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EGS Biweekly Global Business Newsletter Issue 18, Monday, November 30, 2020

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

“I think if you do something and it turns out pretty good, then you should go do something else wonderful, not dwell on it for too long. Just figure out what’s next.”, Steve Jobs

“Great leaders don’t see themselves as great; they see themselves as human.”, Simon Sinek

“Perpetual optimism is a force multiplier.”,  Colin Powell, American politician, diplomat and retired four-star general


This biweekly newsletter focuses on what is happening around the world that impacts new trends, health, consumer spending, business investment and travel. A few highlights in issue #18:

  • United (Airlines) begins flying Pfizer’s Covid-19 vaccine to the USA and the UK is set to approve Pfizer-BioNTech Covid vaccine within days
  • Shanghai Replaces London As World’s Largest Travel Hub
  • In our Doing Business in the times of COVID section are links to several articles on how businesses are learning to do succeed in these times
  • Australia state reopens border after Covid cases plummet
  • Mexico Confirms Its Economy Rebounded in Third Quarter
  • More Than Half of Restaurant Sales Will be Digital by 2025

We monitor 30+ countries, 40+ international information sources and six business sectors to keep up with what is going on in this ever-changing environment. Our GlobalTeam™ on the ground covers 43 countries and provides us with updates about what is happening in their specific countries. Please feel free to send us your input and sources of information. Our contact information is at the bottom of this newsletter.

First, a few Personal Comments

Much of what we have to report from around the world in this issue has to do with how countries and companies are finding ways to keep businesses and schools open as we approach the time when COVID-19 vaccines will be available. Multinational government approvals for the first two vaccines could occur before Christmas. Distribution then becomes the global challenge. United Airlines over the past weekend started charter flights to bring Pfizer’s vaccine to the USA from Brussels. Distribution of the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid vaccine could start in the United Kingdom as early as December 7th. There is hope.

Interesting Data To Start

The latest McKinsey report: “When will vaccines be available? And is the end of COVID-19 nearer? While the situation looks somewhat better in parts of the Southern Hemisphere, much of Europe and North America is in the midst of a “fall wave,” with the prospect of a difficult winter ahead. Yet the past two weeks have brought renewed hope, headlined by final data from the Pfizer/BioNTech1 vaccine trial and interim data from the Moderna trial, both showing efficacy of approximately 95 percent2 ; and progress on therapeutics. Is an earlier end to the pandemic now more likely?”

“Industries in 2021: Key forecasts for the year ahead”, an Economist Intelligence Unit webinar, November 4, 2020

In the pandemic, capitalism’s adherents are reconsidering its recent history and its future direction.”, McKinsey report, November 18, 2020

A bit lighter content: “How holiday spending compares around the world” – Visual Capitalist

The Top Exports in each country: “Today, exports make up roughly 25% of total global production. One of the common influences on these exports, unsurprisingly, is oil. In fact, petroleum is the top export across over 50 nations, and along with many other resource-driven materials makes up a sizable share of the global export market. Since 2000, the total value of all exported global trade of goods and services has tripled to $19.5 trillion.

This infographic from shows the top export in every country by value, according to the most recent global data from 2018.”, Visual Capitalist

Wilson Perumal & Co., in conjunction with the Wall Street Journal, publish the annual GLOBAL MARKETS COMPLEXITY INDEX, which they call, “A Guide for Multinationals Navigating Geographic Expansion and Contraction”. “The world has become vastly more complex in the last decade, with the emergence of new technologies, greater customer variety, global operations, and shifting regulations.”

International Travel Updates

Airlines Face ‘Mission of the Century’ in Shipping Vaccines: Lufthansa, one of the world’s biggest cargo carriers, began planning in April in anticipation of the shots that Pfizer Inc. to Moderna Inc. and AstraZeneca Plc are developing in record time. A 20-member task force is at work devising how to fit more of the crucial payload onto the airline’s 15 Boeing Co. 777 and MD-11 freighters, along with hold space in a vast passenger fleet now flying at just 25% of capacity. Carriers must balance delicate storage requirements with speed. Airlines from Asia to Europe working frantically behind scenes”, Bloomberg, November 29, 2020

“Shanghai Replaces London As World’s Largest Travel Hub: The International Air Transport Association (IATA) released data revealing how the COVID-19 crisis has affected international connectivity, shaking up the rankings of the world’s most connected cities.  London, the world’s number one most connected city in September 2019, has seen a 67% decline in connectivity. By September 2020, it had fallen to number eight.  Shanghai is now the top ranked city for connectivity with the top four most connected cities all in China—Shanghai, Beijing, Guangzhou and Chengdu.”, Airways, November 28, 2020

Overseas quarantine for England to be slashed to five days: Travellers will be allowed to take a self-paid test and end their self-isolation if the result is negative. The government is poised to slash the quarantine time for overseas travellers arriving in England from 14 days to five under a new “test and release” scheme to be announced on Tuesday, according to Whitehall and industry figures.”, The Financial Times, November 23, 2020

Aerolíneas Argentinas To Resume Regular International Flights: Aerolíneas Argentinas (AR) has announced its international flights scheduled for the Summer 2021 season with a considerable increase in flights and frequencies offered per destination.”, Airways, November 19, 2020

14 Reasons We Can’t Wait to Travel in 2021: This year has changed so much about travel: the where, the how, and perhaps most importantly, the why. We’ve sketched out the myriad reasons for getting out there again next year—and the best and most meaningful ways to do it.”, CNN Traveler, November 17, 2020

El Al Launches Tel Aviv-Dubai Direct Link: El Al (LY), launches a direct passenger service between Tel Aviv Ben Gurion Airport (TLV) and Dubai (DXB) on December 13, 2020. The route is a first after Israel–United Arab Emirates normalization agreement was signed back in September. Following the flight roster reported by LY, the flight will take place 14 times per week with its Boeing 737-900 and Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft.”, Airways, November 23, 2020

Asia Pacific Countries

“Asia Sourcing Update: Cambodia, Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam”, FUNG Business Intelligence, November 25, 2020


“Australia state reopens border after Covid cases plummet: The Australian state of New South Wales (NSW) has reopened its border with neighbouring Victoria for the first time since July after coronavirus cases there fell to zero. Victoria, which imposed a tough lockdown after a surge in cases, has reported no new infections since the beginning of November.”, BBC News, November 23, 2020

“Australia’s most populous state eases COVID-19 curbs, urges people return to offices: Australia’s New South Wales (NSW) state will ease social distancing restrictions and remove requirements for companies to allow employees work from home after recording nearly three weeks without any local transmission of COVID-19, Premier Gladys Berejiklian said on Wednesday.”, Reuters, November 24, 2020

McDonald’s (Australia) to hire 17,400 people nationwide by the end of 2020: McDonald’s is set to hire 17,400 people nationwide by the end of 2020.”,, November 18, 2020. Compliments of Jason Gehrke, Founder & Director, Franchise Advisory Centre, Brisbane

Mainland China 

“Measures of Chinese Economic Activity Signal Widening Recovery: Manufacturing and nonmanufacturing reach highest levels in three and eight years, respectively. The official manufacturing purchasing managers index, a key measure of factory activity, rose to 52.1 in November from 51.4 in October, according to data released Monday by the National Bureau of Statistics. Meanwhile, China’s nonmanufacturing PMI, which includes services and construction activity, rose in November to 56.4, its highest level since June 2012…”, The Wall Street Journal, November 30, 2020

Forget decoupling. China’s economy is wedded to globalization: By opting to show China’s preference for large, regional free trade agreements, even those led by the US or Japan, China is sending two powerful signals. It wants Chinese state-owned enterprises to prevail in an expanding market overseas, not just within China. More importantly, the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation – which has set out a vision for liberalisation of more business sectors by 2040 – is vital.  It should now be clear that globalisation is indeed a staple of Chinese policy. Thus, any talk of the decoupling of the Chinese economy from the rest of the multilateral trading world is unrealistic, to say the least.”, South China Morning Post, November 29, 2020

The China Chain Store and Franchise Association (CCFA) held its annual meeting between November 11-17 in Wuhan. Business is back to normal in Wuhan and most of mainland China. This link and update is compliments of Paul Jones, Paul Jones & Co., Toronto


“French lockdown to ease after second peak passes: France will begin to ease its strict coronavirus restrictions this weekend, allowing non-essential shops to reopen, President Emmanuel Macron has said. People will also be able to share ‘moments with the family’ over the Christmas period, Mr. Macron announced. But he said bars and restaurants would have to remain closed until 20 January.”, BBC News, November 25, 2020

“Air France to Increase Domestic Holiday Capacity: Air France (AF) is set to increase its domestic holiday capacity, reaching up to 55% of the capacity for the same period in 2019. Frequencies will increase on routes both between Paris departures as well as inter-regional routes and routes to the French Overseas Territories.”, Airways, November 28, 2020


With Tokyo posing a challenge to Hong Kong’s financial hub crown, are companies likely to head for Japan? The Japanese government has swiftly implemented measures to bolster Tokyo’s chances, sensing weakness in rival Hong Kong amid political turmoil.”, South China Morning Post, November 17, 2020


Mexico Confirms Its Economy Rebounded in Third Quarter: GDP expanded a seasonally adjusted 12.1% in the third period following a record 17% contraction in the previous quarter. Mexico’s economy bounced back in the third quarter, led by increases in industrial output as business reopened from shutdowns to slow the spread of the coronavirus, but activity remained well below its year-earlier level, revised data show.”, The Wall Street Journal, November 26, 2020

The Philippines

Philippine Airlines to Launch Manila COVID-19 Testing Center: Philippine Airlines (PR) is set to launch a COVID-19 testing center in Manila beginning on December 1, offering RT-PCR tests for passengers leaving the Philippines. With test results released between 12 and 24 hours, PR ticketholders are eligible for a discount on the tests.”, Airways, November 28, 2020

South Korea

South Korea mulls stricter social distancing as COVID-19 spike continues: South Korean authorities will consider tighter social distancing restrictions on Sunday to clamp down on economic activities after last week saw the fastest spread of infections since the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic. South Korea bans year-end parties, some music lessons, as virus spikes again.”, Reuters, November 28, 2020

New Zealand

Good news, but lower unemployment and immigration a challenge for franchise recruitment: Starting with the good news: New Zealand’s economy has shown its resilience in fine style, says Dominick Stephens, Westpac’s Chief Economist. ‘It’s now clear that the economy will be damaged, but not as severely as originally feared. We predict a peak unemployment rate of 6.2%, which is about the same as the 2009 recession.’”, Franchise New Zealand, November 26, 2020


Turkey’s GDP grew by 6.7% in the three months through September, according to data released earlier today, after contracting by 9.9% in the previous quarter. Turkey not only exceeded most forecasts but outperformed all major economies in the third quarter. But the country is hardly out of the woods.”, The London Economist, November 29, 2020

United Kingdom

“UK set to approve Pfizer-BioNTech Covid vaccine within days: Rollout of two-shot jab could begin as soon as December 7.  The UK is poised to become the first western country to approve a Covid-19 vaccine, with the independent regulator set to grant approval within days. Deliveries of the vaccine developed by BioNTech and Pfizer would begin within hours of the authorisation, according to government officials.”, The Financial Times, November 28, 2020

COVID-19 cases fell by a third in England during second lockdown, study suggests: The findings suggest the tiered system and lockdown have worked to bring cases down, the study’s director says. Falling infections in the North East and North West – where cases decreased by more than half – have helped to fuel the change, according to the latest findings from Imperial College London’s React study.”, Sky News, November 30, 2020

United States

“United (Airlines) Begins Flying Pfizer’s Covid-19 Vaccine: Carriers are positioning doses for quick distribution if vaccines are approved by regulators. United Airlines Holdings Inc. on Friday began operating charter flights to position doses of Pfizer Inc.’s Covid-19 vaccine for quick distribution if the shots are approved by regulators, according to people familiar with the matter. The initial flights are one link in a global supply chain being assembled to tackle the logistical challenge of distributing Covid-19 vaccines.”, The Wall Street Journal, November 27, 2020

“Delta Air Lines To Block Middle Seats Until March 2021: Delta Air Lines (DL) will continue delivering on its commitment to providing more space for customers as the only US airline blocking middle seats. The measure continues for flights departing now through March 30, 2021.”, Airways, November 19, 2020

New York City to reopen nation’s largest schools system: Remote learning had angered parents and prompted claims Mayor de Blasio was prioritising businesses. New York City will reopen its schools for younger children, overturning an earlier policy that frustrated parents and which critics said prioritised businesses over education. Mayor Bill de Blasio announced the change on Sunday, stating that schools would reopen their doors for children in elementary school beginning December 7. In-person classes for special education students will resume three days later.”, The Financial Times, November 29, 2020

Chicago adding COVID-19 testing facilities at O’Hare and Midway airports next month: The Chicago Department of Aviation is planning to add COVID-19 testing facilities at O’Hare and Midway airports by next month for travelers and employees. The city announced a request for proposals Friday for drive-up and walk-up facilities, with both the rapid and PCR tests offered. The tests are not free but should be covered by insurance.”, The Chicago Tribune, November 20, 2020

Mail-in COVID tests available to United travelers flying out of Houston’s Bush Airport: United Airlines said Monday that it’s launching mail-in COVID-19 testing for people traveling from Houston to Latin American and Caribbean destinations. Starting on Dec. 7, customers flying out of George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH) will have the option to take a self-collected, mail-in test that meets local entry requirements for select destinations.”, Houston Chronicle, November 23, 2020

Brand News

Sola Salon Studios signs 17 franchise development agreements: Sola Salon Studios, a salon studios franchise brand with more than 540 locations open across the U.S., Canada, and Brazil, has announced the signing of 17 new franchise development agreements that will expand the brand’s presence in 14 key U.S. states, including Illinois, Arizona, Texas, New York, California, and Florida. The new signings will total 44 new Sola locations over the next several years, and come after eight more franchise agreements were announced in August. This year, Sola has opened 54 new locations across North America, and has signed more than 25 franchise development agreements with both new and existing Sola franchisees.”, Global Franchise, November 20, 2020

At InXpress, Covid Has Shortened the Time from Signing to Opening: Covid-19 has influenced, ohh… everything, including franchise development. We asked Christina Chambers, Executive Vice President for Franchise Development at InXpress, how Covid-19 has affected the brand’s timeline from time of signing to actual opening. We are not a brick-and-mortar franchise, so from signed agreement to opening simply includes the time to attend training and launch the business. No difference in timing this year, but we did adjust to all-virtual training classes instead of in-person. Since March, we’ve seen faster time from candidate application submission to signing, at an average of just over 60 days. In 2019, this timing was 100 days, so it has been significantly faster during Covid-19….’I believe this uptick is a direct result of the resilient, essential nature of our business in shipping and logistics, combined with the safe work-from-home atmosphere for franchisees.’”, Franchising. Com, November 20. 2020

Respublika (Moscow) gives stores to good hands: Franchisees will be engaged in the development of offline sales. The Respublika book chain will transfer all the stores to franchisees, and itself will manage only the online store to cut costs. If the company cannot pay off creditors and the owner of the franchise changes, the licensees’ working conditions may change, lawyers warn. The chain of stores of books and gifts “Respublika” will give up its own stores in favor of a network operating under a license agreement, a company representative told Kommersant. The new model of work assumes that the licensees will manage all points, and the “Respublika” – only the online store.”, Komersant, November 19, 2020. Compliments of Paul Jones, Paul Jones & Co., Toronto

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

“How Small Businesses Can Survive The Growing Pandemic: While the pandemic continues to take its grim toll throughout the United States, there has been recent good news of late regarding vaccines and therapeutics. However, let’s get real, this tough business climate is not going away soon.”, Henry DeVries, noted author and publisher, provides sage advice for small businesses in this Forbes article dated November 29, 2020.

