Global Business Development

EGS Biweekly Global Business Newsletter Issue 53, Tuesday, April 5,2022

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

Trends in this issue:

Inflation is up but so is international travel. The impact of the war in the Ukraine continues to cause major economic, political and policy changes in Europe and much of the rest of the world. 

For a look at the impact of the war on franchising, listen to my podcast with Larry Weinberg, a truly global franchise attorney at the link below.

First, A Few Words of Wisdom From Others

“There is no sin punished more implacably by nature, then the sin of resistance to change.”Anne Morrow Lindbergh. Compliments of Beth Adkisson

What you can do today can improve all your tomorrows.”, Ralph Marston 

“Play by the rules, but be ferocious.” – Phil Knight.

Highlights in issue #52:• Seven Themes to Define Europe• Russian invasion of Ukraine forces China-Europe rail transit to sea.• China Manufacturing Activity Slumps to Two-Year Low, Caixin PMI Shows• After 73% Collapse, Latin American Stocks Finally Start to Soar• Understanding International Franchising: Ukraine and Russia – a podcast• No one asked for a hamburger vending machine, and RoboBurger answered• 7 Mistakes That Make or Break Small Businesses• What Makes A Quality Franchise?• Brand Global News Section: Dairy Queen®, KFC® and Texas Roadhouse®

Interesting Data and Studies

Geopolitical instability is now cited as the top risk to both global and domestic economies in our latest McKinsey Global Survey on economic conditions.That’s the consensus among executives worldwide, who have cited the COVID-19 pandemic as a leading risk to growth for the past two years.

Our quarterly survey was launched four days after the invasion of Ukraine, and executives express uncertainty and concern about its impact on the economy. About three-quarters of respondents cite geopolitical conflicts as a top risk to global growth in the near term, up from one-third who said so in the previous quarter. Meanwhile, the share of respondents citing the pandemic as a top risk fell from 57 to 12 percent, as much larger percentages now identify energy prices and inflation as threats to the global economy.”, McKinsey, March 30,2022

The European member states are countries mainly in Europe, and three outside, that are part of one or more of the four major treaty groups, namely the European Union (EU), NATO, Schengen, and eurozone. Beginning with six countries in 1958, the European Economic Community has since added 21 more countries (the UK left the EU in 2020), with a primary focus on single or internal markets.”, Visual Capitalist, March 7, 2022

Global Energy

U.S. liquefied natural gas exports rise 16%, to new record – U.S. LNG is in high demand as European countries try to cut gas imports from Russia following its invasion of Ukraine while also looking to rebuild low inventories. U.S. LNG exports to all destinations were about 7.43 million tonnes (MT) last month, according to Refinitiv, up from 6.4 MT in February and topping the prior record of 7.25 MT in January. Europe was the top importer of U.S. LNG for a fourth straight month, taking about 65% of U.S. exports. About 12% of exports went to Asia, and 3% to Latin America, the data showed. About 20 vessels responsible for 20% of volumes had not signaled a destination.”, Reuters, April 1, 2022

Global Supply Chain & Trade Update

Russian invasion of Ukraine forces China-Europe rail transit to sea. Over 1 million containers scheduled to go by train between Europe and China via Russia must now find alternate routes. Exporters and logistics firms transporting goods between China and Europe are now looking to avoid land routes passing through Russia or the conflict zone in Ukraine, putting additional pressure on ports already struggling because of COVID-19.”, ExigerTrends Report, March 2022

“Stratfor 2022 Second-Quarter Forecast – During the second quarter, the world will continue to feel the impact of the war in Ukraine, high inflation, energy crunches, supply chain bottlenecks and a weakening — but still present — COVID-19 pandemic. Even if negotiations between Moscow and Kyiv make progress, the West will keep most of its sanctions against Russia in place, which will result in prolonged political and economic uncertainty. In the meantime, high energy prices will slow economic growth worldwide, negatively impacting households’ cost of living and businesses’ operating costs. Food and energy inflation will be particularly problematic because it will keep the risk of social unrest high, especially in emerging and developing countries where governments have less fiscal room to mitigate its impact.”, Stratfor, March 28, 2022

Russia’s war on Ukraine has adversely affected the Arab region, which heavily depends on wheat imports, including from these two countries. The fallout from the war varies from country to country, but it has hurt one Arab nation more than the others: Egypt. In Egypt, wheat shortages have further exacerbated supply issues precipitated by poor government planning and the country’s rapid population growth. Since the war began last month, food prices have increased 25-50 percent and are likely to keep rising.”, Geopolitical Futures, March 31, 2022

Global, Regional & Local Travel Updates

What it’s like to travel to Australia right now – Four weeks after the country opened to vaccinated visitors, international flight bookings are nearly half (49%) of pre-pandemic levels, according to the travel technology company Travelport. On average, fewer than 500 weekly international flights landed in Australia in March — down from 2,000 in March 2019 — according to Tourism Australia. However, international flights are expected to double in the next three months, mainly from Singapore, New Zealand, Indonesia and Hong Kong, according to Tourism Australia.”, CNBC, March 28, 2022

Traveling to France? Here’s what to know about booster and testing requirements – In the eyes of the French government, American travelers age 12 and older must fulfill two vaccine-related requirements to be treated as fully vaccinated. The first is that you must show proof of receipt of either two doses of the Pfizer, Moderna or AstraZeneca vaccine or one dose of the J&J vaccine.Regardless of whether you received a single- or double-dose vaccine, if nine months or more have elapsed since your final dose, you must also show proof of a booster in order to maintain a full vaccination status.”, The Points Guy, April 2, 2022

India has finally reopened its borders to international visitors – Even those countries that took a rather cautious approach to the pandemic are finally reopening their borders. New Zealand has started allowing travellers in again, South Korea is reopening next month and Thailand is scaling back its strict testing requirements. Now, after two years cut off from the world, India is also reopening to travellers. Until this week the country had only been letting in chartered flights, meaning it was essentially off-limits to most international visitors. But as of this weekend, 66 airlines from 41 countries – including the UK, US and Australia – will be allowed to fly a limited number of weekly flights to the country.”, Timeout.com, March 29, 2022

Country & Regional Updates

China

China changes audit secrecy rules in bid to stop US delistings – Watchdog will allow foreign regulators to access sensitive financial information on overseas-listed companies. Beijing has revised its audit secrecy laws in a bid to stop around 270 Chinese companies from being delisted from US exchanges, in a significant concession to pressure from Washington.

The China Securities Regulatory Commission, Beijing’s top financial watchdog, said on Saturday it would change confidentiality laws that prevent its overseas-listed companies from providing sensitive financial information to foreign regulators.”, The Financial Times, April 2, 2022

China Manufacturing Activity Slumps to Two-Year Low, Caixin PMI Shows – Activity in China’s manufacturing sector contracted at the steepest pace in 25 months in March, a Caixin-sponsored survey showed Friday, as restrictions aimed at containing a fresh wave of Covid-19 outbreaks hit supply and demand, while the war in Ukraine hurt export orders. The Caixin China General Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI), which gives an independent snapshot of the country’s manufacturing sector, fell to 48.1 from 50.4 in February.”, Caixin Global, April 1, 2022

Europe

Seven Themes to Define Europe – The Russia-Ukraine conflict will have far-reaching effects that look set to redefine many megatrends in Europe. We believe it is one of those rare events in history that will reshape geopolitics, societies and markets. Europe will transition to be more independent and redefine many of its sectors and economic paradigms. The consequences will range from the development of new industries, the acceleration of existing ones, additional infrastructure and technologies, while reaching independence and leadership for some.”, Bank Of America Study, March 22, 2022. Compliments of Steve Kwang, Vice President, Senior Financial Advisor, Merrill, Lynch Wealth Management

European Inflation Soars to Record – Euro-zone inflation surged to a record 7.5% in March from a year ago as Russia’s war in Ukraine further boosted already soaring energy costs. While that’ll cost consumers about 230 billion euros ($254 billion) this year, household savings should help cushion the blow.”, Bloomberg, April 2, 2022

Latin America

After 73% Collapse, Latin American Stocks Finally Start to Soar – Commodity rally is boosting exports and buoying weak economies Morgan Stanley favors Brazil and Chile despite political risks. The spark is the same today as it was then: a boom in global demand for the region’s exports of oil, copper, soybeans, corn and iron ore. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine only further squeezed global supplies of key commodities, pushing up prices more and generating a steady stream of dollars that is breathing life into long-stagnant economies from Mexico to Brazil. The result: The MSCI’s regional index, known as MXLA, has jumped 26% in the first quarter, its best start to a year since the early 1990s.”, Bloomberg, March 31, 2022

India

Cost of Living Rises in India as Companies Pass on Higher Prices – Inflation spike risks denting disposable incomes, consumption RBI to decide on rates April 8 amid above-target inflation. Bloomberg, April 4, 2022

Israel

Why Israel Drew 28 Times More Venture Capital Per Capita Than the U.S. – Despite the flourishing of work from anywhere during the pandemic, it still matters where a startup is located….This comes to mind in considering the flow of venture capital around the world in 2021. A striking conclusion is that on a per capita basis, capital flows into Israel were a whopping 28 times more than those in the U.S. To be sure, 2021 venture capital flow into the U.S. was way larger – up at 154 percent in 2021 to $330 billion – than to Israel – 136 percent higher to $25.4 billion, according to ‘NoCamels’. But Israel’s population of about nine million is a fraction of the U.S.’s 330 million people. Hence, Israel’s $28,000 in venture capital invested per capita in 2021 is far above the U.S.’s $1,000.”, Inc., March 29, 2022

