bringing workforces and supply chains home at a historic pace. American companies are on pace to reshore, or return to the U.S., nearly 350,000 jobs this year, according to a report expected Friday from the Reshoring Initiative. That would be the highest number on record since the group began tracking the data in 2010.”, The Wall Street Journal, August 20, 2022

Brand News

Aqua-Tots Dives Deeper into Mexico with New Tijuana Location – Aqua-Tots Swim Schools has been renowned for its work teaching children across the United States how to swim for more than 30 years. Now, that same opportunity is available to more families south of the U.S. border in Baja California! Aqua-Tots opened its second location in Mexico – and 22nd international site – on July 18, just miles from the California border in Tijuana.”, Franchising.com, July 29, 2022

Dutch Bros. on track for 130 new stores in 2022; Q2 revenue jumps – The fast-growing coffee opened 65 stores during the second quarter — including its 600th location — and is on track for at least 130 openings for the full year. Dutch Bros., which is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year, currently operates 603 locations across 14 states. ‘Our newest shops are exhibiting predictable and consistent sales and upward margin progression, while our 2020 and 2021 classes are generating annualized volumes that are 10% higher than our system average,’ said Joth Ricci, CEO and president, Dutch Bros.”, Chain Store Age, August 11, 2022

How F45’s cash-draining celebrity deals left it gasping for air – Embattled Aussie fitness franchise F45 has had to overcome some significant hurdles in its rise to prominence and more recently, its fight for survival. And that includes multi-million dollar payments to the celebrities who were brought in to turbocharge its now-abandoned global expansion plans. F45’s US-listed shares plunged following a July 26 market update stating it had lost the financing underpinning its franchise sales. The update also revealed the company’s plans to slash staff and downgrade earnings and revenue forecasts for this year.”, Brisbane Times, August 19, 2022. Compliments of Jason Gehrke, Franchise Advisory Centre, Brisbane

Jollibee’s Profit Nearly Triples as System-Wide Sales Hit Record – Jollibee Foods Corp., the largest Philippine restaurant operator, saw its profit jump by nearly 200% in the second quarter as diners returned with the easing of Covid restrictions. ‘We are encouraged to see further improvement in dine-in sales while at the same time sustaining growth in our delivery business,’ chief executive officer Ernesto Tanmantiong said in a statement Thursday. Sales were better than expected and have returned to pre-pandemic levels, he said.”, Bloomberg, August 10, 2022

Why Krispy Kreme Isn’t Doing As Well As You Think – Although Krispy Kreme performed well in 2021 and predicted strong growth due to the implementation of its Hub and Spoke business model, unexpected economic circumstances have caused issues for the brand in 2022. According to Restaurant Business Online, the company’s shares dropped 15% earlier this week due to projected revenues not living up to expectations. Krispy Kreme’s international stores helped drive revenue growth in 2021, but in 2022, the company is taking a hit from its U.K. stores. According to CNN, operating costs for businesses are up across the board in the U.K.”, Mashed, August 19, 2022

Marco’s Pizza Reaches 1,100 Stores and $1B in Annual Sales – These achievements come on the heels of aggressive franchise expansion with more than 200 stores in development, alongside record-breaking growth that has helped catapult its strong performance as America’s No. 5 pizza brand in systemwide sales. Multi-unit growth continues to play a strategic role in Marco’s rapid expansion, with nearly half of its current franchise network made up of multi-unit operators.”, Franchising.com, August 10, 2022

Only two Popeyes outlets now open in Shanghai – Only two restaurants of the American fried chicken chain Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen remain operational in Shanghai, according to local restaurant review and booking site Dianping. The two outlets are the Popeyes flagship store on Huaihai Road and another at the Shinmay Union Square in the Pudong New Area. The four other stores, however, have closed. Popeyes China is operated by PLK APAC Pte Ltd, a subsidiary of Restaurant Brands International Inc, and it’s not yet clear whether the remaining two stores will stay operational.”, Shina.cn, August 9, 2022. Compliments of Paul Jones, Jones & Co., Toronto