“In Times Of Crisis, Innovating Your Business Model Can Be A Lifeline. Here Is How To Do It Right. The global health crisis is upending businesses across the world. As many countries have entered into a second lockdown, companies whose business models relied on global supply chains or frictionless travel are having to radically rethink their strategies from the ground up, or be faced with potentially permanent damage. However daunting the external context might be, in a crisis stasis is not an option. Redesigning your company’s business model may even be necessary to stave off a liquidity crisis.”, Forbes, November 26, 2020

What’s next for remote work: An analysis of 2,000 tasks, 800 jobs, and nine countries. Hybrid models of remote work are likely to persist in the wake of the pandemic, mostly for a highly educated, well-paid minority of the workforce.”, McKinsey report, November 23, 2020

More Than Half of Restaurant Sales Will be Digital by 2025: Digital sales will make up more than half, or 54 percent, of all quick-service and limited-service restaurant sales by 2025, according to new survey numbers from market research firm Incisiv. That’s 70 percent higher than pre-COVID estimates, the firm notes.”, The Spoon, November 24, 2020

“The restaurant of the future: Engaging the next-generation consumer. Consumer demands for convenience and seamless digital experiences are on the rise, further accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic. How can food establishments elevate customer experiences with the help of new convenience practices and digital ecosystems to be successful with the next-generation guest? We serve up insights into three trends that are shaping consumption patterns among restaurant guests and examine actions restaurants of the future can take to thrive.”, Deloitte report

Are plant-based meats now a vital part of the QSR menu? So we recently learned that McDonald’s shall soon go full-bore into the plant game with not just one product but an entire platform of menu items called, perhaps unsurprisingly, “McPlant.”, Jonathan Maze, Restaurant Business, November 20, 2020

Who We Are And What We Do For Companies ‘Going Global’

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

Founded in 2001, Edwards Global Services, Inc. (EGS) takes U.S. businesses global and currently has activity in 25 countries.  Our Clients are all consumer-faced brands.  Edwards Global Services, Inc. (EGS) has twice received the U.S. President’s Award for Export Excellence

Find out more about the services we provide U.S. companies Going Global at:

Download our latest quarterly GlobalVue™ 40 country ranking chart at this link:

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


For market research, operations and development support on taking your business global, contact Mr. Edwards at or +1 949 224 3896.

EGS Biweekly Global Business Newsletter Issue 17, Monday, November 16, 2020

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

‘Surround yourself with people that push you to do and be better. No drama, no negativity. Just higher goals and higher motivation. Good times and positive energy. No jealously or hate. Simply bringing out the absolute best in each other.”, Warren Buffet, from a LinkedIn posting by The Female Lead

“A true leader is one who is humble enough to admit their mistakes.”, from a LinkedIn posting by Leadership First

“We may encounter many defeats but we must not be defeated.” – Maya Angelou


This biweekly newsletter focuses on what is happening around the world that impacts new trends, health, consumer spending, business investment and travel. A few highlights in issue #17:

  • Amid the surge in COVID-19 cases in parts of the world comes the announcement that two vaccines are close to multi-government approval.
  • The COVID-19 virus is seeing surges in Europe and the USA, but declines in Latin America, most of the Middle East and much of Asia.
  • Leaders from 15 Asia-Pacific nations on Sunday sealed one of the biggest trade deals in history, seeking to reduce barriers in an area covering a third of the world’s population and economic output.
  • The COVID-19 crisis is changing the way consumers spend and companies do business.

We 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 team on the ground covers 43 countries and provides us with updates about what is happening in their specific countries. Please feel free to send us your input and sources of information. Our contact information is at the bottom of this newsletter.

First, a few Personal Comments

Since our last newsletter on November 2nd, the world continues to change. From an election here in the USA to a major new trade treaty in the Asia Pacific region to COVID-19 lockdowns in Europe to the announcement that two vaccines against the disease will be ready soon, it is more important than ever to keep up to date on what is happening around the world. We have expanded the number of information sources we monitor to better keep our ~500 readers up to date on health, business and travel matters worldwide.

The COVID-19 Vaccine Announcement

“Covid vaccine: First ‘milestone’ vaccine offers 90% protection: The first effective coronavirus vaccine can prevent more than 90% of people from getting Covid-19, a preliminary analysis shows. The developers – Pfizer and BioNTech – described it as a “great day for science and humanity”. Their vaccine has been tested on 43,500 people in six countries and no safety concerns have been raised. The companies plan to apply for emergency approval to use the vaccine by the end of the month. No vaccine has gone from the drawing board to being proven highly effective in such a short period of time. There are still huge challenges ahead, but the announcement has been warmly welcomed with scientists describing themselves smiling “ear to ear” and some suggesting life could be back to normal by spring.”, BBC , November 9, 2020

“Moderna’s Covid jab shows 94.5% efficacy in clinical trials: US biotech Moderna said its Covid-19 vaccine had shown 94.5 per cent efficacy in clinical trials, in the second positive set of results for a potential coronavirus shot in the past eight days….Moderna added that it expected the vaccine could be shipped and stored for up to six months at minus 20C, and then remain stable once thawed for 30 days if refrigerated at between 2C and 8C.”, The Financial Times, November 16, 2020

Interesting Data To Start

The COVID-19 crisis has had immense impact on global supply chains. Impact from this crisis is likely to drive supply chain location changes for multi-national companies. This chart from the recent Economist Intelligence Unit webinar entitled, “What next for the global economy?’, shows that the source of imports for the USA has dramatically shifted from China for a number of business sectors.


One of the trends that accelerated during the COVIS-19 crisis and which is likely to stay is online grocery shopping with store pick up or home delivery.

The Growth of 5G Worldwide: For those of us who have just acquired an Apple iPhone with 5G capability, this chart shows where this game-changing technology is and will be in the coming year when we can, hopefully, start international travel again.

The unexpected rise and pivot of LinkedIn in 2020 — and how business owners should respond: As a social platform, LinkedIn is a bit of a hybrid. For a lot of individuals, it is seen as a career mover. It’s a place to explain your professional background and look for job opportunities. For others, it is seen as a business development tool to find and engage with decision-makers in particular industries. But over the last eight months, LinkedIn has completely shifted and cemented its place as the social networking platform for people when they are at work. Throughout lockdown and with the increase in flexible working arrangements, LinkedIn has become the only place for people to connect, engage, learn and contribute ideas with other professionals in their communities.”, Smart Company Australia, November 16, 2020

International Travel Updates

Emirates (Airline) working with Pfizer, others on vaccine transport ‘challenge’: Emirates is working with major pharmaceutical companies, including Pfizer, to transport vaccines to the world when needed. The Pfizer vaccine candidate must be kept at around -100 degrees Fahrenheit (-70 Celsius) in order to maintain optimal efficacy. ‘here is a global imperative to get this done’ Emirates President Tim Clark told CNBC in an exclusive interview on Sunday.”, CNBC, November 15, 2020

American slashes London flights in December due to weak demand: Weak demand as coronavirus cases rise is prompting American to cut much of its London service next month. Travelers in New York and Chicago can fly nonstop on American’s joint-venture partner British Airways.”, CNBC, November 15, 2020

Travel news: South Africa reopens to Britons ‘effective immediately’: South Africa has now reopened its international borders to all countries, including the UK, it has been confirmed. President Cyril Ramaphosa announced on Wednesday that the country would be lifting the ban on visitors from its list of ‘high risk’ countries but did not say when the changes would go into effect. The South African Tourism UK board has now stated that the new rules kick in “effective immediately”. Travellers will be required to present a negative Covid-19 test taken with 72 hours of departure but otherwise face no restrictions.”, The London Telegraph, November 14, 2020

The Americas

The Current State of the Aviation Industry in Central and South America: Aviation in Latin America has been seriously affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The three main airlines in the region: LATAM, Avianca and Aeroméxico, have declared bankruptcy and filed for the Chapter 11 process in the U.S. Latin American governments have not given enough help to the aviation industry.  “The countries of Latin America are reopening step by step, however, there are still too many individual rules and regulations; this places a heavy burden on airlines and does not help stimulate demand’, said the IATA Vice President for Latin America, Peter Cerdá,”, Airline Geeks, November 15, 2020

Asia Pacific Countries

Asia-Pacific countries sign one of the largest free trade deals in history: Pan-Asia trade pact covers a third of the world’s population and economic output. Leaders from 15 Asia-Pacific nations on Sunday sealed one of the biggest trade deals in history, seeking to reduce barriers in an area covering a third of the world’s population and economic output. Economists said the deal, the first trade agreement bringing together China, Japan and South Korea, could add almost $200bn annually to the global economy by 2030.”, The Financial Times, November 15, 2020


“How Australia brought the coronavirus pandemic under control: Lockdowns, contact tracing and public adherence to tough rules credited for success. Corporate leaders have criticised the measures as too strict and economically damaging. But the zero tolerance strategy worked: no new locally transmitted cases have been reported in Victoria since the lockdown was lifted two weeks ago.”, The Financial Times, November 12, 2020

Vic government launches $1,200 grants to help SMEs go digital: Here’s what you need to know: The Victorian government has unveiled the details of its $20 million Small Business Digital Adaptation Program, offering rebates of up to $1,200 for SMEs looking to get a bit more tech-savvy. Part of the state government’s $3 billion Business Resilience Package, released in response to the COVID-19 economic crisis, the new scheme is intended to help small businesses adapt to the online retail ecosystem. Businesses will be able to access a $1,200 rebate for selected digital products, from suppliers that have partnered with the state government.”, Smart Company Australia, November 16, 2020

World’s Largest Barbecue Franchise Heads Down Under: Dickey’s Barbecue Pit signs letter of intent with Australian restaurant group to bring 50 locations to the Commonwealth of Australia.” Global News Wire, October 30, 2020, compliments of Jason Gehrke, Managing Director, The Franchise Advisory Centre, Brisbane, Australia

The day the buffet menu DIED: Picture shows long queue of diners waiting for their last Sizzler as chain closes all its remaining restaurants in Australia: Sizzler on Sunday closed all of its remaining nine buffet restaurants in Australia. Many children of the 1980s, 1990s said only nostalgia had brought them back.”, The London Daily Mail, November 16, 2020


Austria announces strict lockdown as virus cases soar: Schools to close and social contact barred in one of Europe’s toughest sets of new restrictions.    An “around-the-clock” curfew will apply from Tuesday, with people only allowed to leave their homes to buy groceries, travel to essential work or provide urgent care.  Austria’s second lockdown will be stricter than others in Europe, such as that recently imposed in France, because schools will also close. Only supermarkets, pharmacies, banks and post offices will be allowed to stay open.”, The Financial Times, November 14, 2020

Mainland China

“China economy continues strong growth trajectory in October, but imbalances remain: China’s industrial production grew by 6.9 per cent in October year on year, retail sales grew by 4.3 per cent and fixed asset investment grew by 1.8 per cent year to date. Retail sales continued to lag industrial output, with consumers remaining cautious in their spending in the world’s most populous nation.”, South China Morning Post, November 16, 2020

How China’s factories are pivoting from an export-oriented business model to rely more on domestic sales: Deteriorating relations with Western countries has accelerated China’s push to look inward for economic growth, putting its fate in its own hands. Even as orders have been returning to China due to other producing countries still being ravaged by the pandemic, manufacturers say the trend unsustainable.”, South China Morning Post, November 16, 2020

Alibaba’s Singles’ Day Brings In Record $74 Billion In Pandemic Year: The shopping event, which beats out Black Friday, Amazon Prime Day and Cyber Monday shopping events put together, saw a 26% rise on last year’s event. Some 250,000 brands globally took part in the event from Nov. 1 to Nov. 11, with 2,600 taking part for the first time, in a sign of firms pivoting to online following a devastating year for retailers.”, Forbes, November 12, 2020