Italy

““Italy’s Factories Feel the Economic Shocks of Ukraine War – Russia accounts for just 1.6% of Italy’s exports but in some sectors the proportion is much higher. And that’s without taking into account the impact of higher gas and power costs on energy-intensive sectors such as steel making, paper manufacturing or ceramics. Overall, according to a study by the Fim-Cisl union, more than 25,000 workers have already been affected by the economic fallout of the fighting, mostly in the highly industrial regions in the northeast of the country.”, Bloomberg, March 29, 2022

Russia

Bloomberg logs off at Moscow terminals – The parent company of Bloomberg News has suspended its operations in Russia and Belarus after President Putin’s invasion of Ukraine. Customers in the two countries will be unable to access financial products including the terminal, data licence, data feed and electronic trading platforms, the company said. Trading functions for a range of Russian securities also have been disabled in accordance with international sanctions, Bloomberg said.”, The Times of London, March 30, 2022

Singapore

Singapore Restaurants See Surge as Pandemic Early Closing Ends – At 10:31 p.m. on Tuesday, cheers went up from the crowds who had flocked to Singapore’s bars and restaurants. It wasn’t a World Cup match or the Super Bowl, but simply the first time in ages that people could still be drinking alcoholic beverages past 10:30 p.m. at food-and-beverage establishments in the city-state. The 10:30 limit, put in place as a pandemic restriction mainstay, has finally been lifted as Singapore slowly works its way back to normal.”, Bloomberg, April 1, 2022

Turkey

Turkish Inflation’s Rush Toward a New 20-Year High Leaves Lira Vulnerable – A three-month policy pause by the central bank means Turkey’s interest rates — already the world’s lowest when adjusted for prices — are set to reach new depths as the cost of everything from food to energy surges. Data due Monday will show inflation climbed to an annual 61.5% in March from 54.4% a month earlier, according to the median of 19 estimates in a Bloomberg survey.”, Bloomberg, April 4, 2022

United Kingdom

City talent hunt drives rise in visa sponsorship – Finance firms in rush for overseas recruits. City firms are sponsoring overseas recruits to come to work for them in the UK at the fastest rate since before Britain left the European Union, according to Home Office figures. About 200 foreign-based workers a week are being hired by British banks, fund managers, insurers and other City firms as the search for talent intensifies and as visa rules are relaxed.”, The Times of London, April 4, 2022

United States

The (March 2022) Future Of Everything Report – Keys to Surviving and Thriving in Post COVID-19 and BeyondWe discuss the economy, the markets, and megatrends that disrupt everything including our careers, our money, and our lifestyle”, Brian Connors, NPB Financial Group, March 30, 2022. Editor’s Note: At the start of each monthwe will include a link to this timely and comprehensive report.

No one asked for a hamburger vending machine, and RoboBurger answered – If a startup from New Jersey has its way, the next Ray Kroc will be a robot. In the last week, a company called RoboBurger installed an autonomous burger chef in Jersey City’s Newport Centre Mall. Over on its website, RoboBurger breathlessly describes its vending machine as the ‘biggest innovation in hot food vending since the invention of the microwave.’”, Engadget, March 29, 2022

Brand News

Dairy Queen Just Made Its Biggest Menu Change In Over 20 Years – The restaurant chain now plans to shake up its entire menu with the biggest revamp that the chain has seen in about 20 years. TODAY reports that Dairy Queen plans to make diners think about burgers when they walk through the door with a new line of Stackburgersthat come in five different topping combinations.”, Mashed, March 29, 2022

KFC’s first fine dining restaurant includes a gravy candle that melts into chicken fat – KFC opened its doors to an innovative fine-dining experience for one weekend only, taking their famed crunchy chicken to a whole new level. Over 200,000 people applied for tickets, but only 180 of them successfully got a place at the exclusive experience in Sydney (Australia). Luckily, TikTokuser Samantha (@samantha.khater) provided the platform with all the juicy details.”, Indy 100, April 3, 2022

Texas Roadhouse Is Growing Impressively – In 2021, the company’s sales growth and operating profitability was better than pre-covid levels…..Louisville, Kentucky based Texas Roadhouse opened its first restaurant in 1993 and since then has expanded to over 667 restaurants in 49 states and ten countries. The company’s business approach is to position each of its restaurants as a local favorite for a wide range of customers looking for quality, low-cost meals provided with a friendly, attentive service. As of December 28, 2021, the company employed around 73,300 people.”, Seeking Alpha, April 1, 2022

These Restaurant Chains Are Raising Their Prices – Be it Starbucks or Taco Bell, Dunkin’ or Domino’s, every chain seems to have felt the burn of red hot inflation, and is turning to customers to cool it down. But as we know, there is little that’s more exasperating than seeing your favorite restaurant ask you to pay more. Here’s a run-down of restaurant chains that are unfortunately asking you to do exactly that.”, The Mashed, April 1, 2022

Articles & Studies For Today And Tomorrow

Understanding International Franchising: Ukraine and Russia – In this episode (of the Franchise Voice podcast), we are discussing the impact of the war in Ukraine on franchised businesses and the decision of many to cease operations in Russia, as highly reported in the media. We will dive in to how all of this works, answer frequent questions, and address common misperceptions about the franchise business model. We have two international franchise experts who will help set the record straight about how franchising works and what this means for businesses with units in these areas.

William Edwards, CEO & Global Advisor to Senior Executives, Edwards Global Services, Inc., Larry Weinberg, Partner, Cassels, Jack Monson, Host and Bill Meierling, Host

What Makes A Quality Franchise? – The cover story of this issues ‘Franchise New Zealand’ magazine describes the ingredients that successful franchises have in common., Franchise New Zealand Autumn 2022 issue

7 Mistakes That Make or Break Small Businesses – Launching a new business is risky — learn from other’s mistakes and set yourself up for success. It is arguable that the mistakes that make or break small businesses are similar across industries and geography. Whether it’s focusing attention on places that don’t produce income or build relationships, not setting boundaries or ignoring their online reputation, I’ve watched small businesses make these mistakes that make or break them.” Entrepreneur magazine, March 31, 2022

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Our MissionInformation Sources & Who We Are

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

To receive our biweekly newsletter click on this linkhttps://bit.ly/geowizardsignup

William (Bill) Edwards, Your Newsletter Editor, has a four-decade career successfully accelerating the international growth of more than 40 brands. Bill Edwards has a four-decade career successfully accelerating the international growth of more than 40 brands. Bill is known as an international Problem Solver and Advisor. Over the years, Bill has made and/or seen most of the mistakes companies make when going global. In Bill’s role as a Global Advisor to ‘C’ level executives, his objective is to impart the wisdom he has learned over time to help them minimize costly mistakes. 

With experience in the franchise, oil and gas, information technology and management consulting sectors, he has directed projects on-site in Alaska, Asia, Europe and the Middle and Near East.  He has lived in China, the Czech Republic, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Iran and Turkey and has worked on projects in over 50 countries.

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

www.edwardsglobal.com

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

Our latest GlobalVue 40 country ranking

For advice on doing business successfully across 40+countries, contact Bill Edwards at bedwards@edwardsglobal.com or +1 949 224 3896.  


EGS Biweekly Global Business Newsletter Issue 52, Tuesday, March 22, 2022

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

Trends in this issue:

The war in the Ukraine is having an impact on other countries due to suspended commodity shipments. Western brands are exiting Russia in waves – 400 to date. But the most important aspect of the war is it impact on the people of the Ukraine. Hopefully, a positive solution will be found very soon.

First, A Few Words of Wisdom

“I have no special talents; I am only passionately curious.”, Albert Einstein

“Coming together is the beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success.”, Henry Ford

“Success is not final; failure is not fatal: It is the courage to continue that counts.”,  Winston S. Churchill

Highlights in issue #52:

  • Brand Global News Section: Black Rifle Coffee®, Dominos®, McDonalds®, Papa John’s®, Tim Horton’s and Subway®

Interesting Data and Studies

The implications for the world economy of the Russian government’s invasion of Ukraine will become more visible in the coming weeks and months. Emergent economic conditions are briefly addressed at the end of the report, which is otherwise focused on the most recent economic data available prior to the invasion.

Much of the recent data show a growing global economy, but at a restrained pace due to rising inflation, supply chain bottlenecks, and effects of more recent pandemic restrictions. The Organisation of Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) measured a drop in consumer confidence as inflation accelerated. Retail sales have been subdued globally, except in the United States, where spending is strongest, with purchases slowly shifting from goods to services. Notable, however, is that during the crisis, eurozone households retained significant currency and deposits, estimated at one thousand billion euros, representing a record level of disposable income.”, McKinsey, March 8, 2022

International Tax Competitiveness by Country – This Markets in a Minute from New York life Investments looks at international tax competitiveness among countries within the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). The Tax Foundation measured international tax competitiveness using two aspects of tax policy: competitiveness and neutrality.”, Visual Capitalist / New York Life Investments, March 10, 2022

Global Energy

After banning imports of Russian oil, the U.S. is searching for new supplies. The U.S. consumes more oil than any other country by far. Before the pandemic, the U.S. had been reducing its crude oil imports for more than a decade, largely thanks to increased domestic production and the growth of renewables. But with its ban on oil imports from Russia, the U.S. now needs to replace about 7 percent of its imports.”, Geopolitical Futures, March 11, 2022

Germany says it has clinched long-term gas supply deal with Qatar – Berlin and other EU countries seek alternative suppliers to Russia and ways to shield consumers from rising prices. Germany’s economy minister Robert Habeck on Sunday said the deal would be a “door-opener” for the country’s economy because it would reduce its reliance on imported Russian gas, which currently accounts for more than half of annual supply. ‘We might still need Russian gas this year, but not in the future,’ Habeck was quoted as saying by DPA in Doha.”, The Financial Times, March 20, 2022