Tim Hortons officially launches in India today with unique menu items – The iconic Canadian chain is becoming well known across the world for its signature coffee, iconic beverages, delicious food, and the specialty items that are unique to each location. India is no different, introducing several brand new menu options we’ve never seen before, like Chole Kulcha Flatbread, Chicken Makhani Ravioli Pasta, and Paneer Tikka Wraps. The Chilli Cheese Toast, Chicken Tikka Croissant Sandwich, and Lamb Kebab Wrap are just three more tasty-sounding items we really wish we had here in Canada.”, The Daily Hive, August 11, 2022

America’s Second-Largest Burger Chain Walks Back Major Expansion Plans – To the delight of Frosty and Baconator lovers across the globe, Wendy’s announced an ambitious expansion plan last year, which would add 1,200 locations to its roster by 2025. More than half of these new locations—around 700 to be exact—were planned as delivery-only ghost kitchens to be operated and staffed through a collaboration with Reef Kitchens. But, it appears the burger chain may have bitten off more than it could chew, and is now drastically pulling back on its ghost kitchen strategy. Wendy’s announced it is cutting down the number of Reef locations it will open from 700 to just 100 to 150, with a significant decrease in units specifically within the U.S.”, Eat This, Not That¡, August 11, 2022

Articles & Studies For Today And Tomorrow

Where will the world’s next 1,000 babies be born? Every four minutes, approximately 1,000 babies are born across the globe. But in which countries are these babies the most statistically likely to come from? Using data from the CIA World Factbook, this graphic by Pratap Vardhan (Stats of India) paints a picture of the world’s demographics, showing which countries are most likely to welcome the next 1,000 babies based on population and birth rates as of 2022 estimates.”, Visual Capitalist, August 19, 2022

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

Our Mission, Information Sources & Who We Are

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

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

William (Bill) Edwards has a four-decade career successfully accelerating the international growth of more than 40 brands. He has directed projects on-site in Alaska, Asia, Europe and the Middle and Near East and has lived in China, the Czech Republic, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Iran and Turkey. Edwards Global Services, Inc. (EGS) provides a complete International solution for companies Going Global. From initial global market research and country prioritization, to developing new international markets, providing in-country operations support and problem solving around the world. EGS has twice received the U.S. President’s Award for Export Excellence. For advice on doing business successfully across 40+ countries, contact Bill Edwards at bedwards@edwardsglobal.com or +1 949 224 3896. 

www.edwardsglobal.com

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

Our latest GlobalVue™ 40 country ranking


EGS Biweekly Global Business Newsletter Issue 62, Tuesday, August 9, 2022

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

As someone who travels to many countries as part of my job, I am encouraged by the level of increased global business travel. Not so much by the lack of staff in airports! On the other hand, an increasing percentage of professionals around the world have chosen not to return to central city offices. And who knew that half of the world’s population live in just seven countries?

To receive this biweekly newsletter that is read by 1,450 people in 20 countries, click here : https://bit.ly/geowizardsignup

First, A Few Words of Wisdom From Others

“Being positive is a sign of intelligence.”, Maxime Lagacé

“You can, you should, and if you’re brave enough to start, you will.”, Stephen King

“A problem is a chance for you to do your best.”, Duke Ellington

Highlights in issue #62:

  • Brand Global News Section: Anytime Fitness®, California Pizza Kitchen®, McDonald’s®

NOTE: Bolded headlines in this newsletter are live links where the article is freely available

Interesting Data and Studies

World Food Prices Post Biggest Decline Since 2008 in July – Drop offers some relief amid deepening cost-of-living crisis. Ukraine restarted some grain shipments after deal with Russia. Global food prices fell the most since 2008 after concerns over supplies of grains and vegetable oils eased as Ukraine moved toward restarting exports. A United Nations index of world food costs plunged almost 9% in July. The index fell to the lowest since January, before Russia’s blockade of ports in Ukraine — a major food exporter — pushed up food costs to a record.”, Bloomberg, August 5, 2022