Chinese braised duck takeaway chain Zhou Hei Ya aims to open thousands of new outlets as it eyes global expansion. The company, which started out as a single stall in a wet market and now has 1,300 stores in mainland China, plans to open an outlet in Macau next year. It faces stiff competition at home, where the industry is forecast to grow 36 per cent between 2016 and the end of this year to US$432 billion.”, South China Morning Post, November 15, 2020, compliments of Paul Jones, Jones & Co., Toronto

European Union and Euro Zone

Europe Appears to Curb Covid-19 Spread: Despite progress, leaders across the continent are wary of easing of restrictions too quickly. Europe’s effort to turn back a resurgent pandemic seems to be starting to pay off. Now, caseloads appear to have peaked across the region as a whole and in some countries are falling back rapidly. Progress is uneven, though, and leaders are wary of letting their guard down too soon.”, The Wall Street Journal, November 13, 2020


Japan leads economic ‘Zoom boom’ out of recession: Japan’s economy has bounced back from recession with growth of 5% in the third quarter of this year. It had seen its economy shrink during 2020 as lockdowns hit its manufacturing sector and consumer spending. The world’s third biggest economy is now showing signs of recovery, although some analysts cautioned that further growth is likely to be modest.”, BBC, November 15, 2020

Japan looks to avert Covid-19 lockdowns and keep economy open: Japan can make it through the winter without lockdowns or mass screening for Covid-19 but the public will have to socialise — and drink — with care, according to the doctor leading the country’s response. Dr Shigeru Omi, chair of the government’s expert committee on the virus, told the Financial Times in an interview that Japan was determined to keep the economy open even as case numbers were rising.”, The Financial Times, November 15, 2020

Olympics: Bach projects confidence in Tokyo Games as virus cases surge: International Olympic Committee (IOC) chief Thomas Bach expressed confidence on Monday that the Tokyo Games will be held successfully next year, even allowing spectators to attend, as the world grapples with a sharp rise in coronavirus infections. The IOC president spent the day with the Tokyo organisers discussing how to stage the massive sporting event during an unprecedented pandemic and ensure safety for a gathering of more than 11,000 international athletes.”, Reuters, November 15, 2020


Aeroméxico To Operate Around 11,000 Flights in December: In December, Aeromexico will achieve an 84% recovery in the domestic market and 41% in the international market, with an offer of almost 11,000 flights, the airline announced Nov. 11. In a press release, the Mexican airline indicated it will increase frequencies to 31 national and international destinations.”, Airline Geeks, November 12, 2020

The Philippines

Philippine mall titan accelerates shift to ‘omni-channel’ sales to replicate success in China-style retailing approach: Sales of tenants in SM’s malls will be back to 2019’s level by the third quarter of next year, a top executive predicts. SM has 75 shopping centres in the Philippines and eight in China, and plans to add five more in 2021. SM Investments Corp, the owner of the Philippines’ largest mall operator, is speeding up efforts to develop ‘omni-channel’ options for shoppers as people shift to a mix of online and in-store purchases amid the coronavirus pandemic. The group is tapping personal shoppers, ramping up delivery and pickup services, and boosting its online presence, said Steven Tan, president of SM Prime’s mall unit. Last month, the group started operating a virtual mall for Manila residents, which it plans to roll out nationwide soon, he said.”, South China Morning Post, and Bloomberg, November 15, 2020, compliments of Paul Jones, Jones & Co., Toronto

South Korea

“Korean Air Plans To Take Over Rival Asiana Airlines With $1.6 Billion Injection: C Consolidation was long overdue in South Korea. If the deal goes through, the result will be a single international carrier cushioned against further blows from the pandemic.”, Skift, November 16, 2020

United Kingdom

“COVID-19: Thousands volunteer as third vaccine candidate begins clinical trials in UK: It is the third potential vaccine to enter clinical trials in the UK, alongside Novavax and University of Oxford/AstraZeneca. Global pharmaceutical company Janssen is beginning clinical trials of a potential COVID-19 vaccine in the UK. Around the country, 6,000 volunteers are taking part in phase-three trials of the COVID-19 vaccine at 17 National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) sites, including in Southampton, Bristol, Cardiff, London, Leicester, Sheffield, Manchester, Dundee and Belfast.”, Sky News, November 16, 2020

Burger King UK sends customers to McDonald’s to support restaurant industry: Burger King has issued a surprising decree by encouraging fans to order from competitors like McDonald’s, in a show of support for the restaurant industry as England enters a second national lockdown to curb the coronavirus. In an apparent gesture of goodwill, the chain’s UK office posted the notice to Twitter over the weekend.”,, November 2, 2020, compliments of Jason Gehrke, Managing Director, The Franchise Advisory Centre, Brisbane, Australia

United States

“An index of America’s smallest companies closed at the highest level ever on Friday: An index of America’s smallest companies closed at the highest level ever on Friday. It hasn’t hit a new record in over two years. Driving the news: This week, the index surged on the back of positive developments from a coronavirus vaccine.”, AXIOS, November 13, 2020

Brand News

Stories from the Covid-19 Front Lines: Frances Allen, President & CEO, Checkers Drive-In Restaurants”,

Midas Recognized As Major Franchise Opportunity For Veterans: Midas has received recognition from Entrepreneur magazine in its annual ranking of franchise opportunities for Veterans. Midas has a history of assisting veterans. The company waives its $35,000 franchise fee for veterans and individuals serving in the U.S. and Canadian Armed Forces who are looking to join the ranks of its owner-operators.”, After Market News, November 6, 2020

How I navigated COVID-19 as a small business owner”, The Points Guy, November 13, 2020

Smoothie King CMO: How Covid Has Changed Our 2021 Marketing Plans”,

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

“How to Accelerate Digital: The pandemic has forced organizations to jump-start their adoption of digital technologies. Now the task is to embed their digital approaches. The pandemic has highlighted the need for digital transformation, but organizations also need to move fast and go deep.”, Boston Consulting Group

Retail Innovation in 2020: What’s Here To Stay”, Euromonitor Monitor

Ranked: The 100 Most Spoken Languages Around the World”, Visual Capitalist

How B2B sales have changed during COVID-19”: New digital behaviors are becoming the next normal. The pivot: Accelerated migration to remote and digital. Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the way companies buy from and sell to each other now looks very different than it used to—perhaps permanently. To thrive in the next normal, B2B companies will need to continue adapting to the new economic reality.”, McKinsey & Co.

Who We Are And What We Do

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

Founded in 2001, Edwards Global Services, Inc. (EGS) takes U.S. businesses global and currently has activity in 25 countries.  Our Clients are all consumer-faced brands.  Edwards Global Services, Inc. (EGS) has twice received the U.S. President’s Award for Export Excellence

Find out more about the services we provide U.S. companies Going Global at:

Download our latest quarterly GlobalVue™ country ranking chart at this link:

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


For market research, operations and development support on taking your business global, contact Mr. Edwards at or +1 949 224 3896.

EGS Biweekly Global Business Newsletter Issue 16, Monday, November 2, 2020

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

‘Innovation is the ability to see change as an opportunity – not a threat,’ wisely said Steve Jobs.

“It’s tough to make predictions, especially about the future.”, Yogi Berra

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


This biweekly newsletter focuses on what is happening around the world that impacts new trends, health, consumer spending, business investment and travel. A few highlights in issue #16:

  • The U.S. economy grew at a record pace in the third quarter—increasing 7.4% over the prior quarter and at a 33.1% annual rate—recovering about two-thirds of the ground it lost earlier in the coronavirus pandemic.
  • Surge in coronavirus cases spurs new lockdown measures across Europe and the United Kingdom
  • International Air Travel Is Closer to Restarting, Thanks to This App: The Common Pass app
  • Australia records zero Covid-19 cases for first time in five months

We 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 team on the ground covers 43 countries and provides us with updates about what is happening in their specific countries. Please feel free to send us your input and sources of information. Our contact information is at the bottom of this newsletter.

First, a few Personal Comments

As this edition of our biweekly newsletter goes out, countries in Europe and the United Kingdom are imposing new restrictions on travel and business. COVID-19 cases are at a high in the USA ahead of the election tomorrow. Latin America, on the other hand, is beginning to see lower cases and the reopening of air travel (see Brazil and Mexico). This issue has several articles on how businesses around the world are adjusting to new consumer trends and lockdowns. Spaniards are having to learn to eat out early to avoid the curfew. Global business sentiment overall remains bullish on 2021.

Interesting Data To Start

McKinsey & Co. COVID-19 Executive Change Survey: “We asked executives how long they expected it would have taken their companies prepandemic to digitize 12 different activities and how long it actually took them once the coronavirus hit. When it came to remote working, companies moved 43 times more quickly than executives thought possible.”, McKinsey & Co., Published October 28, 2020

“Coronavirus (COVID-19) has transformed the economic and consumer landscape. It has changed the way we as consumers live, work and shop. Uncertainty remains high. But what is clear is that economies will not emerge unscathed and the daily routines and lifestyles of consumers will shift to accommodate continued social distancing while treatment and vaccine options are investigated.”, Euromonitor International, Published October 2020

International Travel Updates

“International Air Travel Is Closer to Restarting, Thanks to This App: The Common Pass app, which has now gone through two successful trials, standardizes COVID-19 test results for fliers. International air travel got a hopeful sign for recovery on Wednesday. The first transatlantic trial of Common Pass, an app that creates a standard digital format for COVID-19 test results, was successfully completed.”, Conde Nast Traveler, October 21, 2020

“Delta CEO (Ed Bastian): The return of middle seats and business travel are both inevitable: “It’s going to take some time before customers are confident sitting next to people on a crowded flight, and at Delta we want to give them a little bit more time––certainly into the new year––to evaluate that for themselves,” Bastian said. The company has stated it will block middle seats through at least Jan. 6. ‘Unfortunately, there are a lot of people that haven’t been traveling by air for an extended period of time,’ Bastian said. ‘And it’s going to take them a while before those old behaviors become the new patterns that we can anticipate.’ Still, Bastian is confident that neither business nor international travel is gone for good. Eventually, he believes, companies will realize that true human connection cannot be replicated over a computer screen.“ Fortune Global Forum, October 27, 2020

“Americans can now visit 60+ countries and territories: a complete list: the welcome mat had been rolled up for Americans for much of 2020, but there’s now dozens of countries that are reopening to U.S. tourists. More than 60 countries and territories are open for business.”, The Points Guy, October 27, 2020

“China Southern Airlines Becomes World’s Largest Airline Again: According to data supplied by OAG, China Southern Airlines (CZ) is currently the largest airline in the world. This data comes following the airline wanting to increase its capacity during the COVID-19 pandemic, with CZ increasing seat capacity to nearly 2.6 million seats….10% down compared to the start of the year. American Airlines (AA), therefore, has been moved down to second place. Delta Air Lines (DL) slipped into third place, having been the largest carrier last week.”, Airways, October 26, 2020

“The World’s Longest Flights Are Operating Again: In the latest sign of air travel’s recovery, these ultra-long flights are bookable again. Most recently, Singapore Airlines announced plans to relaunch its longest flight, which is the current record holder for longest flight in the world: a route from New York City to Singapore’s Changi Airport. The 9,357-mile route will ferry passengers three times per week out of New York’s JFK Airport when it resumes on November 9. , Conde Nast Traveler, October 22, 2020

“India’s International Flight Suspension Continues through November: The Directorate General of Indian Civil Aviation (DGCA) said today it would continue to suspend international flights through November 30. The suspension is due to the coronavirus pandemic.”, Airways, October 28, 2020


“Australia records zero Covid-19 cases for first time in five months: The state of Victoria – epicentre of Australia’s second wave – recorded zero cases for the second day in a row after a 112-day lockdown….Health officials say more restrictions may be eased in the coming days.”, BBC News, November 1, 2020

“City Locked Down for Three Months Has Bleak Lessons for the World: As countries across the globe grapple with the prospect of renewed lockdowns, the Australian city of Melbourne offers a stark lesson on the costs of bringing the coronavirus under control. The city of 5 million people on Wednesday emerged from one of the world’s strictest and longest lockdowns that shuttered businesses and confined residents to their homes for more than three months. While infections have dropped from a daily peak of about 700 in early August to just two new cases on Wednesday, the economic and social impact of Melbourne’s second lockdown since the crisis began has been enormous.”, Bloomberg, October 27, 2020


“Austria reimposes coronavirus lockdown amid surge of infections: Chancellor Sebastian Kurz said.….. the measures will take effect from Tuesday until the end of November, and will include a daily curfew from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. Restaurants, bars and cafes will be allowed to provide a take-away service, and hotels will be closed to all but business travelers. Kurz described the curfew as a “ban on visits” aimed to hinder private parties that have driven infections.”, Axios, October 31, 2020


“As Europe plunges into a second wave of COVID-19, putting even more pressure in the local aviation industry, Brazil — at least in that aspect — seems to be in a better situation. The sector expects to register a relatively positive month of November, with a boost provided by two long weekends. The upbeat forecast was bolstered by the country’s Ministry of Tourism earlier this week. The government branch said the next feriadão, as extended weekends are called in Brazil, on Nov. 2, should move “more than a million travelers” across the entire country. This, according to the Ministry, represents 40% more than traveled over the October 12 holiday.”, Airline Geeks, November 2, 2020

Mainland China

“PMI points to strong recovery of industrial production and economic activity in 3Q20: The recovery of small enterprises lags behind that of large and medium enterprises but shows marked improvement in September. Output expands at a relatively fast pace as overall demand picks up fast. New export orders increase amid improvement in external demand. Prices of production inputs jump, adding cost pressures on Chinese manufacturers. Manufacturers raise ex-factory prices of their products amid increasing cost pressures and improving sales environment. Manufacturing employment remains steady.”, FUNG Intelligence Group, October 2020

“With the continuous upgrading of retail formats in the Chinese market, new retail has gradually become the mainstream of the market. Recently, McDonald’s China’s Alibaba cross-terminal official member store was officially launched, marking the start of global cooperation between McDonald’s China and Alibaba. This is not the first time that Alibaba has cooperated with an international retail giant across platforms. Prior to this, Alibaba had invested in Parkson China, and later worked with Starbucks to create AI+ new retail insights into consumer trends.”, First Finance, compliments of Paul Jones. Paul Jones & Co., Toronto

