Global Business Development

EGS Biweekly Global Business Newsletter Issue 67, Tuesday, October 17, 2022

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

Our latest GlobalVue™ country ranking chart is out with changes. How global opinion of China has changed in recent years. The latest global economic growth forecast and the rise of global uncertainty. Germany and Singapore are to pay bills for consumers, France is running out of gas and Hong Kong is giving away 500,000 free air tickets once they fully reopen to travelers.

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First, A Few Words of Wisdom From Others

I look to the future because that’s where I’m going to spend the rest of my life.:, George Burns

“However difficult life may seem, there is always something you can do and succeed at.”, Stephen Hawking

“It is better to fail in originality than to succeed in imitation.”, Herman Melville

Highlights in issue #67:

  • Brand Global News Section: BurgerFuel®, Chick-Fil-A®, Chipolte®, F45®, McDonalds®, Qdoba® and Starbucks®

NOTE: Bolded headlines in this newsletter are live links where the article is available without a subscription.

Interesting Data and Studies

The latest quarterly EGS GlobalVue™ country ranking report is out and has a few key changes. We dropped the COVID recovery category and add a section for the ease of finding investors in a country. In September’s EGS GlobalVue™ report, Australia, China, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand and United Arab Emirates climbed in rankings while the Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Mexico and the Philippines dropped down since the Q2 report was released in June of 2022.

“The Latest Global Growth Forecast – In its new report on the outlook for the global economy, the International Monetary Fund confirmed a slowdown for 2022 and was pessimistic about 2023. In identifying the causes of the gloomier forecast, the IMF highlighted Russia’s war in Ukraine, pandemic-related supply disruptions and high inflation expectations.”, Geopolitical Futures, October 14, 2022. Compliments of William (Bill) Ellermeyer, Ellermeyer Connect

Visualizing the Rise of Global Economic Uncertainty – Over the last six years, companies have had to grapple with five major “uncertainty shocks”: First it was Brexit in 2016, followed by the U.S. presidential election, China-U.S. trade-tensions, the Covid-19 pandemic, and in 2022 the Ukraine war.”:, Harvard Business Review, September 29, 2022

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

“Mapping Shipping Lanes: Maritime Traffic Around the World – Each year, thousands of ships travel across the globe, transporting everything from passengers to consumer goods like wheat and oil. But just how busy are global maritime routes, and where are the world’s major shipping lanes? This map by Adam Symington paints a macro picture of the world’s maritime traffic by highlighting marine traffic density around the world. It uses data from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in partnership with The World Bank, as part of IMF’s World Seaborne Trade Monitoring System. Data …….includes five different types of ships: commercial ships, fishing ships, oil & gas, passenger ships, and leisure vessels.”, Visual Capitalist / Adam Symington, June 20, 2022

Global & Regional Travel Updates

Hong Kong to give away 500,000 airline tickets next year as part of global campaign to revive tourism – Head of Tourism Board says plan is part of global promotion next year once Hong Kong removes all epidemic curbs for arrivals. The free plane tickets are not all for inbound tourists. Some of them will be given to outbound travellers, while some will be distributed via travel agents.”, South China Morning Post, October 6, 2022

International Flights Continue Returning to ChinaChinese authorities are releasing the controls on international flights, and such action has attracted dozens of carriers to resume and open new routes in and out of China. In May, China reduced the mandatory quarantine period from 14+ days to 7 days. Since Aug, the Chinese authority changed the fusing mechanism for international flights, from the original absolute confirmed Covid-19 cases to a percentage of all passengers on a flight.”, Airline Geeks, October 13, 2022

Country & Regional Updates

Argentina

What Is the Value of an Argentine Peso? It Depends on What You’re Buying – Government adds new currency rules, multiplying existing rates Goal is to avoid devaluation even if it faces IMF opposition. In Argentina, where about a dozen different exchange rates overlap, the government is creating ever more rules about who can access dollars and for what, making an already vexing system more complicated in a bid to delay a devaluation.”, Bloomberg, October 12, 2022