Global population projected to exceed 8 billion in 2022; half live in just seven countries –  As recently as 2015, half the world’s population was concentrated in just six countries – the same as above, with the exception of Nigeria, which was then the seventh most populous country and has since passed Brazil to move into sixth place. Recent population growth, however, has been faster in the rest of the world than in these nations, meaning that the top six now hold slightly less than half (49%) of the world’s people.”, Pew Research, July 21, 2022

Global Supply Chain, Energy, Commodities, Inflation & Trade Issues

“European gas prices soar after Russia deepens supply cuts – Futures contracts hit five-month high after Gazprom announces drop in flows. Russian state-backed energy group Gazprom on Monday said flows on the Nord Stream 1 (NS1) pipeline would plummet to 33mn cubic metres from Wednesday because of turbine maintenance issues. That would amount to a fifth of the pipeline’s capacity and half of current levels.”, The Financial Times, July 26, 2022. (NOTE: USA price per megawatt hour was US$54 on July 26, 2022.

The World’s Largest Container Shipping Companies – Did you know that 80% of the global goods trade is transported over sea? Given the scale of human consumption, this requires an enormous number of shipping containers, as well as ships to carry them. At an industry level, container shipping is dominated by several very large firms. Companies are ranked by two metrics. First is the number of ships they own, and second is their total shipping capacity measured in twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs). A TEU is based on the volume of a twenty-foot long shipping container.”, Visual Capitalist, July 26, 2022

Which Countries Produce the Most Wheat? While more than 80 different countries produce wheat around the world, the majority of global wheat production comes from just a handful of countries, according to data from The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). China, the world’s largest wheat producer, has yielded more than 2.4 billion tonnes of wheat over the last two decades, making up roughly 17% of total production from 2000-2020.  The second-largest wheat-producing country is India. Over the last two decades, India has produced 12.5% of the world’s wheat.”, Visual Capitalist and FAOSTAT, July 31, 2022

Global & Regional Travel Updates

International Passenger Demand Triples in June – The International Air Transportation Association (IATA) has released the passenger data for June showing an unsurprising rise in passenger demand. Using the industry metric of Revenue Passenger Kilometres (RPKs) to indicate total passenger traffic IATA’s figures indicate a 76.2% increase over 2021. As a comparison passenger traffic was at approximately 71% of pre-pandemic levels.”, Air Geeks, August 5, 2022

Qantas Airways Ltd. needs executives from head office to leave their jobs for three months and haul luggage full-time to address a stubborn labor shortage that’s disrupting flights. The airline is looking for at least 100 volunteers to carry out shift work at Sydney and Melbourne airports, Chief Operating Officer Colin Hughes wrote in a note to managers that was shared by Qantas Monday. Tasks include loading and unloading luggage, as well as driving the vehicles that take bags to planes and between terminals. Applicants must be able to move suitcases weighing as much as 32 kilograms (70 pounds), according to the memo.”, Bloomberg, August 7, 2022

Europe’s airport staff continue to strike over low pay and working conditions – Across Europe, airport and airline staff have been striking, causing severe disruption to summer travel. Employees including ground staff, baggage handlers, cabin crew and pilots have been walking out in countries like Spain, Italy and the UK. With traveller numbers almost back to pre-pandemic levels, the industrial action has caused chaos at airports around Europe.”, Euro News, August 8, 2022

Hong Kong Cuts Hotel Quarantine to Three Days to Revive Travel – Quarantine will be followed by four days of health monitoring Strict rules had deterred travelers to Asian financial hub.”, Bloomberg, August 7, 2022

Country & Regional Updates

Australia

In a post-pandemic world, 30 per cent of work will be at home – About 30 per cent of all working days will be done from home in the post-pandemic “new normal” – up to 50 per cent among those who can easily work remotely – according to a respected survey of American workers to be presented to a Sydney audience this week. The research also suggests employers could use working from home to limit wage growth and that employees would sacrifice a portion of their income to preserve their right to work from home.”, Brisbane Times, July 27, 2022. Compliments of Compliments of Jason  Gehrke, The Franchise Advisory Centre, Brisbane