Global Supply Chain & Trade Update

The Ukraine War’s Effects on Global Food Supplies – Record food prices and disrupted grain supply due to the war in Ukraine bode poorly for global food security. Ukraine and Russia are both top grain exporters, but the closing of Ukrainian ports and sanctioning of Russian trade are causing severe market disruption. Fighting and cold weather has also interrupted Ukraine’s March to early April sowing campaigns, which could impact future exports as well.”, Geopolitical Futures, March 18, 2022

India in Talks With Top Wheat Buyer Egypt to Start Shipments – India is in final talks to begin wheat exports to Egypt, the biggest importer, while negotiations are also going on with countries such as China and Turkey, after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine upended global supplies. The country is in discussions to sell wheat to Bosnia, Sudan, Nigeria and Iran too, the commerce ministry said in a statement at the weekend. India is the world’s second-largest producer, while Bangladesh was the largest buyer of the nation’s wheat in 2020-21, it said.”, Bloomberg, March 20, 2022

The Kiel Trade Indicator estimates the trade flows (imports and exports) of 75 countries and regions worldwide, as well as world trade as a whole. The world map shows an expected increase (green) or decrease (red) for the individual countries. Clicking on a country opens a graph with more details. Estimated are the unilateral trade flows of a country with the rest of the world. The Kiel Trade Indicator is updated around the 5th and 20th of each month.”, Kiel Institute for the World Economy, March 7, 2022

South Korea’s Jump in Gas Imports Shows War’s Fallout – South Korea’s gas imports jumped 114.3% in the first 20 days of March compared to a year earlier, customs data showed Monday. That contrasts with a mere 13% increase for the entire month of February……Imports of crude oil soared 57.8% and those of coal shot up 68.7%. The rapid increases show how much costlier energy has become since Russia invaded Ukraine.

The figures also suggest the race is on among countries to secure fuel needed to continue their economic recoveries. For a trade-dependent nation like South Korea, keeping the costs of energy low is crucial in order to ensure a trade surplus and shore up its currency so investors can stay interested and engaged.”, Bloomberg, March 21, 2022

Global, Regional & Local Travel Updates

Cambodia, South Korea and Vietnam loosen COVID-19 restrictions as Asia reopens for tourists. Many countries in Asia are ready to welcome tourists again, even with case numbers related to the omicron variant still showing concerning increases. Several nations have begun to pull back or remove their pandemic restrictions, including testing and quarantine requirements.

On Thursday, Cambodia eliminated its mandate that overseas visitors must take COVID-19 tests before entering the country. It was a move government officials said was designed to help revive the tourism industry, which accounts for 2 million jobs and is responsible for roughly 25% of the country’s gross domestic product. “Now it’s the stage to open the economy by learning how to live with COVID,” Reuters quoted Prime Minister Hun Sen saying during a speech.”, The Points Guy, March 18, 2022

Government of Canada will remove pre-entry test requirement for fully vaccinated travellers on April 1 – Today, the Government of Canada announced that effective April 1, 2022 at 12:01 AM EDT, fully vaccinated travellers will no longer need to provide a pre-entry COVID-19 test result to enter Canada by air, land or water. Fully vaccinated travellers seeking to arrive in Canada before April 1, 2022, must still have a valid pre-entry test.”, Public Health Agency of Canada, March 17, 2022

Germany ends centralised Covid restrictions amid regional protest – North Rhine-Westphalia state premier Hendrik Wuest and German chancellor Olaf Scholz address a press conference in Berlin on the lifting of Covid restrictions. Germany’s pandemic restrictions end on Sunday after two years just as they began: with record Covid-19 infection levels and furious finger-pointing between federal and state politicians.

Masks will remain obligatory on public transport and in hospitals and care homes but are no longer required in German shops, restaurants and schools – despite a sixfold rise in infections in the last fortnight.”, Irish Times, March 18, 2022

Indonesia scraps quarantine for overseas arrivals – Indonesia has removed its quarantine requirement for all arrivals from overseas, its tourism minister said on Monday, responding to improvements in its containment of the coronavirus The decision, effective immediately, follows the successful implementation of a quarantine waiver this month for visitors vaccinated against COVID-19 on the islands of Bali, Batam, and Bintan, minister Sandiaga Uno told a news conference.

‘With the handling of the pandemic more controlled …today we announce that the policy of no quarantine has been expanded across Indonesia,’ said Sandiaga, adding a negative COVID test would still be required.”, Reuters, March 21, 2022

Italy Announces Plan to Eliminate COVID-19 Restrictions – Starting May 1, its digital ‘Green Pass’ will no longer be required to access places like restaurants and public transportation. Italy will gradually phase out its COVID-19 restrictions, the government announced on Thursday, becoming the latest European destination to ditch pandemic-related measures. Starting May 1, its digital ‘green pass’ will no longer be required to access places like restaurants and public transportation, Reuters reported.”, Travel and Leisure, March 18, 2022

Global COVID & Vaccine Update

64% of the world population has received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.

11 billion doses have been administered globally, and 16.69 million are now administered each day. Only 14.4% of people in low-income countries have received at least one dose.”,  Our World In Data, March 21, 2022

Country & Regional Updates

Australia

Franchising Year In Review – Lessons Learned – The franchising sector had another action-packed year in 2021, with significant changes to the Franchising Code of Conduct (‘Code’) coming into effect, requiring Franchisors to review and update their Franchise Agreements and Disclosure Documents to comply with the new Code. Several proceedings instituted by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (‘ACCC’) also continued and the question of when an agreement constitutes a ‘Franchise Agreement’ to which the Code applies was again considered and decided in the Federal Court of Australia.

This article summarises some of the key events that occurred and impacted the franchising sector in 2021 and the lessons that can be learned from them.”, MST Lawyers, March 21, 2022

Floods: $50,000 in new funding available to SMEs – As the flooding crisis continues in New South Wales and Queensland, two new funding packages are set to provide grants of up to $50,000 for affected small businesses. Applications are open now for businesses in both states. The new state and federal government-funded programs will see a total of $558.5 million invested in community support in Queensland, and $434.7 million invested in NSW.

‘Many small businesses and not-for-profits are experiencing loss of infrastructure, equipment, stock and trading,’ Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said in a statement.”, Smart Company AU, March 7, 2022. Compliments of Jason Gehrke, Managing Director, Franchise Advisory Centre, Brisbane

Canada

Companies prepare to return to office as COVID-19 restrictions loosen in some provinces – Canadian business leaders are preparing to bring employees back to the office as COVID-19 mask mandates begin to lift across the country and daily case counts continue to decline. For now, most large companies are requiring employees be fully vaccinated before they return, but many are also hesitant to impose overarching mandates for in-person days. Instead, they’re deferring by allowing teams and individual departments to determine hybrid work schedules.”, The Globe and Mail, March 18, 2022

China

The Seven Factors That’ll Shape China’s Economy This Year – As the country works toward achieving a GDP growth target of around 5.5% this year — the lowest in more than three decades yet still above many market expectations — economists predict that the government will ramp up the implementation of more targeted macro policies while prioritizing stability.”, Caixing Global, March 14, 2022

Why China’s Central Bank Is Handing Over 1 Trillion Yuan to Treasury – Signs of further coordination of China’s fiscal and monetary policy emerged when the country’s central bank announced Tuesday that it will transfer more than 1 trillion yuan ($158 billion) in profit to the finance ministry which the government can use to stimulate the economy. As the country works toward an economic growth target of around 5.5% for the year, its top leaders have highlighted economic stability as their highest priority and urged greater government spending.”, Caixing Global, March 10, 2022

New Zealand

NZ Franchise Awards 2021 Results ­– Friendly rivals from the same industry won the two biggest titles at the Westpac New Zealand Franchise Awards tonight. Here’s our full report with all the winners in every category.

The first franchise awards since 2019 neatly reflected the upheavals of the past two years. Not only did lockdowns mean the 2021 Awards were delayed until 2022 (and then took place online), but the top Franchise System and Franchisee Awards went to those who have been helping us stay safe during the pandemic – commercial cleaning franchises.”, Franchise New Zealand, March 6, 2022

Russia

United States and Others to Revoke Most-Favored-Nation Status from RussiaOn March 11, 2022, President Biden and the G7 (a group of countries that includes Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States) jointly announced their intention to take steps to revoke most-favored-nation (MFN) status – otherwise known in the United States as permanent normal trade relations – from Russia. MFN status grants countries the best possible trade terms, including low tariffs, few barriers, and the highest quantity of imports allowed. The European Union also announced that it will take similar action. Earlier this week, Canada became the first nation to revoke Russia’s MFN status. Canada also revoked Belarus’s MFN status at the same time, making Russia and Belarus the only countries besides North Korea that do not enjoy MFN status with Canada.”, Baker Hostetler, March 14, 2022

Over 400 Companies Have Withdrawn from Russia—But Some Remain – Since the invasion of Ukraine began, over 400 companies have announced their withdrawal from Russia—but some companies have continued to operate in Russia undeterred.  Originally conceptualized as a simple “withdraw” vs. “remain” list, our new list of (400) companies now consists of five categories.”, Yale School of Management, March 21, 2020

Dozens of corporations are still in Russia. It’s getting harder for them to leave. Several multinationals have stayed despite public blowback, and experts say they are running out of time to protect their assets and reputations. ‘I would say to any corporate executive, you have to do what you think is right,’ said James O’Rourke, a professor of management at University of Notre Dame’s Mendoza College of Business. ‘In the end, you have no control over what [President Vladimir] Putin or the central government will do. But if you want to keep doing business in the rest of the free world, you have to pay attention to what they [the rest of the free world] think of you. This may be one of the moments in history in which proactive disinvestment is the best option.’”, The Washington Post, March 11, 2022

Thailand

Thailand Eases Rules for Tourists as Global Travel Revives – Nation scraps Covid-free certificates for foreign visitors. Thailand will scrap a pre-arrival Covid-free certificate requirement for vaccinated foreign visitors even as it reported record new infections, as more countries ease border controls to benefit from a rebound in global travel.