Canada

 “Canada’s oil sands firms to invest $24-billion on emissions projects – Canadian oil sands companies plan to spend more than $24-billion on emissions-reduction projects by 2030, as they accelerate their bid to get production to net zero by 2050. The investment by members of the Pathways Alliance – a group that covers about 95 per cent of oil sands production – includes $16.5-billion for a massive carbon capture and storage (CCS) network in northern Alberta. Another $7.6-billion will be spent on advancing other emissions-reduction technologies….”, The Globe and Mail,  October 14, 2022

China

How Global Public Opinion of China Has Shifted in the Xi Era – The Chinese Communist Party is preparing for its 20th National Congress, an event likely to result in an unprecedented third term for President Xi Jinping. Since Xi took office in 2013, opinion of China in the U.S. and other advanced economies has turned precipitously more negative. How did it get to be this way?”, Pew Research Center, October, 2022

China’s economic crisis, led by a faltering property sector, looms over Xi Jinping’s expected third term – On Sunday, a collection of 2,300 delegates from the Communist Party of China will convene for a weeklong conference to choose China’s next leader. The victor is almost certain to be current President and General Secretary Xi Jinping, who would be the first to serve more than two terms as the Party’s leader since Mao Zedong.”, Fortune, October 15, 2022

France

Heading to France? It’s running out of gas – For the past two weeks, French trade union General Confederation of Labour has been locked in a bitter standoff with fuel giants TotalEnergies and Esso-ExxonMobil in a dispute over pay for its members. Dozens of workers at several oil refineries owned by the multinationals walked out, blockaded several refineries and stymied gasoline supplies; as a result, more than a quarter of gas stations are now out of at least one type of fuel and 19% are completely dry.”, The Points Guy, October 13, 2022

Germany

Germany to pay December gas bills for households and businesses –  Under the scheme, the one-off full reimbursement in December would be followed up next spring with a more differentiated subsidy scheme designed to cap bills but still incentivise people to save energy. From March 2023 to the end of April 2024, private households would pay €0.12 (£0.11) per kilowatt hour for the first 80% of last year’s use of gas. Industry, meanwhile, would from 1 January 2023 until end of April 2024 pay €0.07 per kilowatt hour for the first 70% of last year’s use.”, The Guardian, October 10, 2022

India

India festival spending booms despite inflation worries, global slowdown – Indian consumers are lapping up everything from cars, houses and television sets to travel and jewellery in the festive season that began last month, according to early data, giving a fillip to growth prospects despite economic gloom elsewhere in the world. Online and offline sales during the Hindu festival period starting in the last week of September and lasting until early November are estimated to cross $27 billion, almost double the amount in the same pre-COVID period in 2019, and nearly 25% higher than last year, according to industry estimates.”, Reuters, October 14, 2022

Japan

Japan Eager to Welcome Tourists From Abroad Amid Cheap Yen – Individual travelers will be able to visit Japan without visas beginning on Tuesday, just like in pre-COVID-19 times, and electronics stores, airlines and various tourists spots have big hopes for a revival of their businesses. Japan kept its borders closed to most foreign travelers during much of the pandemic. Only packaged tours have been allowed since June. Meanwhile, the yen has weakened sharply against the dollar, giving some visitors much heftier buying power and making Japan nearly irresistible to bargain hunters.”, Bloomberg, October 10, 2022

Pakistan

Pakistan keeps policy rate at 15%, projects high inflation, weak growth – Pakistan’s central bank kept its key policy rate unchanged at 15% on Monday, days after the South Asian country’s credit rating was downgraded in the face of an economic meltdown exacerbated by devastating floods. Pakistan is in the middle of a balance of payment crisis, with foreign reserves falling to barely one month’s worth of imports, a situation which has been aggravated by a devalued currency and consumer prices rising 27%.”, Reuters, October 10, 2022