Canada

Canada sheds jobs again, but unemployment rate holds at record lowThe economy shed 31,000 positions last month, after a decline of 43,000 in June, Statistics Canada said in a report on Friday. Financial analysts on Bay Street were expecting a stronger return of 15,000 jobs added. Despite the decline, the unemployment rate remained at 4.9 per cent – the lowest in nearly five decades of data.”, The Globe And Mail, August 5, 2022

China

Beijing Reopens Its Doors to International Flights – Previously, as part of the efforts to reduce the possibility of Covid-19 spreading in the nation’s capital, China rerouted all international flights bound to Beijing to alternative destinations for passengers to complete quarantine first. To reduce the effort of inspection and quarantine, all Beijing-bound international flights, and regional flights from Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan will arrive at Beijing’s Capital International Airport. Beijing’s Daxing International Airport is still only open to domestic flights.”, Airline Geeks, July 28, 2022

China’s IPO Queue Gets Longer as Covid Curbs Ease – The number of companies waiting in line to go public on the Chinese mainland’s stock markets has reached around 1,000, as the economy began to pick up steam after Covid restrictions in some of its largest cities were eased. Many Chinese companies rush to launch IPOs not just for the money that they can raise, but also because they want the gloss that comes with a listed firm, a brokerage source told Caixin. Some local governments also see increasing the number of listed companies based in their area as one of their development goals, the source said.”, Caixing Global, August 8, 2022

India

Apple Postpones Opening of First Physical Store in India to 2023, Report Says – Apple’s flagship store in India was reportedly scheduled to open in 2021 before it was hit with pandemic-related delays. Apple is seeking to open a 22,000-square-foot store at an upscale shopping mall in the teeming financial capital of Mumbai.”, CNET, July 28, 2022

Russia

McDonald’s writes off $1.2 billion due to withdrawal from Russia – In March, McDonald’s suspended operations in Russia in response to the start of Russia’s military operation in Ukraine. On May 16, the company officially announced the sale of its business in Russia. In June, the new owners of McDonald`s Russian assets opened some of the restaurants.”, Kommersant.ru, July 26, 2022. Compliments of Paul Jones, Jones & Co., Toronto

Singapore

Think U.S. car prices are bad? In Singapore you have to spend $82,000 just for the right to buy a car, on top of the car itself – In a bid to manage a large population squeezed onto a tiny island, and in an effort to cut down on traffic and pollution, the tiny island nation has made it prohibitively expensive to own a car.  The country requires citizens to bid on—and win—a state-issued “certificate of entitlement” (COE) before they’re legally entitled to purchase, operate and own a car for a 10-year period. After the 10-year mark, residents must buy another COE if they want to maintain their car ownership. If they fail to do so, they must scrap or sell their vehicle or export it to another country.”, Fortune magazine, July 25, 2022

South Korea

South Korea Accelerates LNG Purchases to Avoid Winter Shortage Nation seeking to purchase additional cargoes to ensure supply Inventories have been depleted as heat boosted summer demand. South Korea is looking to buy more liquefied natural gas to replenish stockpiles before winter.  The world’s third-biggest importer of the chilled fuel is seeking additional cargoes to meet forecasts for increased domestic demand and is targeting to lift inventories to about 90% full by November, from about 34% currently, the Energy Ministry said Monday.”, Bloomberg, August 8, 2022

Spain

Spain edges closer to pre-pandemic tourism levels with 7.5 mln visitors in June – More than twice as many tourists visited Spain in June than in the same month last year and they spent almost three times as much during their stay, National Statistics Institute data showed on Tuesday…….Before the pandemic put a halt to travel in 2020, Spain received a total of 38.2 million tourists in 2019, with 8.8 million visiting in June.”, Reuters, August 2, 2022