“Coca-Cola Expects Growth in China Even as Global Sales Slide: Coca-Cola Co. said it expects to see growth this year in China, even as its global sales continue to decline because of the closures of restaurants, bars, movie theaters and sports stadiums elsewhere around the world. In China, where the coronavirus originated, consumers are ‘more or less back to where they were’ before the pandemic started, though away-from-home sales aren’t quite back to where they were, Coke’s finance chief, John Murphy, said in an interview.”, The Wall Street Journal, October 22, 2020

“Fresh China ban on international tour groups weighs on sector stocks, to push firms further towards domestic market. Beijing has tighten restrictions ahead of the winter months after Qingdao, Guangzhou and Ruili record cases of Covid-19, most of them imported. China’s domestic tourism market has recorded a strong rebound in recent months after curbs were eased in July.”, The South Morning Post, October 22, 2020

“China’s largest restaurant group and KFC parent company plans to further increase the density of stores. On October 29, Yum China announced the third quarterly report for 2020. The same-store sales, the core indicator of chain catering, fell 6% year-on-year in the quarter, while KFC and Pizza Hut fell 6% and 7% respectively. Yum China continues to promote the digitalization of restaurants. In the third quarter, takeaway revenue accounted for 28% of the total revenue of KFC and Pizza Hut restaurants, which was 20% in the same period last year; digital orders (including takeaway orders, mobile phone orders and self-service ordering machine orders) accounted for KFC and Pizza Hut restaurants 78% of total revenue, which was 56% in the same period last year.”, Caixin, October 30, 2020. English translation compliments of Paul Jones, Jones & Co., Toronto

Costa Rica

“Costa Rica: All Americans Welcomed And Covid Tests No Longer Needed: Costa Rica is no longer requiring travelers to provide proof of a negative Covid test (as of October 26) and all U.S. travelers—as well as travelers from all other countries—are welcome as of November 1.”, Forbes, October 23, 2020

European Union and Euro Zone

“Eurozone economic rebound leaves output below pre-pandemic levels: Fresh social restrictions are likely to undermine recovery in the rest of the year. The bloc’s output grew by 12.7 per cent in the third quarter of the year compared with the previous three months, better than the 9.4 per cent expected by economists polled by Reuters and the fastest rate of expansion since records began in 1995. But gross domestic product remained 4.3 per cent smaller than its pre-pandemic level at the end of last year, and economists have warned that the fresh round of restrictions imposed in recent weeks to contain the virus could plunge the bloc back into contraction again in the final quarter of this year.”, The Financial Times, October 30, 2020

“Surge in coronavirus cases spurs new lockdown measures across Europe: The latest measures to address the second wave of Covid-19 infections in Europe could lead to higher unemployment, the permanent closure of many businesses and even more national debt. The French statistics office said before news of the latest lockdown that it expects economic activity to settle at “5 percent below its pre-crisis level” during the third quarter. Data from the German statistics office showed that the restaurant industry experienced a more-than 40 percent drop in turnover between March and August compared with the same period a year earlier.”, CNBC, October 30, 2020

“Europe’s Airlines Cut Flights as Virus Cases Rise, Governments Lock Down: Europe’s major carriers are cutting capacity plans for the end of the year as they grapple with a surge in coronavirus cases and new restrictions to limit the spread of the viral disease.”, The Wall Street Journal, October 30, 2020


“Disneyland Paris Is Closing Again Due To A Second Wave Of Coronavirus: Disneyland Paris is set to temporarily close at the end of business Thursday, October 29 due to a second set of coronavirus lockdowns in France. The nationwide lockdowns are in place to help curb the surge in Covid-19 infections. France’s President Emmanuel Macron said the new nationwide lockdown will last until at least December 1. All non-essential businesses, restaurants and bars will be closed starting Monday.”, Forbes, October 29, 2020


“Germany Aims to Start Coronavirus Vaccination This Year. Germany could be one of the first Western countries to start immunizing people against Covid-19 under a plan being rolled out by the government and a German company that is testing a vaccine, according to people with knowledge of the strategy.”, The Wall Street Journal, October 29, 2020

“Germany Cancels World-famous Nuremberg Christmas Market for the First Time Since World War II: One of Germany’s oldest and most famous Christmas markets will not return this holiday season.”, Travel & Leisure magazine, October 28, 2020


“Greece tightens coronavirus restrictions as Europe cases spike: Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis on Saturday announced that most of the country will resume a coronavirus lockdown starting Tuesday, including closing restaurants, bars, cafes, movie theaters and gyms, AP reports.”, Axios, October 31, 2020


“India Resumes 56% of Domestic Flights: Yesterday, the Directorate of Civil Aviation (DGCA) of India increased the number of domestic flights to 56% of levels prior to COVID-19. The regulator said the winter schedule for domestic flights running until March 21, 2021 permits a total of 12,983 flights from 95 airports. It is widely believed, according to the Minister for Civil Aviation Hardeep Singh Puri, that domestic flights should be a pre-requisite, almost like a test before really ramping up international service as they connect smaller cities to major hubs.”, Airways, October 26, 2020

South Korea

“South Korea virus response underpins sharp GDP jump: Economy grows 1.9% in third quarter, buoyed by Covid suppression and tech exports. South Korea has reported its sharpest quarterly gross domestic product rise in a decade as Seoul reaps the rewards from its swift response to the coronavirus pandemic and robust tech exports.”, The Financial Times, October 26, 2020


“Mexico’s economy picked up sharply in the third quarter, led by a rebound in industrial production as businesses reopened from shutdowns to slow the spread of the coronavirus. Gross domestic product, a measure of the country’s output in goods and services, expanded 12% in seasonally adjusted terms from the second quarter, the National Statistics Institute said Friday. Industrial production was up 22%, outpacing services, which increased 8.6%. The rebound from the 17.1% contraction in the previous quarter left economic activity in the July-September period 8.6% below its year-earlier level.”, The Wall Street Journal, October 30, 2020

“Aeroméxico to Increase Operations in November: The airline ‘will operate around 4,000 domestic flights, with which it will achieve an 83% recovery in its domestic operations compared to the same month in 2019.’ AM also plans to increase international services to Guatemala City (GUA); São Paulo, Brazil (GRU); Buenos Aires, Argentina (EZE); San Jose, Costa Rica (SJO); Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic (SDQ) and Medellín, Colombia (MDE), plus resumption of service to Lima, Peru (LIM)..”, Airways, October 31, 2020

New Zealand

“NZ small businesses feel the love, global survey reveals NZ small businesses and consumers had the most positive outlook during Covid-19. A new study investigating how small businesses in key markets around the world have responded to Covid-19 suggests that New Zealand small businesses are in a unique position thanks to the support Kiwi consumers have shown them.”, Franchise New Zealand, October 25, 2020

“Burger King New Zealand operator gets new ownership: The operator of Burger King in New Zealand now has a new owner, after retail and hospitality investment company Tahua Partners signed a binding agreement to acquire Antares Restaurant Group. Burger King is the third largest quick service restaurant chain in New Zealand, with 78 restaurants nationwide employing 1,800 staff. The chain also serves as the second global brand Tahua is expected to add to its portfolio after acquiring the local licence to operate Starbucks in 2018.”, QSR Media, October 20, 2020. Compliments of Jason Gehrke, , The Franchise Advisory Centre, Brisbane


“Machu Picchu Will Open to Tourists in November. Peru also plans to restart flights from cities in the U.S., Mexico, Central, and South America. The iconic archaeological site is scheduled to reopen at 30% capacity on Nov. 1. A maximum of 675 people will be allowed in per day, in groups of eight (seven visitors plus a guide). Temperatures will be checked prior to entering, and anyone showing 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit or more will not be permitted. Additionally, groups must stay 66 feet apart. According to Forbes, trains and buses to the entrance will operate at 50% capacity, and passengers will be required to wear a mask.”, Travel & Leisure magazine, October 28, 2020


“Singapore to permit live performances with 100-person audiences from November: The Multi-Ministry Taskforce announced the news in a press conference last night (Oct 20), detailing how the country will continue to curb the spread of COVID-19 while preparing to relax certain safety measures, such as allowing larger groups to gather. Live shows will only permit two zones of up to 50 people each, and the number of unmasked production crew and performers will be limited. Safe distancing will be practised across the venue, from the audience area to the stage.”, NME, October 21, 2020


“Spanish restaurant owners come up with a revolutionary idea to save their industry – get locals to eat earlier: Spaniards view sitting down for dinner before 8pm as distinctly strange, but it may be the only way to save some of the country’s restaurants, reports Graham Keeley in Madrid….faced with a second wave of Covid-19 infections which is spiralling out of control, the Spanish government this week imposed a six month state of emergency and decreed a curfew between 11pm and 6am. Desperate to save their industry, restaurateurs have launched a counter attack in the hope they can carry off nothing short of a social revolution. Their solution is a radical one – get Spaniards to eat earlier.”, The Independent, October 31, 2020

United Kingdom

“Coronavirus: England to enter month-long lockdown from Thursday, PM announces. Boris Johnson urges the country to return to his spring message of “stay at home, protect the NHS and save lives”. Until 2 December, people in England will only be allowed to leave their homes for specific reasons, such as education, work or food shopping.”, Sky News, November 1, 2020

“Rishi Sunak extends furlough as Bank of England readies £100bn rescue: Treasury and BoE race to prop up businesses amid lockdown chaos. Rishi Sunak said the decision was necessary because of the return of ‘stay at home’ restrictions to contain Covid-19. News of the new lockdown, first reported by The Times, had sparked fury from bosses. ‘We will do whatever it takes as the situation evolves,’ Sunak said.”, The Times of London, October 31, 2020

“Scientists hope for coronavirus vaccine by Christmas: UK has bought 20m doses of German Covid drug. The government believes that a German vaccine backed by Pfizer could be ready to distribute before Christmas, with the first doses earmarked for the elderly and vulnerable. Albert Bourla, the chief executive of Pfizer, said that the vaccine was in the ‘last mile’ and that the pharmaceutical company expected results within a matter of weeks.”, The Times of London, October 29, 2020

“Fast food chain KFC to add 5,400 new jobs in UK, Ireland: Fast food chain KFC said it will add 5,400 jobs across its 965 restaurants in the UK and Ireland by the end of 2020, in a rare piece of good news for Britain’s pandemic-hit jobs market.”, Reuters, October 22, 2020

“Sales at UK’s Domino’s Pizza surge on online demand, lower tax rate: Domino’s Pizza Group (DOM.L) said on Thursday it expects to meet market expectations for 2020 profit as a lower value-added tax rate and higher online orders helped it post a 19% jump in third-quarter sales. The company, a franchise of U.S.-based Domino’s Pizza Inc DPZ.N, has also benefited from the reopening of contact-free collections and the return of sporting events. A reduction in the UK’s value-added tax rate to 5% from 20% in July helped Domino’s in controlling costs, which had weighed on the company’s first-half profit as it spent more on cooking and delivering its pizzas safely during the pandemic. Online sales now account for around 95% of delivery sales in Britain, the United Kingdom’s largest pizza delivery chain said.”, Reuters, October 28, 2020

“Number of new companies set up this year is likely to break record: Almost 85,000 additional companies are likely be created this year compared with 2019 as the Covid-19 pandemic coincides with a spike in incorporation, according to research. An analysis of data from the past decade suggests that this year could set a record for growth in company registrations. SHL, the recruitment and training business that conducted the research, said that its findings suggested there were ‘tens of thousands of new entrepreneurs’.”, The Sunday Times of London. October 28, 2020

“Pizza Express cuts 1,300 jobs amid crisis in sector: Pizza Express is to cut about 1,300 jobs in a further sign of the deepening crisis in the hospitality sector. The restaurant chain blamed the cuts on renewed lockdown restrictions that have led to a decline in customers since September. Its city centre branches have been hit the hardest. The losses come weeks after the company announced that it would close 73 restaurants, shedding as many as 1,100 positions as part of a restructuring deal agreed with its creditors.”, The Sunday Times of London, October 30, 2020

United States

“U.S. Economy Recovered Significant Ground in Record Third-Quarter GDP Rebound: Jump in output follows steep drop earlier in pandemic; still, analysts project the economy will end 2020 smaller than a year earlier. The economy grew at a record pace in the third quarter—increasing 7.4% over the prior quarter and at a 33.1% annual rate—recovering about two-thirds of the ground it lost earlier in the coronavirus pandemic.”, The Wall Street Journal, October 29, 2020

“Adobe Predicts Record Holiday Season For Online Sales, Expects 33% Growth: Online sales in the United States are expected to grow by a whopping 33% this holiday, to $189 billion, with 42% of those sales, or $79.3 billion, being made on smartphones, according to the Adobe Analytics holiday forecast released today. Adobe’s data shows that the surge in online shopping triggered by the pandemic will continue through the holiday season. It is more evidence that new shopping habits formed during stay-at-home orders and shutdowns are here to stay.”, Forbes, October 28, 2020

“With No Commute, Americans Simply Worked More During Coronavirus: Employees spent over 22 million extra hours on their primary job each workday. From mid-March to mid-September, Americans spent 60 million fewer hours commuting to and from work each day, according to one estimate, as lockdown orders to curb the spread of Covid-19 forced many employees to clock in from home.”, The Wall Street Journal, October 30, 2020

“76% of American CEOs say they may shrink office space: Among CEOs, 76% told Fortune their company will need less office space in the future. And 28% say they’ll need a lot less office space. That’s the finding from a Fortune survey of 171 CEOs in collaboration with Deloitte between September 23 to 30.”, Fortune, October 22, 2020