Starting April 1, foreign travelers will no longer be required to hold a Covid-free certificate issued within 72 hours of boarding a flight, but they will have to undergo an RT-PCR test on arrival and a self-administered antigen test on day five, according to Chote Trachu, permanent secretary of the Ministry Of Tourism and Sports.”, Bloomberg, March 17, 2022

Ukraine

The First Conversation Brands Should Be Having About Ukraine – To date, some 400 U.S. and other multinational firms have pulled out of Russia, either permanently or temporarily. Oil companies, including Shell, ExxonMobil and BP, along with tech companies like IBM, Dell, Apple, Twitter and Google have led the way, with others like McDonald’s, Starbucks, Airbnb and Coca-Cola following. Every day there is news of decisions being made, one way or another, by a wide spectrum of corporations and businesses.

And, every day, there are, likely, two predominant conversations taking place in the business world relative to the decision to pull out of the Russian marketplace in support of Ukraine. One conversation has to do with the amount of revenue and profits companies may be giving up. The other, whether the show of solidarity with the Ukrainian people will have enough impact to change the trajectory of this horrific situation.

While these are absolutely valid and critical conversations, my belief is that the first conversation a company should be having relates to what its actions – or inactions – say about its brand values. Consumers, especially younger and more socially connected consumers, increasingly want to do business with brands that align with their values. Be it fighting climate change, or standing up for social issues, consumers look for companies that reflect their personal principles.”, Forbes, March 18, 2022

United Arab Emirates

UAE Opens Doors to Wider Trade as World Veers Toward Protectionism – The oil-rich Gulf nation has been on a mission to lure billions of dollars worth of foreign investments and open itself up to more lanes for trade. Last year, the UAE announced its intention to deepen its ties with fast-growing economies to reposition itself — already a big player in international commerce as the home of logistics giant DP World and Emirates SkyCargo — as a global destination for business and finance.”, Bloomberg, March 14, 2022

Brand News

12 restaurant chains raising menu prices – In the face of inflation and increased labor costs, many companies are forced to charge customers more – An ongoing theme in the Q4 earnings season was menu price increases at restaurants. Chains across every segment, from quick service to casual dining, are raising prices for a variety of reasons: Increased labor costs, increased food costs, general inflation.

At least 12 such restaurants directly addressed these menu price increases in their most recent earnings calls. Many executives expressed optimism, with Wingstop chief financial officer Alex Kaleida believing the worst of wing inflation is past and CFO Craig Pommells saying the company has room to further raise prices throughout the year. Executives agreed that customers are not put off by the increases so far.”, Nation’s Restaurant News, March 9, 2022

Black Rifle Coffee Has a Problem Most Companies Dream About – Black Rifle, the upstart coffee chain focused on veterans, military and first responders, faces an issue that every company wants to have…..the upstart coffee retailer and coffee-bar chain also has an enormous advantage, described by Co-Chief Executive Tom Davin on the fourth-quarter-earnings conference call as a “large and growing community who love interacting with our brand on a daily basis……“[What] we’ve seen is such support for the products that we have from consumers and from retailers that the unmet demand is really additional opportunities for us to go after,” Johnson said, adding, ‘it’s really taking advantage of the momentum on the brand and continuing to accelerate.’

How to meet that unmet demand expeditiously?  ‘We are now in advanced discussions with several co-manufacturers that will enable us to more fully address product demand that is currently unmet,’ he said.”, The Street, March 20, 2022

It may be years — or never — before McDonald’s reopens in Russia – The era of the Big Mac in Russia may be over for years and possibly for good — even if the war in Ukraine ends in the coming weeks or months, experts tell The Post.

McDonald’s, which opened 850 restaurants in Russia over the past three decades, temporarily closed them all this month because of the war in Ukraine. Now, as the Russian government threatens to forcibly reopen them, the fast-food giant looks increasingly unlikely to rebuild itself in Russia, experts say.

Just four days after McDonald’s announced its store closures, a trademark filing was made in Russia for a knockoff burger chain called “Uncle Vanya,” whose red and yellow logo looks like a sideways Golden Arches. The application — which neither the company nor Russian officials have yet commented on officially — came on the heels of Russian officials advocating for the removal of patent protections for companies linked to countries deemed hostile to Russia.”, New York Post, March 18, 2022

Papa Johns, Subway, Domino’s join brands taking stand on Ukraine invasion – Moves illustrate challenge of international franchising under glare of public outrage. Papa Johns International Inc., Subway and Domino’s on Wednesday joined the growing number of U.S.-based restaurant chains to take action in Russia, but the move illustrates the challenges of franchising overseas at times when shifting global tensions ignite public outrage.

The Louisville, Ky.-based Papa Johns said it has suspended all corporate operations in Russia, cutting off all operational, marketing and business support to, and engagement with, the Russian market, and the company is no longer receiving royalties. A master franchisee — an American named Christopher Wynne, president and CEO of PJ Western, who took over the chain’s Russian operations in 2008 — operates or sub-franchises 188 restaurants there, and also owns and operates the supply chain for ingredients. Because of that relationship, however, the Papa Johns units in Russia are likely still open and there’s very little the franchisor can do about it.”, Nation’s Restaurant news, March 9, 2022

As calls to boycott Subway intensify, CT company resists pulling out of Russia – The Ukraine invasion has sparked a massive corporate withdrawal from Russia in the past three weeks. But Subway is among the few companies that have not announced any such changes despite mounting pressure to do so.

While several hundred major companies have curtailed their business in Russia since the invasion began on Feb. 24, Milford-based Subway has not reported any scale-down in the country where it has approximately 450 restaurants. The company has cited those establishments’ independent ownership and management, but that explanation has not quelled a growing outcry that includes calls on social media for customers to boycott the sandwich shop.”, CT Insider, March 18, 2022

Canadian coffee chain Tim Hortons eyes India with 300 outlets in 10 years – The Canadian coffee and fast-food chain founded in Ontario will open its first outlet in New Delhi later this year, according to a March 15 press release from its parent company Restaurant Brands International. Colloquially known as Timmies in Canada, the chain is popular for its “double-double” (two creams, two sugars) coffee and doughnuts.

In the Asia-Pacific region, India will be the fourth country Tim Hortons will be entering. It already has 400 outlets in China, besides restaurants in Thailand and the Philippines.”, Quartz India, March 17, 2022

Articles & Studies For Today And Tomorrow

2022 Global Consumer Trends –  a report from London-based market research firm Mintel. The report’s trend analysis and prediction research are based on seven core trend drivers, each of which is explained more fully in the report.”, Franchising.com, March 19, 2022

Five Things Your Office Needs to Attract Gen Z + Millennials – Younger workers seek out the office as a resource, but need more out of their space.

Steelcase research shows younger workers want to be in the office more, but they need more out of the office. Five factors are key to keeping them. Younger generations sometimes get a bad rep when it comes to workplace perception and now they’re shouldering a new blame: responsibility for ‘The Great Resignation.’ In fact, new Steelcase global research conducted with 5,000 employees globally shows Millennials and Gen Z workers are 65% more likely to leave their companies within the next six months when polled against Boomers and Gen X. Developing a better understanding of what younger generations are seeking may help us improve the work experience for everyone……44% of younger employees say they perceive the office to be more valuable now, compared to 28% of older workers.”, Steelcase, March 2022

Global Happiness Levels in 2022 – Happiness levels depend on a number of factors, including one’s financial security, perceptions of social support, feelings of personal freedom, and much more.

This map pulls data from the World Happiness Report to uncover the average happiness scores of 146 countries. It shows average scores from 2019 to 2021, and highlights which countries are the happiest—or unhappiest—and why.”, Visual Capitalist / World Happiness Report, March 18, 2022

To receive our biweekly newsletter, sign up here: https://bit.ly/geowizardsignup

Our Mission, Information Sources & Who We Are

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

To receive our biweekly newsletter click on this link: https://bit.ly/geowizardsignup

William (Bill) Edwards, Your Newsletter Editor, has a four-decade career successfully accelerating the international growth of more than 40 brands. Bill Edwards has a four-decade career successfully accelerating the international growth of more than 40 brands. Bill is known as an international Problem Solver and Advisor. Over the years, Bill has made and/or seen most of the mistakes companies make when going global. In Bill’s role as a Global Advisor to ‘C’ level executives, his objective is to impart the wisdom he has learned over time to help them minimize costly mistakes.

With experience in the franchise, oil and gas, information technology and management consulting sectors, he has directed projects on-site in Alaska, Asia, Europe and the Middle and Near East.  He has lived in China, the Czech Republic, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Iran and Turkey and has worked on projects in over 50 countries.

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

www.edwardsglobal.com

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

Our latest GlobalVue™ 40 country ranking

For advice on doing business successfully across 40+ countries, contact Bill Edwards at bedwards@edwardsglobal.com or +1 949 224 3896. 


EGS Biweekly Global Business Newsletter Issue 51, Tuesday, March 8, 2022

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

Trends in this issue:

Since living and working in Eastern European countries coming out of decades of communist rule, I have closely watched what Russia does and how it might impact the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland.  In this issue there is a special section on the impact of the war on trade and how the surrounding democratic countries have responded. Actually, most of this issue deals with this immensely important event.

First, A Few Words of Wisdom

“Regimes planted by bayonets do not take root.”, Ronald Regan

“Quality is the best business plan.”, John Lasseter

“Being positive in a negative situation is not naive. It’s leadership.”, Ralph Marston

Highlights in issue #51:

  • Brand Global News Section: Burger King®, Jolibee®, KFC, McDonalds’s®, Phenix Salon Suites®, Retail Food Group and Wingstop®

Our latest GlobalVue™ 40 country ranking Last week we released our quarterly update on how countries rank as places to do business. Our only change would be to give Russia ‘4’ – lowest ranking – for political and economic security.