Russia

Russia’s Rank As U.S. Trade Partner At 30-Year LowRussia now ranks as the United States’ 39th most important trade partner, on track to finish lower than any year since 1992, shortly after it emerged from the dissolution of the Soviet Union. It was the United States’ 40th most important trade partner that year. Russian trade is down more than $10.7 billion from the same eight months of 2021, according to the U.S. Census Bureau data released last week. That’s more than six times the decrease of any country in the world.”, Forbes, October 11, 2022

Singapore

Singapore Unveils New $1.05 Billion Inflation-Relief Package – Singapore Friday unveiled a new S$1.5 billion ($1.05 billion) plan to support lower- and middle-income households, as the economy contends with the fastest inflation in 14 years. The new package, together with earlier rounds of relief measures this year, will fully cover the increase in cost of living for lower-income households on average, and more than half of the increase in living costs for middle-income households, the Ministry of Finance said in a statement.”, Bloomberg, October 14, 2022

United Kingdom

“The threat of energy blackouts in Britain forces a rethink on gas storage – As Europe builds up stocks for the winter, Britain has only meagre capacity. Storage facilities in the European Union are capable of meeting more than 20% of the annual demand for gas; an EU target compelling members to fill storage to 80% by November has been met. Britain’s current storage is around 2% of annual demand. Since some remaining facilities can be emptied and filled multiple times during winter, National Grid says that what remains could satisfy up to 4% of winter demand.”, The Economist, October 7, 2022

Three-Quarters of UK Business Struck by Labour Shortages – Businesses hit by labour shortages have urged the Government to relax immigration policies to help temporarily fill roles, a new survey has found. Three-quarters of businesses said they have experienced difficulties filling vacancies and a shortage of workers, according to the Confederation of British Industry’s (CBI) employment trends survey with recruitment agency Pertemps Network Group, conducted in August.”, Bloomberg, October 10, 2022

United States

US Small-Business Optimism Improves for a Third Straight Month – NFIB’s September index ticked up to 92.1 on sales expectations Smaller share of owners said they raised selling prices. Optimism among US small businesses edged up in September as firms grew less downbeat about the outlook for sales, while a smaller share said they raised prices. The National Federation of Independent Business overall optimism index rose 0.3 point to 92.1 last month, the group said in a report Tuesday. Five of the gauge’s 10 components increased. Despite rising for a third-straight month, the measure is historically low.”, Bloomberg, October 11, 2022

Americans began new businesses at record pace in 2021 – Americans applied last year to start a record 5.4 million new businesses, with Hispanic Americans applying at the fastest rate in more than a decade and 23% faster than pre-pandemic levels, the White House touted in April.  But inflation surged to the highest level in a generation and remains the single most important problem for 29% of small businesses surveyed in August by the National Federation of Independent Business.”, USA Today, October 7, 2022

Online (U.S.) holiday shopping sales to reach $209.7B this year – Cyber Week is projected to drive $34.8 billion in online sales. According to Adobe, the projected total for online shopping sales during the 2022 holiday season spanning Nov. 1 to Dec. 31 would constitute a 2.5% increase from 2021, when shoppers spent $204.5 billion online. Nearly half of the projected $209.7 billion in online spending is expected to come from electronics ($49.8 billion), apparel ($40.7 billion) and groceries ($13.3 billion).”, Fox Business, October 10, 2022

Brand News

“(U.S.) Teenage Consumers Prefer Chick-Fil-A, Starbucks And Chipotle – Piper Sandler’s 44th semi-annual Taking Stock With Teens survey didn’t yield many surprises in terms of restaurant preferences. The survey, which highlights discretionary spending trends and brand preferences of those averaging 15.8 years old, shows that Chick-fil-A remains the No. 1 restaurant for the demographic, with 18% share. It is followed closely by Starbucks at 17% and Chipotle at 13%. Chick-fil-A and Starbucks are consistent favorites for teens, according to the survey, which is notable as the spending power of Gen Z continues to increase. A Bloomberg report from 2021 shows this demographic has about $360 billion in disposable income, or more than double what was estimated three years ago.”, Forbes, October 14, 2022