“Business leaders and small business owners alike agree that 2021 is full of promise. Optimism was everywhere at this week’s SMBTech Summit, a virtual event from GGV Capital that gathered entrepreneurs and investors to discuss the platforms that power our modern economy…..The only thing missing was the doom and gloom we’ve all grown so accustomed to in 2020. ‘We’re in month seven of a global pandemic,’ Richards told participants, ‘but if you look at the tools to start a company, there’s never been more available to the small business owner.’”, INC magazine, November 1, 2020

“New Study Documents Pandemic’s Effects On Online Ordering and Delivery: Restaurant capacity restrictions and customer concerns about visiting restaurants led to a 72% increase in enhanced delivery and digital ordering capabilities in restaurants, according to the 2020 Restaurant Franchise Pulse survey by TD Bank. Online ordering and delivery nearly doubled as a percentage of total restaurant sales during the pandemic. While 86% of respondents reported having delivery and online ordering prior to the pandemic, these offerings now account for a larger percentage of their sales, climbing from 20% in 2019 to 39% in 2020.”,, October 29, 2020

Brand News

“How the Covid Crisis Will Determine Brand Winners: Every crisis creates brand winners and losers. This one is no different. Eventual brand winners will be those that best understood the long-term implications during the crisis and reimagined their businesses from the ground up.”,, October 22, 2020

How Denny’s® Innovated: “How This Problem-Solving CEO Is Keeping Her Restaurants’ Doors Open. Dawn Lafreeda breaks down the incredible struggles (and opportunities) of operating 85 Denny’s locations during the pandemic. Dawn Lafreeda is President, CEO and founder of Den-Tex Central, Inc. dba Denny’s Restaurants. In 1984, she opened her first Denny’s and since then, has built an incredible 85-location operation. Lafreeda, like so many business owners in the restaurant space, has been massively impacted by the pandemic but has found a way to manage her way through this incredibly destructive crisis.”, Entrepreneur magazine, October 21, 2020

“Starbucks earnings top estimates as sales rebound quicker than expected in U.S., China: Starbucks topped analysts’ earnings and revenue estimates for its fiscal fourth quarter. The chain reported that its two largest markets, the U.S. and China, are rebounding from the pandemic more quickly than expected. Starbucks also released an outlook for fiscal 2021, predicting stronger growth than analysts’ forecasts.”, CNBC, October 29, 2020

“Here’s what you’ll find at the biggest Wendy’s in the world: The biggest Wendy’s outlet currently is located in Tbilisi, Georgia. According to Dispatch, this is one impressive place to be: it has three floors and is spread across 15,000 square feet. Gulp. It was inaugurated in 2015 and offers the usual suspects such as the brand’s delicious hamburgers along with 15 kinds of coffee….The restaurant doesn’t just have a dining area. It also features a Game Zone in case you’re looking for ways to entertain yourself while eating at Wendy’s.”, Mashed, October 31, 2020

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

“Strategic Planning Is The Compass For Your Business: We define strategic planning simply as, ‘know where you want to go and how to get there to end up in the right place’……. In short, it builds value in your organization, as well as a foundation to weather any scenario or storm.”,, October 26, 2020

COVID-19 causes consumer spending changes: “Fears over transmission of Coronavirus (COVID-19) has led to government-mandated travel restrictions and non-essential business closures. As a result of these pandemic-driven changes, consumer spending underwent unprecedented levels of channel shifts, with the digital channel becoming the default for many consumers, giving way to what will likely be a permanent e-commerce boost. Comparing results of two consumer surveys Euromonitor International fielded in 2020 about path to purchase habits provides insights into these drastic shifts and subsequent surge in e-commerce. Nearly every category showed a double-digit increase in the percentage of consumers making digital purchases between the two fielding timeframes. Beauty, health and personal care purchases were exceptions to this increase, and jumped only eight points.”, Euromonitor International, October 2020

The Coronavirus Effect on Global Economic Sentiment: “Since September, executives have maintained more positive than negative outlooks for the world economy, national economies, and their own companies.”, McKinsey & Co., October 2020

Who We Are And What We Do

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

Founded in 2001, Edwards Global Services, Inc. (EGS) takes U.S. businesses global and currently has activity in 25 countries. Our Clients are all consumer-faced brands. Edwards Global Services, Inc. (EGS) has twice received the U.S. President’s Award for Export Excellence

Find out more about the services we provide U.S. companies Going Global at:

Download our latest quarterly GlobalVue™ country ranking chart at this link:

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

For advice on taking your business global, contact Mr. Edwards at or +1 949 224 3896.

EGS Biweekly Global Business Newsletter Issue 15, Monday, October 19, 2020

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

“Nothing is permanent. Don’t stress yourself too much because no matter how bad the situation is….it will change”, courtesy of Leadership First in a LinkedIn post, October 16, 2020

“There are only a finite number of problems but there are an infinite number of solutions”, Simon Sinek, October 16, 2020

“Most leaders focus on finding the right strategy. The best leaders focus on empowering the right people”, Craig Groeschel


This biweekly newsletter focuses on what is happening around the world that impacts new trends, health, consumer spending, business investment and travel. A few highlights in issue #15:

  • Articles And Charts: “Who Is the Emerging-Market Consumer in the Postpandemic Era?
  • A Michelin Starred Meal on a Ferris Wheel: we need some light and fun innovations in these times!
  • Articles And Charts: Now Is the Time To Reassess Our Quality of Life – and Our Work/Life Balance
  • Catching coronavirus on plane ‘extremely unlikely’ while wearing mask, (U.S.) Department of Defense study finds
  • Melbourne eases lockdown as cases decline
  • China Economy Grows 4.9% as Rest of World Struggles With Coronavirus

We 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 team on the ground covers 43 countries and provides us with updates about what is happening in their specific countries. Please feel free to send us your input and sources of information. Our contact information is at the bottom of this newsletter.

First, a few Personal Comments

As this edition of our biweekly newsletter goes out, the COVID-19 cases are going up in European countries and stabilizing or going down in China, India, Israel, Japan, Melbourne,  Australia and the Americas. Our company’s primary business before COVID-19 hit was to take franchise companies into new countries around the world. This involves finding a company in other countries that would invest in bringing the brand to their country. New investment was put on hold from March through June 2020 as companies worldwide tries to maintain their local businesses and keep their current employees safe. Beginning in mid-July and accelerating in September we began to see companies come back interested in making new investments. Today we are busy again with companies in Australia, China, India, Israel, Italy, Korea, Mexico, Peru, Saudi Arabia, Spain and the United Arab Emirates.  These companies look beyond today and even 2021. They are looking to build business that create good jobs for the future. We are awed at human resilience!!!!

“The emerging resilients: Achieving ‘escape velocity: The experience of the fast movers out of the last recession teaches leaders emerging from this one to take thoughtful actions to balance growth, margins, and optionality.”, McKinsey & Company, October 2020

“Ikea to open record number of stores this year despite online shift: Swedish group will focus openings on smaller formats and in city centres….The world’s biggest furniture retailer is set to open more than 50 stores in its current financial year, with a majority in city centres or in a smaller format than its traditional vast out-of-town warehouses, the new chief executive of brand owner Inter Ikea told the Financial Times.”, The Financial Times, October 6, 2020

Restaurant Innovation in these times!!! “A Michelin Starred Meal on a Ferris Wheel” – Hit by a plunge in turnover after foreign tourists vanished, Michelin-starred Hungarian restaurant Costes has staged a skyline dining event on the Budapest Eye ferris wheel to generate sales in a coronavirus-proof environment. Costes owner Karoly Gerendai said that turnover at one of his reopened restaurants is down to about a tenth of pre-lockdown levels, forcing him to look for new ways to do business. “Now that there are not many people either on the wheel or in the restaurant because there are no tourists, the opportunity arose that we could do this,” he said of the event at the landmark attraction in central Budapest.

International Travel Updates

“Catching coronavirus on plane ‘extremely unlikely’ while wearing mask, (U.S.) Department of Defense study finds: A new Department of Defense study, conducted with United Airlines, found that the risk of COVID-19 exposure is “extremely unlikely,” even on a 12-hour flight. Researchers conducted hundreds of tests aboard some of United’s Boeing 777 and 767 aircraft, both in flight and on the ground. They released tracer aerosols from a mannequin equivalent to thousands of coughs and traced how they moved through the cabin. They tested with both the mannequin wearing a mask and not wearing a mask. “The results are in: Your exposure to COVID-19 is almost non-existent on our flights,” United tweeted about the study. The air is changed in the jets even more frequently than in a standard hospital operating room, the study found. It takes just six minutes for 99.99% of particles to be filtered out of the cabin.”, Fox News, October 15, 2020

“Airlines expect a post-coronavirus boom in leisure travel, they just don’t know when: The coronavirus pandemic has laid the airline industry bare, cutting travelers to a fraction of last year’s numbers and even reducing some big names to bankruptcy.  But the word from industry executives at the Boyd International Aviation Forecast Summit on Monday was of opportunity ahead, though that was mixed with a serious dose of realistic hardship still to come.”, The Points Guy, October 13, 2020

“Singapore moves closer to Hong Kong ‘air travel bubble’, considers opening borders unilaterally. Transport Minister Ong Ye Kung said Singapore will consider more travel bubbles with countries deemed safe even if they do not reciprocate. Plans to open a fifth ‘mega terminal’ at Changi Airport will be delayed by two years due to effects of coronavirus pandemic. Singapore’s Transport Minister Ong Ye Kung on Tuesday signalled travellers from Hong Kong may soon be able to visit without being required to stick to a controlled itinerary or complete a 14-day quarantine.”, South China Morning Post, October 6, 2020

“U.S. Covid-Testing Plan Aims to Open New York-London Travel by Holidays: Airlines, governments hope testing will spur more travel for business and pleasure. U.S. officials are aiming to open travel between New York City and London with shortened traveler quarantine periods as soon as the holidays, according to people familiar with the matter. The growing availability of Covid-19 tests in the U.S. has prompted officials at the Transportation Department, Department of Homeland Security and other agencies to revive efforts to establish safe travel corridors between the U.S. and international destinations, the people said. Establishing those routes would require travelers to be tested for Covid-19 before their flight and again upon arrival, allowing them to avoid lengthy quarantines at their destinations.”, The Wall Street Journal, October 1, 2020

“Italy requires more travelers get tested for COVID-19 before visiting: Italy has expanded its list of high-risk countries from which travelers must get tested for COVID-19. Those arriving into the country need to demonstrate that they have taken a test and received a negative result during the previous 72 hours, or they will have to take a test within 48 hours of arrival. The new rule applies to those who have come from, or stayed in Belgium, France, the Netherlands, the UK, Northern Ireland, the Czech Republic and Spain in the previous 14 days. The measure has come into effect because Italian health minister, Roberto Speranza, signed a new ordinance, which provides for urgent measures to contain and manage the health emergency. Travelers will need to undergo the test upon arrival at the airport, port or border area, where possible. If not, they must take it within 48 hours of entering at a local health authority and must self-isolate in the meantime at their home or place of residence. They must also promptly report any symptoms they are experiencing to the health authority through dedicated telephone numbers. Those who test positive will be required to quarantine.”, Lonely Planet, October 12, 2020

“The next three nations set to reopen to Australian travellers: Australians could be allowed to jet off to Singapore, South Korea and Japan within six months, an airport boss has claimed. Geoff Culbert, the CEO of Sydney Airport, made the prediction at the Australian Financial Review National Infrastructure Summit on Wednesday. Mr Culbert was speaking about the future of overseas holidays, as Sydney prepares to welcome its first planeload of tourists on Friday as part of the Australia-New Zealand travel bubble. About 200 visitors are expected to touchdown.”, The Daily Mail, October 14, 2020

United Airlines Launching New Warm-Weather Routes to the Caribbean and Central America: United Airlines is ramping up its winter schedule with more flights to warm-weather destinations in Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central America. In total, the airline is adding eight new routes to increased service to 19 destinations over the coming months as various islands and countries in Central America welcome back American travelers.”, Travel & Leisure, October 16, 2020

Copa Airlines announced its first increase in international operations since November. The carrier plans to connect Panama City, Panama with 35 destinations all over America. The destinations span over a dozen countries from South America, North America and Central America.”, Airline Geeks, October 15, 2020

Second Carnival Brand Resumes Cruising in Europe: Carnival Corporation’s (CCL) Germany-based AIDA Cruises took to the seas again on Saturday, October 17, as the line’s first voyage departed from Rome on a seven-day itinerary exclusively visiting Italian ports. Embarkation at the Civitavecchia cruise port……AIDA is the second Carnival Corporation cruise line to resume cruising as part of a phased-in operational restart.”, Cruise Radio, October 17, 2020

Latin America

“LATAM (Airlines) Gradually Restores Passenger Operations: In September, LATAM Airlines Group offered more frequencies to domestic destinations in Chile, Brazil, Peru and Ecuador and restarted the domestic operation in Colombia. On international flights, the novelties were the routes from Sao Paulo to Montevideo, and Santiago to Montevideo, two weekly flights from Santiago to Los Angeles and New York respectively, an increase to three flights a week from Santiago to Madrid, in addition to the Sao Paulo to New York. In Chile, LATAM flew 11 destinations, going from 20 to 35 daily frequencies……In relation to the cargo operation, the load factor was 70.4% (16.9% over that registered in the same period of the previous year). LATAM Cargo has maximized the use of its B-767F cargo fleet and has used passenger aircraft for exclusive cargo transportation.”, Airline Geeks, October 17, 2020

Asia Pacific Countries

“Asia-Pacific countries begin to ease pandemic-related travel bans, but hurdles remain: Asia-Pacific countries including Singapore, Australia, Japan and Thailand are gradually easing some international travel restrictions as coronavirus cases slow, in hopes of helping to revive their economies.”, Reuters, October 11, 2020


“Melbourne eases lockdown as cases decline: Australia’s second-largest city, Melbourne, has loosened lockdown restrictions as new and active COVID-19 continue to decline. From midnight Sunday, Melbourne residents will no longer face limits on the time they can spend away from their homes for education or recreation. Previous restrictions allowing Melburnians to travel only 5 kilometers (3 miles) from home will increase at midnight to 25 kilometers (15 miles).”, AP News, October 18, 2020

“Data from an on-line commercial real estate platform indicates an increase in retail vacancies of 40% in central business districts across Australia compared with the same time last year, according to a media report. Melbourne’s CBD has been the hardest hit with the second lockdown and stage four restrictions impacting businesses already struggling after the first shutdown. Uncertainty surrounds the long-term implications of the pandemic-driven increase in retail vacancies due to the uptake of working from home which could become a lasting arrangement for many CBD office workers.”,, September 27, 2020.  Compliments of Jason Gehrke, Founder and Director, Franchise Advisory Centre, Brisbane, Australia

Mainland China

“China Economy Grows 4.9% as Rest of World Struggles With Coronavirus: The 4.9% growth figure for the third quarter fell short of expectations but brings China’s trajectory closer in line with forecasts made at the beginning of the year for 2020 growth of between 5.5% and 6%—forecasts made before the pandemic swept across the globe, killing more than a million people and crushing the global economy. The International Monetary Fund is projecting China’s economy to expand by 1.9% in 2020, putting it on track to be the only major world economy to grow this pandemic-hit year.”, The Wall Street Journal, October 18, 2020

The third-quarter expansion builds on the second quarter’s 3.2% growth, which follows a historic contraction of 6.8% in the first three months of the year, when authorities locked down the central Chinese city of Wuhan in a bid to curb the fast-spreading virus.