The Impact of the Ukraine War

A new Europe is emerging from the tragedy of Ukraine – The war has prompted urgent EU membership applications from countries seeking sanctuary from Russian aggression. Jean Monnet, a founding father of the EU, said that Europe “will be forged in crises”. He is being proved right again. It took the Covid pandemic for the EU to make the giant step of financing a huge recovery plan with common debt. Now a war on the continent has moved the EU to decide, over the course of a weekend, to finance weapons deliveries by member states to a country outside the union, thus turning an economic and political organisation into a security provider. Chancellor Olaf Scholz, then Germany’s finance minister, called the EU recovery fund, agreed in May 2020, “a Hamiltonian moment” for Europe, in reference to Alexander Hamilton’s mutualisation of American war debt in the late 18th century.”, The Financial Times, March 6, 2022

These Are the Companies Cutting Ties With Russia Over Ukraine – Exits reverse 30 years of investment by foreign businesses Criticism of banks and companies seen doing too little grows. International sanctions, the closure of airspace and transports links due to the war, and the financial restrictions on SWIFT and capital controls have made it difficult if not impossible for many companies to supply parts, make payments and deliver goods to and from Russia. Added to that, the potential international consumer backlash against any company perceived as helping Vladimir Putin’s regime means that the exodus of corporations from Russia has become a stampede.”, Reuters, March 7, 2022

Businesses worldwide are cutting off Russian trade – ‘The private sector is doing what the U.S. and E.U. were more reticent to do: Punish Russia’s oil and gas sector directly,’ one expert told NBC News.  It is an apt metaphor: Russian economic activity has ground to a near halt, stymied by a sudden lack of access to such products and services as software, payment processing and insurance — often-overlooked cogs in the machinery of commerce but vital nevertheless. Transportation, energy and banking are three sectors in which these sudden omissions are likely to cut the deepest, according to experts.”, NBC News, March 5, 2022

Sainsbury’s renames chicken kievs and pulls Russian-made vodka – UK’s second biggest supermarket switches Soviet-era spelling of capital city to preferred Ukrainian version. Sainsbury’s is changing the name of its chicken kiev to chicken kyiv and is joining Waitrose, Aldi and Morrisons in withdrawing a Russian-made vodka from the shelves in the latest action by British retailers to signal solidarity with the people of Ukraine.

The UK’s second biggest supermarket said the packaging for the poultry dish would change in the next few weeks, switching the Soviet-era name for the country’s capital for the Ukrainian version.”, The Guardian, March 4, 2022

Russia-Ukraine war: Global shipping titans suspend bookings to, from Russia – Ocean Network Express (ONE), Maersk, MSC and Hapag-Lloyd have suspended operations. Ocean Network Express (ONE), Maersk, MSC and Hapag-Lloyd all suspended operations in the country this week, as Bloomberg first reported. ONE — the world’s sixth-largest container carrier and Asia’s second-largest — announced Tuesday that due to the ongoing conflict, it has suspended bookings to and from Odesa, Ukraine; Novorossiysk, Russia; and St. Petersberg, Russia, effective immediately.”, Fox Business, March 1, 2022

McDonald’s distributes food, KFC opened kitchens for war – The management of the McDonald’s Ukraine restaurant chain has decided to provide food from restaurants for the needs of Ukrainians during martial law, and KFC has opened kitchens for cooking to hospitals, military and territorial defense.

‘Our restaurants are closed for safety reasons, but we provide food to local councils from restaurants where it is currently safe (as far as possible) for our employees. Local authorities take away products and distribute them where they are most needed,’ the statement said. McDonald’s Ukraine. The KFC restaurant chain has opened its kitchens for cooking for military hospitals, hospitals, territorial defense, military, etc. ‘We appeal to the restaurant business, all over Ukraine, to also join, open their kitchens to cook and deliver food to those who need it most now,’ the statement said.”, Extracted from the Ukrainian ‘Economic Truth’ publication on February 27, 2022. Compliments of Paul Jones, Jones & Co., Toronto.

Magna to idle Russian operations in response to Ukraine invasion – Magna International Inc., the Canadian auto-parts giant, says it is idling its Russian operations in response to the country’s invasion of Ukraine. Magna, which once boasted of ties to the country’s leadership, had said earlier this week that it was focused on the “business continuity” of its Russian operations, but changed tack on Thursday night.”, The Globe and Mail, March 3, 2022

Global Energy

Oil price rises to highest level since 2008 on talk of Russia oil sanctions – Loss of Russian supplies would remove crucial barrels from an exceptionally tight oil market. The price of Brent oil soared to almost $140 a barrel, its highest price since 2008, in early trading on Monday, after reports that western countries were discussing a possible embargo on crude supplies from Russia, the world’s second-biggest exporter. The price spike came after US secretary of state Antony Blinken said on Sunday that Washington was in “very active discussions” with European allies about a ban on Russian oil exports.”, The Financial Times, March 7, 2022

Global LNG Supply Will Fall 100 Million Tons Short by Mid-2020s – The gap between supply and demand for liquefied natural gas (LNG) will reach 100 million tons a year globally by the mid-2020s, reflecting increased demand and limited supply growth, global oil and gas giant Shell said Monday in its latest annual LNG outlook report. Global trade in LNG expanded 6% in 2021 to 380 million tons as economies rebounded from the Covid-19 pandemic. Demand is expected to almost double to 700 million tons a year by 2040, Shell said in the report.”, Caixin Global, February 23, 2022

Global Supply Chain & Trade Update

Ukraine Crisis Creates New Strains On Global Supply Chains – Fragile and sensitive supply chains are facing new challenges in the aftermath of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. But as bad as things are now, they are likely to get worse for hundreds of thousands of businesses around the world. According to a new report from Dun & Bradstreet, the international domino effect of global dependencies on businesses in the Ukraine region is already being felt.

Why? Because 374,000 businesses worldwide rely on Russian suppliers—90% of these businesses are based in the U.S. About 241,000 businesses rely on Ukrainian suppliers and 93% are based in the U.S., according to Dun & Bradstreet.”, Forbes, March 6, 2022

Charting the Global Economy: Commodities Fuel Yet More Inflation – Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has sparked a feverish run-up in the prices of just about every commodity — from oil to grains to metals — that will inflict even more financial pain on consumers already struggling with rampant inflation.

Global food prices hit a record last month and consumer price indexes across major economies are on the rise. That’s bad news for households everywhere as wage growth largely lags inflation, underscored by the latest U.S. hourly earnings figures that missed all estimates.”, Bloomberg, March 5, 2022

Food prices jump 20.7% yr/yr to hit record high in Feb, U.N. agency says – Higher food prices have contributed to a broader surge in inflation as economies recover from the coronavirus crisis and the FAO has warned that the higher costs are putting poorer populations at risk in countries reliant on imports. FAO economist Upali Galketi Aratchilage said concerns over crop conditions and export availabilities provided only a partial explanation to the increase in global food prices.”, Reuters, March 5, 2022

You Think Groceries Are Expensive in America? Try Shopping in These 6 Countries. American consumers have felt plenty of pain at the supermarket of late, due to the effects of inflation. Overall costs in the U.S. are rising at a 7.5% annual rate. Some food items are going up by as much 20%, according to reports.   But shoppers in the U.S. still may not have it as bad as those in Switzerland and South Korea.

In a recent analysis of prices in 36 major nations, the British website Money.co.uk found that those two countries had the highest costs for groceries, based on a fairly standard shopping list that included milk, eggs, cheese, apples, bananas, oranges, tomatoes, onions, lettuce, bread, rice, potatoes, chicken and beef.”, Barron’s, March 1, 2022

Global, Regional & Local Travel Updates

How Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is changing air travel – The Russian invasion of Ukraine is turning into a seismic event for the aviation industry just as it emerges from the COVID-19 downturn. According to Umang Gupta, managing director at Alton Aviation Consultancy, the typical flight time between Europe and Asia is about 11.8 hours, and 13.5 hours flying the reverse leg.

‘In a best-case scenario, more than two hours of flight time will be added in each direction,” Gupta told Axios. The roundtrip fuel burn would increase by more than 20%, he said, and that’s for the most fuel-efficient wide body aircraft flying today, such as the Boeing 787-9 or Airbus A350-900. At today’s oil prices of around $100/bbl, this will translate into nearly $25,000 of additional expenditure for the airline round trip,’ Gupta said. To cover costs, airlines would need to increase fares by more than $120 for a round trip ticket.”, Axios, March 5, 2022

Should you change your European travel plans in light of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine? Whether you’re currently booked for a trip to Europe or you’re thinking of booking, there are a handful of rational inferences we can draw from the conflict between Europe and the Kremlin.”, The Points Guy, March 6, 2022

Many Travel Restrictions Are Being Eased. Here’s The Latest For March 2022 – We’re approaching the start of the spring travel season as the weather starts to warm north of the equator. Additionally, many positive domestic and international travel developments make it easier to pack your bags and hop on a plane. Here is some of the travel news to know about for March 2022, including several restrictions that have been eased.”, Forbes, March 6, 2022

Asia-Pacific travel faces bumpy recovery – Booking.com exec – Travel in Asia-Pacific is trailing the rest of the world and should expect a bumpy recovery, a Booking.com executive said on Monday, as countries in the region have been slower to open borders than other destinations. With North Asian countries still largely restricting entry and Southeast Asian countries reopening cautiously, the region’s tourism recovery will not be quick, Laura Houldsworth, the online travel agency’s managing director for Asia-Pacific said in an interview.”, Reuters, March 7, 2022