United Kingdom

How ready is Britain for a gas crisis this winter? It is true that we get very little energy from Russia, but the country is still heavily exposed. As Russia tightens the screw on gas supplies to Europe and amid growing fears of winter shortages, the government has stayed resolute in its insistence that the country’s energy is secure. “Unlike Europe, Britain isn’t dependent on Russian gas,” it has said. ‘The UK’s secure and diverse energy supplies will ensure households, businesses and industry can be confident they can get the electricity and gas they need.’”, The Times of London, August 8, 2022

United States

U.S. trade deficit narrows sharply; exports at record high – The Commerce Department said on Thursday that the trade deficit decreased 6.2% to $79.6 billion. Exports of goods and services shot up 1.7% to an all-time high of $260.8 billion, while imports slipped 0.3% to $340.4 billion.”, Reuters, August 4, 2022

Hiring Gets Easier for Some Employers Despite Hot Job Market – Verizon, Uber, Marriott and others hardest hit by the pandemic say recruiting is up or turnover down. Some big U.S. companies say hiring is getting easier, at least by a little. Employers in hospitality, retail, healthcare and other industries hardest hit by worker shortages over the past two years say they are seeing emerging signs that recruiting workers—and getting them to accept jobs when offered—is becoming less of a challenge, even as the overall job market remains tight.”, The Wall Street Journal, August 8, 2022

Brand News

Largest Anytime Fitness Franchisee Sold to PE Firm – Bandon Holdings, the largest Anytime Fitness franchisee, has been acquired by Sentinel Capital  Partners. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. The Austin-based multi-unit franchisee operates 213 Anytime Fitness clubs and has more than 140,000 members in 24 states.”, Franchising.com, August 4, 2022

California Pizza Kitchen Re-Enters India with New Store Opening – The new franchise is owned and operated by Sanjay Mahtani, co-founder and operator of JSM Corporation Pvt. Ltd., an India-based international restaurant group established in 2005. JSM is the master franchisee in India for California Pizza Kitchen as well as the U.S.-based Hard Rock Cafe, in addition to operating its own restaurant brands.”, Franchising.com, July 28, 2022

Domino’s (Australia) fails to deliver for investors – Investors have soured on Domino’s Pizza Enterprises after the US company that owns the brand warned of rising costs including a 30 per cent jump in mozzarella prices. Shares in the ASX listed $6.1 billion Domino’s are down 43 per cent for the year and 6 per cent since Thursday, when the separately owned American company blamed soaring costs for missing quarterly profits.”, Australia Financial Review, July 25, 2022. Compliments of Jason  Gehrke, The Franchise Advisory Centre, Brisbane

Articles & Studies For Today And Tomorrow

These are the top 10 best and worst places to live in the world—and you won’t find the U.S. on either list – This week, the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) released their Global Liveability Index ranking of the top 10 best and 10 worst places to live in the world in 2022. The index scored 172 cities in five categories: culture, health care, education, infrastructure, and entertainment. Cities in Scandinavia dominate the list of Most Liveable Cities thanks to the stability and good infrastructure in the region.”, CNBC, August 7, 2022

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

Our Mission, Information Sources & Who We Are

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

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

William (Bill) Edwards has a four-decade career successfully accelerating the international growth of more than 40 brands. He has directed projects on-site in Alaska, Asia, Europe and the Middle and Near East and has lived in China, the Czech Republic, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Iran and Turkey. Edwards Global Services, Inc. (EGS) provides a complete International solution for companies Going Global. From initial global market research and country prioritization, to developing new international markets, providing in-country operations support and problem solving around the world. EGS has twice received the U.S. President’s Award for Export Excellence. For advice on doing business successfully across 40+ countries, contact Bill Edwards at bedwards@edwardsglobal.com or +1 949 224 3896. 

www.edwardsglobal.com

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

Our latest GlobalVue™ 40 country ranking


©2013 - 2022 GeoWizard Inc. All Rights Reserved.