China Quarterly Car Sales Shift Out of Reverse for First Time in Two Years: A broader economic rebound in the country is now beginning to wash over consumers. China’s car market recorded its first quarter of year-over-year sales growth in two years as a broad economic recovery bolstered consumer confidence and discounts boosted demand, especially for electric vehicles.”, The Wall Street Journal, October 13, 2020

“China’s Golden Week 2020 – A speedy and robust recovery is underway in China: Chinese consumers have further released their pent-up demand over the eight-day National Day holiday. Their revenge spending provides us an indication of how swiftly consumer appetite and economic activities in China could approach pre-pandemic levels, making it clear to us that a robust recovery is underway. Considering domestic consumption as a substantial contributor for China’s economic growth, we expect that more government policies and initiatives will be directed towards boosting local consumer spending both in the short and long term. With many consumers sticking to their online shopping routine even after the COVID-19 pandemic, online consumption is playing a bigger role in driving the country’s recovery in overall consumption.”, Fung Business Intelligence, October 16, 2020

“How China’s Urban Millennials and Gen Z Live and Spend: In 2019, millennials (born between 1980 and 1994) and Generation Z (born between 1995 and 2009) accounted for almost 40% of the population in China. The proportion of the population living in urban areas reached around 60% in 2019, and is projected to reach 65% by 2025. The demographic landscape and population trends have put a specific segment in the spotlight – urban millennials and Generation Z, which together represent one of the most critical forces shaping the outlook for the Chinese consumer market, as their attitudes towards digital convenience, shopping preferences and lifestyles are driving the growth of the relevant sectors and providing new market opportunities.”, Euromonitor International, October 2020

Wealthy shoppers in China more confident in luxury spending outlook than US counterparts: More Chinese luxury spenders see themselves maintaining or increasing their luxury spending over the next 12 months compared to those from the US, report says. US big spenders have mostly splurged on alcohol, dining and hotels during the pandemic, with the Chinese preferring beauty and consumer electronics. Despite the coronavirus pandemic still raging across continents, wealthy luxury consumers in China and the United States are optimistic about their economic well-being, according to a new report by consulting firm Agility Research & Strategy.”, South China Morning Post, October 15, 2020

“China’s inflation hit 19-month low in September as pork prices cool: China’s official consumer price index (CPI) rose 1.7 per cent in September from a year earlier, down from 2.4 per cent in August. China’s producer price index (PPI) shrank 2.1 per cent in September compared to a year earlier, widening slightly from a fall of 2.0 per cent in August.”, South China Morning Post, October 15, 2020


Air India Launches Delhi to Vancouver service: Air India (AI) has announced a 3x weekly service to Vancouver from Delhi. According to Routes Online, the service will operate as AI185 to YVR and AI186 returning to DEL. The … schedule will go into effect on November 1, 2020, and will last until March 12th, 2021…”, Airways, October 12, 2020

“India To Resume International Flights in 2021: The Indian Minister of Civil Aviation, Hardeep Singh Puri expects that the country will resume international flights by Q1 2021. India extended its imposed travel ban on international air travel until October 31….In the meantime, the Asian nation has progressed on air bubbles, which are temporary flying arrangements, to start a light return of commercial passenger services. India has reached air bubbles with 16 countries and has others under negotiation.”, Airways, October 5, 2020


Mask up, or else: Italy’s new covid-19 rules: The Italian government is today due to confirm new measures to contain the spread of covid-19. Like other European countries, Italy has seen contagion rise in recent weeks, although the level of infection is still relatively low. In the two weeks to October 6th, it was under a sixth of that in Spain. But after being hit so cruelly in the spring, Italy will not be taking any chances. A cabinet decree is expected to make masks obligatory outdoors (which is already required in some regions).”, The London Economist, October 7, 2020

“A New Alitalia Is Born, and Its Name is Ita: The new name for the airline, ITA stands for Italy Air Transport (Italia Trasporto Aereo). The carrier has assets totaling €20m and a €3bn budget coming entirely from the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development (MEF). The new business plan initially foresees about 90 aircraft and 6,500 employees, with a focus on integration with Fs (Italian State Railways) and long-haul routes, especially those to the US – the most profitable, said AZ CEO Fabio Maria Lazzerini last month in an audit at the Italian House of Commons.”, Airways, October 10, 2020


“Japan to Lift Travel Ban to 12 Countries, Including China But Not U.S.: Japan is planning to remove a ban on overseas travel to China and 11 other countries next month, the Yomiuri newspaper reported on Thursday. The 11 other countries and regions include Taiwan, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea, Vietnam and Malaysia, the Yomiuri said. The Japanese government, which currently bans travel to 159 countries and regions, will recommend that travellers refrain from unnecessary and non-urgent visits to those 12 countries, the newspaper said.”, Skift, October 7, 2020


“Here’s how Singapore plans to resume international travel safely: For a small country with no domestic air travel market, Singapore ‘can’t wait around for a vaccine’ to revive the crucial aviation industry, said Ong Ye Kung, the country’s transport minister. The tiny Southeast Asian nation is working to establish travel bubbles with countries that have kept the coronavirus outbreak under control, said Ong.”, CNBC, October 12, 2020

United Kingdom

U.K. Government Form ‘Global Travel Taskforce’ to Recover International Travel: Almost nine months into the global pandemic that has decimated the U.K. tourism, hospitality and aviation sectors, the U.K. government announced on Wednesday the formation of a task force to ‘support the travel industry and the safe recovery of international travel’. The Global Travel Taskforce will report to Prime Minister Boris Johnson and be co-chaired by Grant Shapps the Secretary of State for Transport and the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, Matt Hancock….The aims of the Global Travel Taskforce are to ‘consider what steps the government can take, both domestically and on the international stage, to enable the safe and sustainable recovery of international travel’.”, Airline Geeks, October 10, 2020

Working from home tips: how to cope without the office: The office is closed and you’re back on Zoom in the kitchen. Anna Maxted asks the experts how to stay sane….Burnout is generally recognised by the World Health Organisation as a work-related phenomenon, but, says Siobhán Murray, a psychotherapist ( and the author of The Burnout Solution, ‘it can also be defined as emotional, mental and physical exhaustion brought on by emotionally demanding situations’.”, The Times of London, October 9, 2020

Tesco profits surge 29% amid pandemic: The new chief executive of Tesco said this morning that his job would be to maintain momentum after online food sales doubled and pre-tax profits surged during the coronavirus crisis. The UK’s largest supermarket has posted a 28.7 per cent rise in pre-tax profits to £551 million in the six months to the end of August. Sales, excluding VAT and fuel, rose by 6.6 per cent to £26.7 billion. Operating profits fell 15.6 per cent to £1.037 billion, dragged down by losses in its banking division.”, The Times of London, October 7, 2020

United States

Global Outlook Brightens as U.S. Consumer Imports Reach Pre-Pandemic Levels: U.S. trade deficit in August was largest since 2006 on recovery of consumer-goods imports…..International Monetary Fund Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva, in a Tuesday speech ahead of annual IMF and World Bank meetings next week, said the global economy won’t contract this year as much as the IMF projected in June. “The picture today is less dire,” Ms. Georgieva said in London. “We now estimate that developments in the second and third quarters were somewhat better than expected, allowing for a small upward revision to our global forecast for 2020.”, The Wall Street Journal, October 6, 2020

The number of new businesses in America is booming: No other rich-world country is experiencing the same rise in entrepreneurship. Based on a different survey Goldman Sachs, a bank, finds that the share of respondents starting a new business in the past three months has also risen sharply. Other evidence shows that about as many Americans now work for themselves as before the pandemic, even as overall joblessness remains high.”, The London Economist, October 10, 2020

Rental Recalibration: Landlords and tenants alike are adjusting: As the country continues to navigate through the pandemic, commercial property renters are facing an increasing struggle to reshape their business models to move outside their traditional brick-and-mortar spaces, while the residential industry moves business toward property management companies and away from independent landlords……Landlord-tenant relationships often can be strained. However, to keep tenants in their homes and help landlords plan for late payments amid the pandemic, the property management industry has grown more flexible. With data suggesting that rent collection is down only 3–5% since March, the rental market has not been affected as severely as many had expected.”,, October 9, 2020

Brand News

Stories from the Covid-19 Front Lines: Update with Susan Boresow, President of Title Boxing Club.”, an interview with one of the leaders in the US fitness franchise sector on how they made it through COVID-19., October 2020

Focus Brands Chief Commercial Officer, Dan Gertsacov, Is Making Digital Real In The Restaurants: The multi-brand restaurant portfolio is a relatively new business model, fueled in large part by private equity, and Focus Brands is one of its pioneers. With seven brands and more than 6,000 locations globally, the Focus franchise ecosystem benefits from this breadth and scale. It’s realized through good ol’ purchasing power but also attracting the talent and leadership of someone like Dan Gertsacov, who was previously at Google before joining the largest independent McDonald’s franchisee, Arcos Dorados Holdings, to lead both marketing and digital. In the following interview, we talk about building a 21st-century restaurant tech stack and multi-brand marketing function, while staying grounded in the purpose and local connection that each brand has with its customers.”, Forbes, October 7, 2020

Beyond Meat launching limited-time plant-based burger at 210 KFC China locations: Beyond Meat and KFC first tested the Beyond Burger at select China locations over the summer. It will be available more widely for three weeks.”, Market Watch, October 12, 2020

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

Now Is the Time To Reassess Our Quality of Life – and Our Work/Life Balance: Our formerly notoriously fast-paced, frenetic lifestyle and demanding routines have come to an abrupt halt. It’s said that out of every tragedy come renewed strength and fortitude. The good news: the destructive, insidious pandemic aimed at destroying us is actually bringing our society closer together and enabling us to reassess the quality of our lives. After so much suffering and devastating loss of health, loved ones, jobs, and entire businesses, we are going through a metamorphosis of sorts, gaining a new appreciation and respect for time and, possibly, life itself. People re-examining how they spend their time, reevaluating priorities, purpose, and life plans abound.”, Franchising. com, October 7, 2020

VOICE OF THE INDUSTRY: CONSUMER HEALTH”, Euromonitor study on the impact of the pandemic on consumer health, October 2020

“Offices have a future — but what about other workplaces?  Most of the technologies that white-collar workers have relied on in recent months — Zoom, Skype, Teams — have been around for years. It took a pandemic, though, for them to become widespread: at the start of the outbreak, about two-thirds of those working in the US and UK did so remotely. Does this working-from-home revolution mean we no longer need workplaces? Of course not. As the pandemic has gone on, it has become clear that offices are very likely to remain a fixture of future life.”, The Financial Times, October 18, 2020

Why 4 Technologies That Boomed During Covid-19 Will Keep People Home More After A Vaccine: To test the staying power of technologies that became vital during the coronavirus pandemic, the Oliver Wyman Forum conducted a survey of almost 6,900 consumers in eight countries. Here, based on our data, we show why the pandemic has guaranteed four solutions — video conferencing, grocery-shopping apps, telehealth, and e-learning — mass markets big enough to ensure their commercial growth and permanent integration.”, Forbes, October 7, 2020

“Identifying Digital Trends In Emerging Markets: COVID-19 put the world in a unique position, forcing consumers to change their daily habits and businesses to prioritise innovation to remain competitive. Brands are changing the way they communicate with consumers, and in some cases revolutionising the products they offer….In 2020, significant business transformations introduced new consumers to technologies like digital services, online financial payments and e-commerce….Compared to more developed markets, consumers in emerging markets lag both in technology adoption and availability of services because they lack familiarity and trust…..As a result of the pandemic, consumer online habits increased in both emerging and developed markets. This white paper examines how the pandemic impacted the availability and use of online products and services, as well as successful business innovation and adaption case studies in emerging markets.”, Euromonitor, October 2020

“‘Feel-good food’ is now a social currency for Gen Z: Young Gen Zers aged 15 to 25 are actively looking for greater transparency on food and its origin, expecting brands to produce food that they feel good about eating, a recent study shows.”, Inside FMCG, October 16, 2020, compliments of Jason Gehrke, Founder and Director, Franchise Advisory Centre, Brisbane, Australia

“Who Is the Emerging-Market Consumer in the Postpandemic Era? Nine months into the COVID-19 pandemic, and six months since our initial consumer sentiment survey in emerging markets, consumers’ behavioral patterns are starting to take shape. People are adapting, and while the dust is yet to settle, we already see early signals of a new reality. While deep concerns about COVID-19 persist, the prevailing attitudes are shifting from fear to acceptance….As more time passes and the pandemic persists, it is becoming clear that consumers’ activities are taking a starkly different shape than those before COVID-19.”, Boston Consulting Group September survey

Who We Are And What We Do

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

Founded in 2001, Edwards Global Services, Inc. (EGS) takes U.S. businesses global and currently has activity in 25 countries.  Our Clients are all consumer-faced brands.  Edwards Global Services, Inc. (EGS) has twice received the U.S. President’s Award for Export Excellence

Find out more about the services we provide U.S. companies Going Global at:

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


For global cross business sectoral updates and advice on taking your business global, contact Mr. Edwards at or +1 949 224 3896.