Indonesia, Malaysia to ease COVID curbs on foreign visitors further –  Indonesia is considering a quarantine waiver for foreign visitors to its holiday island of Bali from next week, officials said on Saturday, while neighbour Malaysia announced the removal of curbs on travellers from Thailand and Cambodia.”, Reuters, March 5, 2022

Global COVID & Vaccine Update

63.3% of the world population has received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. 10.88 billion doses have been administered globally, and 19.2 million are now administered each day. Only 13.6% of people in low-income countries have received at least one dose., Our World In Data, March 6, 2022

Country & Regional Updates

Asia Pacific Region

ASEAN’s Growing Economic Importance – The bloc has one of the largest economies in the world. The Association of Southeast Asian Nations is an increasingly important player in global trade. The 10 members of the grouping together comprise the world’s fifth-largest economy. Its economic resources aren’t quite evenly spread, however. Indonesia has the largest economy among the members, accounting for one-third of its total gross domestic product. It’s followed in a distant second by Thailand and then the Philippines. Still, with its strategic location, ample natural resources and abundant human resources, the region stands out as an attractive destination for foreign direct investment.”, Visual Capitalist and Geopolitical Futures, February 25, 2022

Australia

Western Australia finally reopens, uniting the country but leaving questions – For months, as waves of the delta and omicron variants led other states and territories to abandon their goal of reaching “zero covid,” Western Australia remained the lone holdout. With almost no local cases but vaccination rates lagging other regions, Premier Mark McGowan kept the border shut. Life inside the state largely went on as normal. ‘The virus is already here and we cannot stop its spread,’ he said last month. ‘Having the border is no longer effective.’”, The Washington Post, March 2, 2022

Eat your hearts out, McDonald’s Australia is launching a national loyalty program where you can get free food. As if you needed another excuse to cruise through the McDonald’s drive-thru, but now you have one that can financially justify a splurge on a treat from the all the offerings on the coveted McMenu.”

MyMacca’s Rewards, where from Thursday, March 3, customers can earn points with each purchase, which will then earn then even greater rewards. For every $1 spent on eligible food and drink purchases with the MyMacca’s app, customers will earn 100 points.”, The Honey Kitchen, March 1, 2022

China

China’s Ambitious GDP Goal a Boost to Slowing World Economy – Beijing’s 5.5% target will require modest investment stimulus Focus on curbing debt growth will limit the global impact. Beijing on Saturday announced a gross domestic product growth goal of “about 5.5%” for 2022, at the higher end of many economists’ estimates. If achieved, that would be notably quicker than the 4.8% expansion forecast by the International Monetary Fund and the 5.2% seen by economists.”, Bloomberg, March 6, 2022

China to meet ‘severe’ commodity price volatility by boosting coal supply, oil and gas exploration – China to focus on increasing coal, oil and gas supply, while strengthening reserves and maintaining stable imports, says economic planner. The coronavirus pandemic, shifting monetary policies of major economies and geopolitical conflict are stoking volatility in commodity prices. China’s top economic planning agency said on Monday it would steady energy supply this year in the face of escalating geopolitical conflicts, such as the Russian invasion of Ukraine that has roiled global oil and gas markets.”, South China Morning Post, March 7, 2022

“China Overhauls $23 Trillion Supply Chain Finance Mechanism – China is about to rein in its booming, 167.23 trillion ($23 trillion) market for commercial acceptance bills, a risky, controversial form of business financing that played a role in the 2019 collapse of Inner Mongolia-based regional lender Baoshang Bank.

Stung by that financial calamity, China’s central bank and top banking regulatory agency are about to overhaul the 25-year-old regulations governing the bills. The rapid growth in their use in recent years and their involvement in fraudulent financing and other violations spurred regulators to close loopholes and tighten supervision of the instruments.”, Caixing Global, February 26, 2022

Japan

Ukraine crisis may hurt Japan’s economy via fuel spike, says BOJ policymaker – Japan’s consumer inflation could briefly approach the central bank’s elusive 2% target due in part to sharp rises in energy costs triggered by the crisis, Bank of Japan (BOJ) board member Junko Nakagawa said. But such a rise in inflation alone would not be reason to dial back stimulus, Nakagawa said, adding that Japan’s economy was still in the midst of recovering from the pandemic’s wounds.”, Rueters, March 2, 2022

Japan PM signals more sanctions on Russia, braces for price rises at home – Japan’s prime minister indicated on Thursday that the country will impose more sanctions on Russia including a possible airspace ban, and he promised support for Japanese households and companies over looming price rises. ‘As for additional measures including a ban on Russian airplanes in Japan’s airspace, we need to take appropriate steps while working with the G7 and international community,’ Prime Minister Fumio Kishida told a press conference.”, Reuters, March 3, 2022

Mexico

Mexico’s “magnet cities” are attracting renewed U.S. investment as an alternative to Asian sourcing. Whereas freight from Asia to North America takes roughly 110 days, freight from Mexico takes only five to 10 days. Today, Mexico’s maquiladoras are booming with investment from manufacturers desperate to alleviate supply chain woes.”, Exiger Trends Report, February 2022

Ukraine

Visualizing Ukraine’s Top Trading Partners and ProductsInternational trade was equal to 65% of Ukraine’s GDP in 2020, totaling to $102.9 billion of goods exchanged with countries around the world. Ukraine’s largest trading partner in 2020 was China, with the value of trade between the two countries reaching $15.3 billion, more than double the value of any other trading partner.”, Visual Capitalist, March 3, 2022

Brand News

Burger King shrinks chicken nuggets meal size as inflation eats into margins – The fast-food giant has also removed its popular Whopper as a core discount item. Burger King’s largest franchisee, Carrols Restaurant Group, revealed that the fast-food giant has reduced the number of chicken nuggets in its meals from 10 pieces to eight, in order to ‘limit the impact of higher input costs and help improve restaurant-level profitability.’”, Fix Business, March 1, 2022

Popular Filipino fast food chain Jollibee finally opens in Vancouver – Anthony Bourdain called Jollibee the “jolliest place on earth” — and one just opened on Granville Street. People from across the Metro lined up for hours on Saturday for a taste of Jollibee, a hugely popular Filipino fast-food chain that just opened in downtown Vancouver. The Granville Street location opened Friday after a two-year delay due to COVID-19.”, Vancouver Sun, February 26, 2022. Compliments of Paul Jones, Jones & Co., Toronto

KFC Pizza Hut operator Yum China calls time on its struggling East Dawning fast food chain as Covid 19 impact deals fatal blow’. Yum China said its last five outlets of the Chinese-style quick-service restaurant (QSR) brand would cease to operate within 2022. The pandemic was the final straw for the brand, though it had been losing ground for years to the likes of Da Niang Dumpling and Yang’s Dumplings.”, South China Morning Post, March 7, 2022. Compliments of Paul Jones, Jones & Co., Toronto

Phenix Salon Suites Trailblazes International Growth – Phenix Salon Suites, the leading salon suites brand turned international trailblazer, is continuing its impressive growth spurt.

Since starting to franchise over a decade ago, the brand has continued to reinforce its stellar reputation as the leading salon suite rental franchise. With more than 150 combined licenses sold, Phenix Salon Suites had a monumental year in more ways than one. From opening the first international salon location in Manchester, U.K. to surpassing 300 locations domestically to signing a countrywide development agreement for Sweden, Phenix Salon Suites is experiencing its strongest growth in the company’s history.”, Franchising.com, March 4, 2022

Higher average spend, overseas growth boost Retail Food Group’s first half – Retail Food Group operates Gloria Jean’s, Donut King, Brumby’s Bakery, Michel’s Patisserie, Crust Gourmet Pizza, Pizza Capers, Cafe2U and The Coffee Guy. It also roasts and wholesales coffee under the Di Bella Coffee brand.”, Inside Retail AU, February 23, 2022

Wingstop has filed a trademark to sell chicken wings in the metaverse – The chicken-wing chain followed other restaurants, including McDonald’s and Panera Bread, when it filed the trademark applications to the US Patent and Trademark Office on February 25.

The application covers “downloadable virtual goods,” including non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and virtual food and drink. It also includes the creation of an online marketplace where people can trade NFTs, digital assets, and artwork. The multi-class trademark also covers downloadable software for trading cryptocurrency, NFTs, and digital tokens as well as downloadable loyalty and reward cards that the company says can be redeemed for food in both the real and virtual worlds.”, Business Insider, March 3, 2022

Articles & Studies For Today And Tomorrow

Going International? Taking Your U.S. FDD Abroad – Based on my experience as a master franchisee in five countries, a franchisor executive leading an international operations and development department, and working with more than 40 franchises over the past 20 years in more than 35 countries and cultures, here are the (U.S.) FDD sections I have found international candidates are most interested in, the ones that will most affect their investment decision.”, Franchising.com, March 1, 2022. Your newsletter Editor, William (Bill) Edwards, is the author of this article.

To receive our biweekly newsletter, sign up here: https://bit.ly/geowizardsignup

Our Mission, Information Sources & Who We Are

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

To receive our biweekly newsletter click on this link: https://bit.ly/geowizardsignup

William (Bill) Edwards, Your Newsletter Editor, has a four-decade career successfully accelerating the international growth of more than 40 brands. Bill Edwards has a four-decade career successfully accelerating the international growth of more than 40 brands. Bill is known as an international Problem Solver and Advisor. Over the years, Bill has made and/or seen most of the mistakes companies make when going global. In Bill’s role as a Global Advisor to ‘C’ level executives, his objective is to impart the wisdom he has learned over time to help them minimize costly mistakes.

With experience in the franchise, oil and gas, information technology and management consulting sectors, he has directed projects on-site in Alaska, Asia, Europe and the Middle and Near East.  He has lived in China, the Czech Republic, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Iran and Turkey and has worked on projects in over 50 countries.