Fast-Food Restaurants Use Robots as Frequent Fryers – Several restaurants – including a San Diego Jack in the Box and a CaliBurger on the West Coast – have robot fry cooks. The Flippy 2 robot from Miso Robotics Inc. in Pasadena, Calif., has automated the process of deep-frying potatoes, onions and other foods, Reuters reported. Cameras and artificial intelligence control the Flippy 2 robot, having it pull French fries out of a freezer, place them in hot oil and then put the cooked potatoes on a tray.”, FranchiseWire, October 6, 2022

BurgerFuel launches rescued bread-based beer – Bread into beer into buns: BurgerFuel, in collaboration with Citizen Collective, is launching a craft beer made from rescued surplus bread….. the BurgerFuel franchise has teamed up with Citizen, the innovators behind an award-winning circular solution to ‘rescue & upcycle’ unsold fresh supermarket bread to create a craft beer designed to address needless food waste.”, Franchise New Zealand, October 5, 2022. Compliments of Jason Gehrke, The Franchise Advisory, Brisbane

Mark Wahlberg-backed F45 faces takeover bid – F45 confirmed this week that it had received an unsolicited proposal from its largest shareholder and lender, Kennedy Lewis Investment Management (“KLIM”), to acquire all the shares not already owned by KLIM ‘or other stockholders participating in the proposed transaction’. While F45 is more expensive than a traditional full-service gym, its group exercise classes are cheaper than hiring your own personal trainer. Australia has more than 800 franchises.”, Brisbane Times, October 5, 2022. Compliments of Jason Gehrke, The Franchise Advisory, Brisbane

McDonald s has reopened five more restaurants in Kyiv (Ukraine) addresses – The McDonald’s restaurant chain announced the opening of restaurant halls in Kyiv at a number of addresses – customers were warned about the possibility of long queues. McDonald’s announced that on September 20 they will begin the phased opening of restaurants in Ukraine with the launch of McDelivery. The first establishments on the left bank of Kyiv – near the “Kharkivska” and “Poznyaki” metro stations, as well as “Darnytsia” – became operational.”, ePravda, October 13, 2022. Compliments of Paul Jones, Jones & Co., Toronto

QDOBA, the #1 Mexican Fast Casual Franchise, is Getting Innovative – QDOBA’s 730-plus unit chain has an appetite for growth and a healthy development pipeline. The Mexican Fast Casual restaurant takes pride in its culture of communication and strong franchisee relationships. This year, the growing franchise has placed an emphasis on rolling out innovative menu items and a digital strategy to create convenience and accessibility for its customers.”, Franchising.com, October 14, 2022

Articles & Studies For Today And Tomorrow

How Global Businesses Can Ensure Quality Support for Customers Across Different Time Zones – When running a global business, you will naturally have clientele located in countries in different time zones. As such, everyone needs to get the same consistent experience and levels of support. Contacting customer service is never something someone wants to do — rather, it usually only happens when there’s a problem. As a global player, you need to think about how you will serve your customers from the very start, as not doing so will adversely impact those not in your locality. In order to truly operate on the worldwide stage, the delivery of round-the-clock support is essential, meaning that it should be a central component of your strategy.”, Entrepreneur, October 14, 2022

World’s 20 wealthiest cities, ranked: New York, Tokyo and San Francisco are home to more millionaires and billionaires than anywhere – but Dubai, Mumbai and Shenzhen are catching up fast. The Henley Global Citizens Report places London fourth and Singapore fifth on its ranking of resident UHNWIs, with Beijing at ninth – just ahead of Shanghai. Top-placed New York is home to 59 billionaires and the world’s most expensive residential real estate – Hong Kong slips down to 12th behind Los Angeles, Chicago and Houston. A decade ago, Hong Kong was Asia-Pacific’s second wealthiest city after Tokyo, but has since been overtaken by Singapore, Beijing, Shanghai and Sydney.”, South China Morning Post, October 8, 2o22

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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™ covering 40 countries provides us with updates about what is happening in their specific countries. 

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William (Bill) Edwards has a four-decade career successfully accelerating the international growth of more than 40 brands worldwide. 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

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