EGS Biweekly Global Business Newsletter Issue 14, Monday, October 5, 2020

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

“Others have seen what is and asked why. I have seen what could be and asked why not.”, Pablo Picasso

“There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.”, Albert Einstein

“Yesterday is not ours to recover, but tomorrow is ours to win or lose.”, U.S. President Lyndon Johnson


This biweekly newsletter focuses on what is happening in more than 20 countries that impact new trends, health, consumer spending, business investment and travel. A few highlights in issue #14:

  • McKinsey & Co. global economic conditions snapshot
  • New Stat Augurs Well for Covid Recovery: Gross output measures business confidence better than GDP
  • View and download our latest quarterly GlobalVue™ country ranking chart at our EGS website:
  • The Future of Supply Chain Automation – an infographic that shows how supply chain management is changing
  • How South Korea Successfully Managed Coronavirus
  • Argentina, Colombia and Peru begin to open for international travel

We 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 team 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.

Countries and regions reported on in this issue include: Africa, Latin America, Australia, Belarus, Brazil, Mainland China, India, South Korea, Japan, Singapore, the United Kingdom and the USA.

This issue’s chart is from the September 2020 McKinsey & Co. Economic Conditions Snapshot

New Stat Augurs Well for Covid Recovery: Gross output measures business confidence better than GDP. It’s fallen less than in past recessions. For the first time, the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) released the “top line” gross output, or GO, at the same time as it published the “bottom line” gross domestic product. And the GO data brought a welcome surprise: It shows the economy is much more resilient than it looked. Steve Forbes offers a useful metaphor: ‘GDP is like an X-ray of the economy; GO is like a CAT-scan.’ GO reveals a deeper level of economic activity and is therefore helpful in predicting the direction of growth, not only its current state.”, The Wall Street Journal, October 2, 2020

America and Singapore are tops in 2020 for global digital competitiveness: The US held onto its top spot in a global ranking of digital competitiveness thanks to access to capital and an emphasis on robotics. Singapore also stayed in the No. 2 spot on the IMD World Digital Competitiveness Ranking (WDCR) for 2020. The country earned more No. 1 rankings than the US in the rankings on individual criteria. The WDCR measures the capacity and readiness of 63 economies to adopt digital technologies for economic and social transformation. This year’s Top 10 list looks very similar to last year’s: United States of America, Singapore, Denmark, Sweden, Hong Kong SAR, Switzerland, Netherlands, South Korea, Norway and Finland. The UK came in at No. 13 overall and its scores on the individual criteria have held steady over the years. Australia is in the No. 15 spot with technology scoring highest among the three criteria.”, Tech Republic, October 2, 2020

“East Asia: Containment and Recovery: The coronavirus has shied away from no corner of the globe, but some countries have weathered the storm far better than others – and have much more cause for economic optimism going forward. The intensity of the economic fallout from one country to the next has hinged on a mind-boggling array of interlocking factors. As countries in East Asia, in particular, increasingly shift focus from containment of the pandemic to economic recovery, their success will hinge on other factors. According to the World Bank’s latest forecast for the region, these include government capacity to open up the stimulus spigots, its ability to phase out of shutdowns without allowing the virus to become uncontrollable again, and the depth of the hole they’re trying to climb out of.”, Geopolitical Futures, October 3, 2020

International Travel Updates

“United Resumes Nonstop Service to Shanghai: In an important ramp up following Chinese market recovery, United Airlines yesterday announced it will start a four-times-weekly nonstop service to China between San Francisco International Airport and Shanghai’s Pudong International Airport.”, Airline Geeks, October 5, 2020

“’Close to 100% accuracy’: Helsinki airport uses sniffer dogs to detect Covid: Researchers running Helsinki pilot scheme say dogs can identify virus in seconds. Four Covid-19 sniffer dogs have begun work at Helsinki airport in a state-funded pilot scheme that Finnish researchers hope will provide a cheap, fast and effective alternative method of testing people for the virus. A dog is capable of detecting the presence of the coronavirus within 10 seconds and the entire process takes less than a minute to complete, according to Anna Hielm-Björkman of the University of Helsinki, who is overseeing the trial. ‘It’s very promising,’ said Hielm-Björkman. ‘If it works, it could prove a good screening method in other places’ such as hospitals, care homes and at sporting and cultural events.”, The Guardian, September 24, 2020

Returning to New York from an international destination? You’ll likely have to quarantine: (New York Governor) Cuomo signed an executive order Monday re-enforcing mandatory quarantine requirements for international travelers returning to New York from countries marked Level 2 and Level 3 on the State Department’s travel advisories list.”, The Points Guy, October 3, 2020

Air Canada Airport COVID-19 Testing Trial Shows Promising Results: In September Air Canada partnered with a Canadian lab and the Greater Toronto Airports Authority to test arriving passengers for COVID-19 using a polymerase chain reaction test at Toronto’s Pearson Airport directly upon their arrival and then two tests that would be self-collected at seven days after arrival and at 14 days after arrival.”, Airline Geeks, October 4, 2020

US travelers still cannot visit most European Union member countries: “Back in March, the European Commission introduced travel restrictions that lasted until this summer until the Union authorized a list of 14 countries that were exempt. The Commission continues to periodically update this list,” Caroline Rose, Middle East and Europe analyst for the forecasting firm Geopolitical Futures, told the Washington Examiner. The latest update on the EU’s Re-open EU website added Australia, Canada, Georgia, Japan, New Zealand, Rwanda, South Korea, Thailand, Tunisia, Uruguay, and even China (“subject to confirmation of reciprocity”) to the list of nations in which its citizens are allowed to visit EU countries. ‘So far, the U.S. has been excluded,’ Rose said. And while the list of excluded and allowed nations is not technically ‘legally binding’ on individual EU nations, “Brussels has applied a lot of political pressure for its members not to act independently of the travel ban and welcome unlisted nationals.” She doesn’t see most EU countries ‘giving U.S. nationals the greenlight anytime soon.’”, The Washington Examiner, September 17, 2020

3 more major cruise lines cancel sailings until at least December: You’ll now have to wait until at least December to take a cruise with Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises or Regent Seven Seas Cruises. The parent company of the three brands, Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings, on Monday said it would extend its halt to cruise operations through at least Nov. 30. Until today, the company only had canceled sailings through the end of October. The Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings announcement comes just four days after one of the line’s biggest rivals, cruise giant Carnival, canceled most departures through January. Carnival still hopes to operate some sailings in November and December out of just two ports: Port Miami and Port Canaveral. Two other major brands, Princess Cruises and Holland America, already have canceled all or most sailings through Dec. 15.”, The Points Guy, October 5, 2020

Delta Air Lines Returns to Colombia, El Salvador, Guatemala: Delta Air Lines (DL) has made a significant restart in Latin America with flights resuming into Colombia, El Salvador and Guatemala. Non-stop flights between Atlanta (ATL) and Bogota (BOG) began today, which will operate on a four times per week basis before going daily on November 1.”, Airways Magazine, October 2, 2020

Peru To Resume International Flights This Month: After a seven-month suspension, Peru is reopening its skies to commercial flight operations in October. The country’s international trade and tourism minister, Rocio Barrios, announced that international travel will resume on Oct. 5, reinstating commercial connectivity with other Latin American countries first.”, Airline Geeks, October 2, 2020

New Zealand, Australia loosen travel restrictions: Flights between these close by countries have started to go on sale. Airways Magazine, October 3, 2020

Germany lifts warning against travel to all non-EU countries: Germany lifted its blanket warning against travelling to all countries outside the EU, although little is likely to change for most travellers. The foreign ministry extended a warning for parts of Belgium to the entire country, and warned against travel to Wales and Northern Ireland.”, The Sunday Times of London, October 2, 2020

Disney’s Hawaii resort to start phased reopening in November: Disney’s Aulani resort and spa in Hawaii will begin a phased reopening in November, following the governor’s announcement that out-of-state travelers will soon be able to bypass two weeks of quarantine if they test negative for COVID-19 prior to arrival.”, Fox Business, September 25, 2020

Sea changes: A preview of the new COVID-related cruise restrictions: Health experts advising some of the world’s biggest cruise brands on how to restart cruising unveiled recommendations this week that included a call to significantly restrict passenger movements during port stops.”, The Points Guy, September 27, 2020

Argentina to Resume Flight Operations from Mid-October: The Argentinian Minister of Transport, Mario Meoni, confirmed on Thursday that in mid-October commercial flights will return and anticipated that the Government is ‘working to resolve as soon as possible’ the normalization of activity.”, Airline Geeks, October 4, 2020

Colombia Resumes 63 Routes As Part of Plan to Reinstate Connectivity: Throughout September, Colombia has resumed commercial airline operations. Domestic flights were allowed back to the skies on Sept. 1 and international fights restarted on Sept. 19. As the country continues to reopen its skies, Colombia announced it will be reopening 63 domestic routes from major cities such as Bogotá, Medellin, Cali and Cartagena, according to Latin American portal Aviaciónline.”, Airline Geeks, September 23, 2020


Optimism Around Africa’s Business Potential: Over the past two decades, Africa has been home to the fastest-growing economies in the world and is ripe for global and local business investment. In his new book, Unlocking Africa’s Business Potential: Trends, Opportunities, Risks, and Strategies, Thunderbird professor, Landry Signé shares his optimism for sustained growth in Africa as he examines economic, business and investment issues and discusses the growth trends and drivers. ‘By 2030, Africa will have 1.7 billion people and a combined consumer and business spending of $6.7 trillion.” ~ Thunderbird professor Landry Signé, Thunderbird School of Global Management, October 1, 2020

Latin America

Major Country Developments – Mexico, Central America, Caribbean: The slump in travel caused by the Covid-19 pandemic has hit the tourism sector hard in several Central American and Caribbean countries. A slump in remittances [by immigrants working and sending money back home to support families and small businesses], has also negatively impacted some countries, but in many cases observers are baffled by the strong inflows that have resumed, sometimes at record levels.”, Meridian Finance Group, September 22, 2020


Australia’s Victoria state to ease COVID-19 restrictions as cases slow: Victoria, Australia’s second most populous state and the epicentre of the country’s COVID-19 outbreak, will accelerate the easing of social distancing restrictions as infections slow to fewer than 20 cases a day, its premier said on Sunday.”, September 26, 2020

Commercial Tenancy Rent relief Scheme Extended: In response to the continuing impacts of COVID-19 on the Victorian economy, the State Government recently passed the COVID-19 Commercial and Residential Tenancies Legislation Amendment (Extensions) Act 2020 (Vic) (the Act). This extends the Commercial Tenancy Rent Relief Scheme introduced earlier this year, and introduces several changes aiming to assist both commercial tenants and landlords through financial hardship. For eligible leases, the prohibition on eviction for non-payment of rent and prohibition on rent increase is extended until 31 December 2020. Eviction for breaches not related to payment, such as property damage, is still allowed. Eligible leases are currently those by small to medium enterprises (SMEs) with an annual aggregate turnover under $50 million who have suffered at least a 30% reduction in turnover since March 29 2020. However, the Act allows for eligibility requirements to be adjusted in the future.”, MST Lawyers, September 30, 2020 

Mexican chain moves closer to IPO: Australian-based Mexican food chain Guzman Y Gomez has moved a step closer to listing on the stock exchange by converting from a proprietary company to an unlisted public company, according to a media report. The 140-store chain has achieved accumulated sales of $1 billion and operates in Australia, Singapore and the United States. It’s drive-through stores in Australia have achieved sales increases of 50-100% during the pandemic, according to the report.”, Australia Financial Review, September 23, 2020

A quarter of workplaces saw productivity improve during COVID-19. The same number saw a drop: As millions of employees worked from home during the coronavirus pandemic, sparking a surge in the adoption of new technologies, one-in-four Australian businesses reported productivity had fallen, while the same number said productivity had improved. Australian companies have, on average, increased their adoption of some key digital technologies during the COVID-19 period by as much as the previous 10 years, a study by consultancy AlphaBeta, a part of Accenture, shows…But the effects on business efficiency from having large numbers of employees working from home have been mixed, with as many firms experiencing a fall in productivity during the pandemic as had a rise.”, Brisbane Times, September 24, 2020, compliments of Jason Gehrke, Managing Director, The Franchise Advisory Centre, Brisbane


Texas Chicken® opens a QSR restaurant at the Dana Mall in Minsk, Belarus! Congratulations to the team for persevering with this location through a very eventful summer in Belarus. (This is Church’s Chicken® in the USA).”, Yang Ming Ong, Texas Chicken Business, October 1, 2020.