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

www.edwardsglobal.com

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

Our latest GlobalVue™ 40 country ranking


EGS Biweekly Global Business Newsletter Issue 50, Tuesday, February 22, 2022

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

Trends in this issue:

Lots of unusual global brand news in this, our 50th edition. The Big Mac Index is updated. 62% of the world’s population has received at least one vaccination shot. The United Kingdom ends COVID restrictions. Canada’s labor force is ahead of 2019. Fast food chains in Asia are running out of French fires. You will soon be able to order a Big Mac virtually in the metaverse.

First, A Few Words of Wisdom

“Run when you can, walk if you have to, crawl if you must, just never give up.”, Winston Churchill

“The ladder of success is never crowded at the top.”, Napoleon Hill

“Someone is sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago.”, Warren Buffett

Highlights in issue #50:

  • Brand Global News Section: Grill’d®, McDonalds®, Pret-A-Manger®, Starbucks®, Taco Bell®, YUM Brands® and White Castle®

Interesting Data and Studies

The Big Mac Index: A Measure of Purchasing Power Parity – The Big Mac was created in 1967 by Jim Delligati, a McDonald’s franchise owner in Pennsylvania. It was launched throughout the U.S. the following year, and today you can buy one in more than 70 countries. However, the price you pay will vary based on where you are, as evidenced by the Big Mac Index.”, The Economist and Visual Capitalist, February 16, 2022

Mapped: Inflation Forecasts by Country in 2022 – Today, this is a question on many investors’ minds. Across several countries, inflation has hit its highest level in decades. Supply shortages and massive monetary stimulus have contributed to increasing consumer prices. Asset prices, including houses, have also risen significantly. In this Markets in a Minute from New York Life Investments we show inflation by country in 2022 according to IMF projections.”, Visual Capitalist, February 10, 2022

Labor markets rebound – “Labor markets in advanced economies bounced back super-fast relative to pre-pandemic levels, but the U.S. is slightly behind. Why it matters: Consider it took years for jobs to come back after the 2008 financial crisis. This is like no other economic recovery in history, said Claire Li, an assistant vice president at Moody’s who helped put together this data. The United Kingdom and Euro area are ahead partly because of the way they headed off job losses at the start of COVID, using fiscal relief to keep workers attached to the job market — instead of paying unemployment benefits to workers.”, Axios, February 10, 2022

Mapped: Corruption Around the World – For more than a decade, the Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) by Transparency International has been the world’s most widely-used metric for scoring corruption. This infographic uses the 2021 CPI to visualize corruption in countries around the world, and the biggest 10-year changes.”, Visual Capitalist and Transparency International, February 10, 2022

A Global Risk Assessment of 2022 and Beyond – Since the start of the global pandemic, we’ve been navigating through tumultuous waters, and this year is expected to be as unpredictable as ever. In the latest annual edition of the Global Risks Report by the World Economic Forum (WEF), it was found that a majority of global leaders feel worried or concerned about the outlook of the world, and only 3.7% feel optimistic.”, Visual Capitalist and World Economic Forum, January 31, 2022

Global Energy

China’s Reliance on Foreign Oil Declines for First Time in 20 Years – China’s crude oil imports and reliance on foreign oil declined for the first time in two decades, reflecting rising global petroleum prices, expanding domestic production and strengthened supervision of local refiners.”, Caixing Global, February 18, 2022

Here’s How Much You’ll Be Spending to Charge Your Electric Car by 2026 – Expect a 390% growth in electric-vehicle spending globally over the next five years. According to Juniper Research, the lower cost and convenience associated with home charging will lead to a 390% increase in global spend over the next five years. This means the $3.4 billion that was spent on EV charging at home in 2021 will rise to $16 billion by 2026.”, PC Magazine, February 18, 2022

Battery Swapping Boosts Appeal for New-Energy Heavy Trucks – Almost every new-energy heavy truck sold in China last month had a swappable battery, in a sign Chinese fleet operators are embracing the technology to beat the traditional limits of electric vehicles and reduce their operating costs. All but 20 of the 2,283 new-energy heavy vehicles sold in January were equipped with a power replenishing system capable of replacing the exhausted battery with a fully charged one in just a few minutes.”, Caixing Global, February 21, 2022

Global Supply Chain & Trade Update

Fast food chains in Southeast Asia are running out of french fries – Signs at some of Yum! Brands Inc.’s KFC outlets in Singapore informed customers that the company would replace side orders of fries with potato waffles due to a “global supply disruption.” McDonald’s Corp. stores in Malaysia and Indonesia halted sales of large-size portions of fries late last month for the same reason, according to company notices posted on Twitter.”, Fortune, February 18, 2022

Asia rethinks ‘just-in-time’ strategy as pandemic upends logistics industry – Pandemic-era disruptions have upended distribution networks and exposed vulnerabilities in supply chains from Hong Kong to Singapore to Australia. Businesses are starting to stockpile more and diversify their suppliers, as regional governments look to shore up supplies of raw materials and essential goods.” South China Morning Post, February 19, 2022

How Supply Chain Issues Continue To Impact The Restaurant Industry – As more independents and franchised QSR’s, Fast Casual and full service restaurants reopen to standard capacity, increasing supply chain issues and problems have made it challenging for business owners, dealers, and operators in the industry……In addition, did you know that continued demand for takeout has exacerbated shortages of items, such as coffee cups, plastic straws, and to-go containers?”, Forbes, February 14, 2022

Global, Regional & Local Travel Updates

12 things to consider for international business travel – To help you prepare for an international business trip, we asked business leaders and travel professionals this question for their best insights. From updating your vaccinations to securing your devices, there are several considerations that may help you best prepare for your international business travels.”, AZ Big Media, February 20, 2022

Australia’s border reopens to international visitors – Australia has reopened its international border for the first time in nearly two years, bringing joyful family reunions and a boost to tourism. The country imposed some of the world’s strictest travel bans after shutting itself off in March 2020 due to Covid.”, BBC News, February 19, 2022

Air France to Introduce 200 New Direct Flights From the U.S. to Paris This Summer – Air France is restoring several flights between the U.S. and Paris this summer, the airline announced recently, as Europe heads into what the World Health Organization described as a “long period of tranquility” in the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.”, Travel & Leisure, February 14, 2022

Vietnam to Lift Curbs on Tourists March 15 – International tourists must have proof of being vaccinated or recovery from COVID-19 with a negative test result ahead of departure under the current plan, the website reported. They would be required purchase Covid-19 medical insurance coverage worth $10,000.”, Bloomberg, February 16, 2022

Global COVID & Vaccine Update

62.3% of the world population has received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. 10.57 billion doses have been administered globally, and 31.82 million are now administered each day. Only 11.4% of people in low-income countries have received at least one dose.”, Our World In Data, February 20, 2022

Country & Regional Updates

European Union

“Eurozone economic activity rises at fastest pace since September – February PMI shows strong momentum in manufacturing and services while signalling concern over rising prices. The flash purchasing managers’ composite index for the eurozone, an important measure of the health of the manufacturing and services sectors, rose to 55.8 in February, up from 52.3 in January and the highest since September.”, The Financial Times, February 20, 2022

China

China Tries a Balancing Act as Economy Hits Cross-Currents – As China’s property slump slows its economy, there’s increasing focus on how the central bank and government are going to support growth. As for government spending, that hasn’t ramped up as quickly as some had been expecting. While authorities have emphasized infrastructure investment, their actual spending hasn’t matched the rhetoric.”, Bloomberg, February 21, 2022

Hershey officially denies withdrawing from China saying it is working with dealers to resolve supply issues – On February 11, in response to the rumors of withdrawing from the Chinese market, Hershey told Caijing.com today that China has always been one of the important markets for Hershey Company, and Hershey Company will still maintain an operation team . Continue to invest in the Chinese market and lead the continuous business promotion of distributors in China.”, Caijing (Chinese), February 11, 2022. Compliments of Paul Jones, Jones & Co., Toronto

Japan

“Japan’s Economy Recovered in Fourth Quarter – GDP expanded at annualized rate of 5.4% after Covid-19 restrictions were lifted, but the new year has brought a surge in infections. The growth was due largely to private spending, which increased 2.7% from the previous quarter. Spending on services recovered solidly after a state of emergency in Tokyo and other cities was lifted on Sept. 30. About 80% of the nation’s population was vaccinated by the end of 2021, making people feel safer to dine out or travel.”, The Wall Street Journal, February 14, 2022

Turkey

“Can Erdogan’s gamble keep the Turkish lira steady? Erdogan argues that his “new economic model” will attract foreign direct investment that will bring hard currency into the country. Even with rock bottom valuations, western investors who have traditionally been the strongest source of FDI into Turkey remain hesitant due to concerns about the country’s economic management and the rule of law.”, The Financial Times, February 19, 2022

United Kingdom

U.K.’s Boris Johnson Ends Covid Rules in England in Major Policy Shift – U.K. premier says Covid restrictions in England to be lifted Plan welcome by ruling Tories key to his political survival. Boris Johnson said the U.K. must learn to live with coronavirus as he ended pandemic rules in England, becoming the first major Western government to do so even as his scientific advisers warned infections will rise.”, Bloomberg, February 20, 2022

The (UK) economy has shaken off the effects of Omicron restrictions at the start of the year to rebound this month. The flash IHS Markit/CIPS composite purchasing managers’ index rose to 60.2 in February, from 54.2 in January, well above the consensus, 55.3. A figure above 50 indicates growth. A strong recovery in consumer spending on travel, leisure and entertainment boosted services companies. The flash services PMI increased to 60.8, from 54.1. Meanwhile, manufacturing PMI held steady at 57.3 as weaker employment growth offset a rise in the output balance.”, The Times of London, February 20, 2022