Venture Capital Investments Reach New High In Brazil: A total of US$ 843 million has been invested in Brazilian startups throughout September 2020 in what has been the busiest month ever for the segment, according to a new survey. In terms of invested volume, last month has seen a 65% increase in relation to September 2019, when total investments reached US$ 510 million, according to the research, carried out by Distrito Dataminer, market intelligence arm of Brazilian open innovation company Distrito. This is also a 796% increase compared with September 2018, when startups raised US$ 94 million.”, Forbes, October 3, 2020

Brazil’s IPO market on track for biggest year since 2007: Companies take advantage of higher valuations after retail investors head into stocks. The market for initial public offerings in Brazil is on track for its biggest year since 2007, fuelled by a recovery in asset prices and a surging number of everyday investors buying into stocks. Seventeen groups have already debuted in Brazil this year and almost 40 more are in the pipeline as companies — and the banks marketing them — work flat out in a year truncated by the coronavirus crisis.”, The Financial Times, September 27, 2020

Mainland China

Millions Fly With China’s Airlines as Pandemic Drags Down Competitors: The world’s harried airline bosses will look enviously to China this week as millions of people take to the skies for national holidays, helping Chinese carriers push even further ahead in their recovery from the pandemic. The holiday starts with the Mid-Autumn Festival and National Day Thursday and runs to Oct. 8. The so-called Golden Week is typically a time for families to reunite and will add momentum to a domestic rebound that’s lifting air travel within China back toward normal levels. More than 15 million people are due to fly over the period, a 10% increase from last year, according to Lan Xiang, head of the research division at online travel agent Qunar.”, Bloomberg and Caixing Global, October 1, 2020

Disneyland Shanghai Hotel Prices Rocket to Over (US)$1,000 a Night: With China’s National Day and Mid-Autumn Festival holidays fast approaching, the room rates of Shanghai Disneyland Hotel have soared to 7,000 yuan ($1,028) per night, when they cost around 3,000 yuan on “regular” days. According to Caijing, a reporter checked prices for a stay from Oct. 2 to Oct. 3 online yesterday (Sept. 29) and found the price of a “Deluxe Park View room” for one night was 7,753 yuan. The “Official Direct Sales” price of 5,479 yuan was already ‘fully booked.’ Today, the Shanghai Disney Resort’s official website showed that all room types on Oct. 2 are now marked ‘unavailable’. The average price for hotel reservations during the National Holidays is nearly 20% higher than last year. During the National Day, hotel reservations exceeded the same period last year by 30%.”, Caixing Global, September 30, 2020

McDonald’s China 2020 changes: The major shareholder (to make) over 100 million investment in young talent training. Economic Observer Network reporter Chen Yifan (stated) “Our vision of reaching 4,500 stores by 2020 remains unchanged. In terms of restaurant portfolio, the goal is to open restaurants in third- and fourth-tier cities, hoping to accelerate the speed and layout of the sinking market.’ September On the 22nd, at the Fifth McDonald’s China ‘McDonald’s Feast’, Zhang Jiayin, CEO of McDonald’s China, said in an interview with media including reporters from Economic Observer. On the same day, McDonald’s China announced the “Unlimited Youth” talent training plan. The plan proposes to invest more than 100 million yuan from 2020 to 2022, and join hands with more than 100 vocational colleges across the country. “The school-running model has helped more than 10,000 young people improve their employability and support them to smoothly embark on a career development path after graduation., translation provided courtesy of Paul Jones, Jones & Co., Toronto 


India Saw 250% Growth In Shopping App Installs Amid Pandemic, Reveals Report: The State of Shopping App Marketing 2020 report by AppsFlyer, a mobile marketing analytics and attribution platform, notes that India witnessed a 250% spike in non-organic shopping app installs as the country began lifting Covid-19 lockdown restrictions in May. This shows that even when given the option of physically visiting the store, Indians preferred to shop online.”,, September 24, 2020

India’s new paper Covid-19 test could be a ‘game changer’: A team of scientists in India has developed an inexpensive paper-based test for coronavirus that could give fast results similar to a pregnancy test….The test, named after a famous Indian fictional detective, is based on a gene-editing technology called Crispr. Scientists estimate that the kit – called Feluda – would return results in under an hour and cost 500 rupees (about $6.75; £5.25).”, BBC News, October 4, 2020

South Korea

How South Korea Successfully Managed Coronavirus: The country has blended technology and testing like no other. South Korea appears to have cracked the code for managing the coronavirus. Its solution is straightforward, flexible and relatively easy to replicate. The country has averaged about 77 new daily cases since early April and recently suppressed a spike in infections. Adjusting for population, that would be the equivalent of about 480 cases a day in the U.S., where new daily cases have averaged about 38,000 over the same period.”, The Wall Street Journal, September 25, 2020


Japan to remove travel ban for ten countries starting in October: Japan plans to remove a ban on overseas travels for about 10 countries starting next month, hoping that such a step would prompt other countries to lift travel curbs on the Japanese, the Nikkei business daily reported on Monday.”, Reuters and Nikkei, September 28, 2020


Singapore planning ‘cruises to nowhere’ to entice tourists: The Singapore Tourism Board (STB) has announced its plans to allow cruise lines to embark on “cruises to nowhere,” as reported by The Straits Times. With many international cruise lines banned from docking in Singapore since March due to the coronavirus, the new plans would allow 50% of the original passenger intake. It comes just days after Singapore Airlines canceled its proposed “flight to nowhere” sightseeing tours following criticism. Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.”, The Insider, October 4, 2020

United Kingdom

The recovery in the manufacturing sector continued last month, with output and new orders increasing. The Markit/CIPS manufacturing PMI fell to 54.1 in September, from 55.2 in August, slightly below the flash estimate of 54.3. Three fifths of manufacturers expected output to rise over the coming year. Samuel Tombs, an economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics, thinks the sector will register robust growth in the coming months as EU customers stockpile goods to avoid being hit by tariffs in January. Unemployment remains an issue. Manufacturers continued to cut jobs for the eighth month in a row, although at the lowest rate since February. Changes to job support schemes and the reintroduction of some coronavirus restrictions have increased concerns about a rise in unemployment.”, The Times of London, October 1, 2020

A pool, free wi-fi and no kids: it’s great to be WFH (working from hotel): If the office is still off-limits and the novelty of home working is wearing a little thin, help is at hand. Hundreds of hotels are offering bedrooms as daytime offices, catering for workers tired of being confined to the kitchen table. The catch is that you must leave by teatime, with checkout typically from 4pm to 6pm. Desk space is being offered in hotels from city centres to coastal villages, at costs ranging from £35 to £1,500. Guests can often use the gym and pool, with some hotels even offering free printing and hot drinks. Hoteliers say the offer is popular with workers seeking peace and quiet after a tumultuous few months, along with fast wi-fi and a touch of luxury.”, The Sunday Times Of London, October 4, 2020

Studying abroad: Britain’s new student visas: Boris Johnson’s government will today launch a new visa for foreign students coming to study at British universities. The revamp is part of a broader overhaul of Britain’s immigration laws after Brexit. The new student visa has premiered before most other changes in order to entice international students to take up places at British universities in spite of the pandemic. Universities had feared losing them and their lucrative tuition fees entirely, thus blowing a serious hole in their finances. The government hopes that rolling out the new visa—which includes a period of two years to find a job after graduation, instead of three months under the old system—will dissuade students from staying closer to home. But universities may have helped to sort out the problem themselves. Increased recruiting efforts abroad, and a lack of palatable alternatives, have led to a 9% increase in international undergraduate enrolments this autumn.”, The Economist Expresso, October 5, 2020

United States

There’s Less Than 1% Chance of Catching Covid-19 Flying, Says Airline Exec: Four major U.S. airlines share thoughts on blocked middle seats, the future of business travel, and the issues that’ll affect flying beyond the pandemic.”, Bloomberg, September 27, 2020

Hotel jobs coming back in a handful of large U.S. metro areas: The hard-hit hospitality industry is starting to bounce back from the COVID-19 pandemic — at least in a few U.S. cities. August employment in the accommodations sector in five metro areas climbed back to at least 80 per cent of where it stood a year earlier, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics data analyzed by Bloomberg News. This compares with about 60 per cent for the nation as a whole.”, BNN Bloomberg (Canada), October 1, 2020

PepsiCo says it will meet 2020 revenue targets after all: Group benefits from rebound in drinks sales and people who work from home munching on snacks. PepsiCo is on track to deliver about the same full-year revenues that it had expected before coronavirus shut down much of the world economy, helped by a recent recovery in sales of its soft drinks in corner shops and petrol stations. The food and drinks company behind Doritos crisps, Tropicana juice and the eponymous fizzy beverage on Thursday reinstated annual revenue guidance that it had scrapped at the onset of the pandemic. It predicted full-year revenues would rise about 4 per cent from 2019 on an organic basis.”, The Financial Times, October 1, 2020


One major Asian economy besides China is set for growth this year—and its GDP just rose 2.6%. Upticks in manufacturing and exports helped Vietnam’s gross domestic product rise 2.62% year over year in the third quarter, accelerating the country’s economic recovery from a slowdown in the first half of 2020 that was caused by the pandemic. Exports jumped 11% in the third quarter, thanks in large part to a 20% increase in exports of personal computers to meet a growing demand as students worldwide attend online classes and large parts of the global workforce continue to work from home. In September alone, exports jumped 18% compared to the same period last year. ‘Along with China, [Vietnam] is the only major Asian economy expected to register positive growth in 2020,’ said Priyanka Kishore, head of India and South East Asia for Oxford Economics.”, Fortune Magazine, September 29, 2020

Brand News 

What a month of September we and our international franchisees have had around the world in the CKE system! We started on the 3rd of September opening our 13th Carl’s Jr. in Chile, followed three days later with our 21st Hardee’s in Qatar, continued three days after that with our 2nd Carl’s Jr. in France, turned around and opened our 19th Carl’s Jr. in Turkey the very next day and then about week later we opened our 19th in Spain – right next to Real Madrid’s stadium, Santiago Bernabéu… then two new Hardee’s opened, in Pakistan and the UAE, followed this week by Carl’s Jr. openings in Thailand and Panama! Talk about a global company – eight countries on four continents! If you’re interested in hearing about our open territories and these two iconic brands.”, 

Marc Muskin, CKE Restaurants LinkedIn posting.

FASTSIGNS CEO steers the proverbial ship through stormy seas: Catherine Monson is recognized again this year by Franchise Dictionary Magazine as one of the WOW: 50 Women Of Wonder and she graces our cover for excellent reasons. Under her leadership as CEO of FASTSIGNS since 2009, the brand has become one of the country’s largest franchise companies. It has benefited significantly from Monson’s strategic positioning and her franchising and broad business and marketing experience. Since February, Monson has also served as International Franchise Association (IFA) chair. In her role with the IFA, she works to further its mission of protecting and promoting franchising through government relations, public relations, and educational programs.”, FranchiseDictionary, October 2, 2020

Russo’s New York Pizzeria expands in the Middle East with its 8th restaurant opening in Dubai. 8 more outlets planned to open in 2021 with it international franchise partner, Prime Hospitality.

Restaurateur and Loving It! His drive-thrus report record sales during Covid: Dennis Ekstrom has been in the restaurant business for nearly 50 years, 30 of them in franchising. At one time he was part of QK Holdings, where he served as COO of the largest Denny’s franchise group in the country with 94 locations. Today he is the CEO and president of Diamondback LLC, a Del Taco multi-unit operator in New Mexico. ‘The restaurant industry is a fast-paced, invigorating field that I never left,’ says the 65-year-old today. His experience and success have led him to rule the Del Taco market in New Mexico where his 11 locations rank in the top tier of the brand’s comp growth. The drive-thru lanes at Ekstrom’s Del Tacos were paved with gold this past spring as Covid-19 ravaged the country’s restaurant landscape. He says 90 percent of his sales during the pandemic have come from the drive-thru. ‘Right now, our sales are the highest they’ve been in months, and in some cases ever,’ he says.”,, October 4, 2020

Ranked: The 50 Most Popular Fast Food Chains in America: Millions of Americans eat at fast food restaurants every day—and they now have more options at their disposal than ever before. From burgers to pad thai, there’s a quick service restaurant that’ll satisfy almost any appetite. With all this choice, which fast food chains are the most popular among consumers? Using data from QSR Magazine, (the infographic at this link) ranks the top 50 largest fast food chains in the U.S. by sales in 2019, providing insight into the types of foods Americans have been craving.”, Visual Capitalist, September 28, 2020         

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

What 800 (global) executives envision for the postpandemic workforce: Responses to a McKinsey global survey of 800 executives suggest a disruptive period of workplace changes lies ahead due to acceleration of automation, digitization, and other trends. The COVID-19 pandemic has caused major disruption to our working lives in the short term, and is likely to change the way that we work in the long term. To understand these changes, McKinsey commissioned a survey of business executives around the world in June 2020. The results suggest that the crisis may accelerate some workforce trends already underway, such as the adoption of automation and digitization, increased demand for contractors and gig workers, and more remote work. Those changes in turn will create greater demand for workers to fill jobs in areas like health and hygiene, cybersecurity, and data analytics.”, McKinsey & Co., September 23, 2020

New Consumer Research on the Increasing Importance of Digital & How the Holiday Shopping Season Is Shaping Up: To help retail brands understand consumer expectations and prepare for the upcoming holiday shopping season, Service Management Group (SMG) collected feedback from nearly 10,000 consumer respondents. Here are three key themes that emerged from the research: 1) Financial concerns are looming; 2) Value will be key this shopping season; 3) Holiday shopping will start early and be dominated by digital.”,, October 2, 2020

The Future of Supply Chain Automation: As Amazon continues to set the bar for efficiency by integrating an astounding spectrum of automation technology, it’s becoming increasingly apparent that traditional supply chain models are ripe for disruption. For this reason, companies around the world are now rethinking their warehouse and distribution systems, with automation taking center stage.”, The infographic at this link from Raconteur highlights the state of automation across global supply chains, while also providing an outlook for future investment, Visual Capitalist

Who We Are And What We Do

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

Founded in 2001, Edwards Global Services, Inc. (EGS) takes U.S. businesses global and currently has activity in 25 countries. Our Clients are all consumer-faced brands. Edwards Global Services, Inc. (EGS) has twice received the U.S. President’s Award for Export Excellence

Find out more about the services we provide U.S. companies Going Global at:

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



For global cross-business sectoral updates and advice on taking your business global, contact Mr. Edwards at or +1 949 224 3896. 

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