United States

U.S. Retail Sales Rise Most in 10 Months in Broad-Based Rebound. Total value of receipts jumps 3.8% after dropping in December. Non-store retailers, furniture and autos among biggest gains. The value of overall purchases rose 3.8% in January after a downwardly revised 2.5% drop in the prior month, Commerce Department figures showed Wednesday. The advance was nearly double the median estimate of 2%.”, Bloomberg, February 16, 2022

Brand News

Why Grill’d next move could put some customers off – Customers will have to shell out more money for some of their favourite items as burger chain Grill’d flagged increasing prices in the coming months. Grill’d co-founder and managing director Simon Crowe blamed rising supply chain costs and inflationary pressures as the reason for the rises, noting he hadn’t seen this level of pricing pressures from all angles for over 10 years. It’s turned two of its restaurants entirely plant-based, renaming the new venues which are based in Darlinghurst in Sydney and Collingwood in Melbourne, as Impossibly Grill’d.”, News.com.au, February 9, 2022. Compliments of Jason Gehrke, President, the Franchise Advisory Centre, Brisbane

Get Ready to Order Your Big Mac from a Virtual McDonald’s in the Metaverse – Earlier this week, trademark attorney Josh Gerben reported that McDonald’s had filed 10 new trademark applications indicating that it is planning to open a virtual restaurant in the online metaverse.”, Food and Wine, February 11, 2022

Why Pret-A-Manger’s UK Customers Are Seeing Red Over Its Coffee – It must have sounded like a good idea at the time for British chain Pret-a-Manger to offer guests five daily handcrafted beverages, covering choices that included “up to five organic coffees, teas, lattes, hot chocolates and more every day” if they paid a flat fee of 20 GBP ($27.22) monthly (via Pret-a-Manger).  But things don’t always go according to plan.”, Mashed, February 19, 2022

Can Starbucks China s Price Increase for Some Products Win the Future? Starbucks has already taken the lead in raising prices in the US domestic market. CEO Kevin Johnson said at the earnings conference that some product price hikes were aimed at countering the impact on profits from wage hikes and other cost increases.”, Caixin.com (Chinese), February 2, 2022. Compliments of Paul Jones, Jones & Co., Toronto

Taco Bell sets sights on reaching 1,000 units outside the U.S. – The brand’s largest international market surpassed the 100-unit milestone and others are soon to follow. As a member of the Yum portfolio, Taco Bell’s strength has come from domestic growth over the past few years. But now Taco Bell is standing out for its success with international locations. The Irvine, Calif.-based chain ended the year with 7,791 units, of which 789 were international — and that growth outside the U.S. is a 25% increase from the roughly 600 international units at the beginning of 2021.”, Nation’s Restaurant News, February 15, 2022

White Castle to hire 100 robots to flip burgers – The robotics program will take place in nearly one-third of the company’s locations. The hamburger chain announced plans this week to install Miso Robotics’ “Flippy 2” in 100 locations. The Ohio-based chain has been experimenting with the robotic fry cook since September 2020, when the original “Flippy” was installed in a Chicago area restaurant.”, Today.com, February 18, 2022

Yum China’s fourth quarter 2021 net profit drops 93 percent, plans to add 1,000 stores in 2022. Affected by the epidemic, same-store sales, an important indicator of chain restaurants, fell further in the fourth quarter of 2021, down 11% year-on-year, with KFC and Pizza Hut down 12% and 8% respectively.”, Caixin (Chinese), February 9, 2022. Compliments of Paul Jones, Jones & Co., Toronto

This Issue’s Cartoon

Articles & Studies For Today And Tomorrow

2022 Franchising Outlook – Franchising had an exceptional year in 2021, and 2022 looks to be another strong year of recovery. Bolstered by both the strengthening labor market and steady consumer spending, franchising is expected to continue to expand, trending upwards with the United States’ overall economic progression, but the pace of the growth in 2022 is most likely to moderate, due to the current headwinds in the economy.”, The International Franchise Association and FRANdata, February 2022

Coee production and consumption have been consistently on the rise in the past 2 decades. Interestingly, there are some periods that production were surpassed by domestic consumption. Top 10 producing countries provide 83% of world coffee beans. Top 10 markets consumes 81% of world beans. Top market is European Union which consumes 40% of the world beans. United States as a single country consumes 22% of the world beans.”, Tableau Public, 2021

Our Mission, Information Sources & Who We Are

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

To sign up for our biweekly newsletter click on this link:   https://lnkd.in/d_XkTGN.

William (Bill) Edwards, Your Newsletter Editor, has a four-decade career successfully accelerating the international growth of more than 40 brands. Bill Edwards has a four-decade career successfully accelerating the international growth of more than 40 brands. Bill is known as an international Problem Solver and Advisor. Over the years, Bill has made and/or seen most of the mistakes companies make when going global. In Bill’s role as a Global Advisor to ‘C’ level executives, his objective is to impart the wisdom he has learned over time to help them minimize costly mistakes.

With experience in the franchise, oil and gas, information technology and management consulting sectors, he has directed projects on-site in Alaska, Asia, Europe and the Middle and Near East.  He has lived in China, the Czech Republic, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Iran and Turkey and has worked on projects in over 50 countries.

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

www.edwardsglobal.com

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

Our Latest GlobalVue™ Country Ranking

For advice on doing business successfully across 40+ countries, contact Bill Edwards at bedwards@edwardsglobal.com or +1 949 224 3896. 


EGS Biweekly Global Business Newsletter Issue 49, Tuesday, February 8, 2022

Trends in this issue:

Australia and New Zealand reopen, the European Union sees declining COVID cases, global supply chain continues to be a mixed situation, the IMF sees a global GDP rebound in 2022 but global unemployment is highly variable across the world.

First, A Few Words of Wisdom

“If you don’t ask, the answer is always no.”, Nora Roberts

“Please think about your legacy, because you’re writing it every day.”, Gary Vaynerchuk

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

Highlights in issue #49:

  • Australia and New Zealand finally reopening for travel
  • Brand Global News Section: Dunkin’ Donuts®, KFC®, Restaurant Brands NZ, Wingstop®

Interesting Data and Studies

The global labor market faces a deficit of 52 million full-time jobs, and unemployment affects 207 million people. The global unemployment rate of 6.2 percent is the second highest since 2003 and isn’t expected to return to pre-pandemic levels this year.”, Geopolitical Futures, January 28, 2022

The rise and rise of the global balance sheet – The market value of the global balance sheet tripled in the first two decades of this century. The world has never been wealthier, with large variations across countries, sectors, and households.”, McKinsey, November 2021

Global Supply Chain & Trade Update

A world shaped by supply – We’ve entered an era where supply constraints are the driving force of inflation, rather than excess demand. This will likely bring more macro volatility and force policymakers to live with higher inflation. We are in a new and unusual market regime, underpinned by a new macro landscape where inflation is shaped by supply constraints.”, Blackrock, January 2022 study

Why supply-chain problems aren’t going away – Results season shows the financial effects of supply-chain snarl-ups on industrial firms. Supply chains have seldom featured in companies’ earnings reports over the three decades since globalisation took off in earnest, save for the occasional mention of the benefits of low costs and lean inventories. This earnings season, though, covid-induced shortages are among the first problems mentioned by many firms.”, The Economist, January 29, 2022

World Food Prices Are Climbing Closer Toward a Record High – UN’s index of global food costs advanced 1.1% last month Unfavorable weather, energy crisis threaten further increase. The United Nations’ index of prices rose 1.1% in January, pushed up by more expensive vegetable oils and dairy. The gauge is edging closer to 2011’s all-time high, and unfavorable weather for crops and the fallout from an energy crisis threaten to keep prices high going forward. Inflation has been running rampant across the globe, and the latest leg higher in the UN’s food index could further stretch household budgets.”, Bloomberg, February 3, 2022

From a Private Director’s Association webinar, “Supply Chain Structure: Future Risks and Opportunities”, January 27, 2022

Supply Chain Surges & Shortages, Exiger Trends Report, January 2022

““Asia Sourcing Update – South and West Asia – Bangladesh, India, Pakistan and Turkey.”, FUNG Business Intelligence, January 30, 2022

Global, Regional & Local Travel Updates

“Travel & Tourism’s Contribution to Global Economy Could Reach $8.6 Trillion in 2022 – In 2019 the travel and tourism industry’s contribution to the global economy was almost $9.2 trillion, it said. The institution added that the sector’s contribution to global employment could reach over 330 million jobs, just 1% below pre-pandemic levels and 22% above 2020.”, The Wall Street Journal, February 2, 2022

Chinese State-Owned Airlines Took Heavy Losses in 2021 – Over the past year, the aviation market in China has still been heavily impacted by the pandemic. The authority maintained the zero-tolerance policy against the virus, and one of the consequences was low travel demands from both domestic and international markets. All three airlines attributed the main reasons for heavy losses to the influence of the pandemic. During the traditional peak travel seasons in China, heavy restrictions were put in place to reduce traffic, especially in and out of areas that had Covid-19 cases.”, Airline Geeks, February 3, 2022

The Best and Worst U.S. Airlines of 2021 – As Omicron infections and weather challenges hampered operations, some carriers struggled more than others to return to some version of pre-pandemic normal. The good news: Flying is more like it used to be. The bad news: Flying is more like it used to be. Leisure travel came roaring back in 2021. So did cancellations, delays and other flight problems. Airlines began to resemble their pre-pandemic selves, even if they still flew less overall than they did in 2019.”, The Wall Street Journal, January 28, 2022

Global COVID & Vaccine Update

Europe entering Covid pandemic ‘ceasefire’, says WHO – The World Health Organization’s (WHO) Europe director says the continent could soon enter a ‘long period of tranquillity’ in the Covid-19 pandemic. Dr Hans Kluge cited high vaccination rates, the end of winter and the less severe nature of the Omicron variant. It comes as a number of European nations end Covid-19 restrictions. Speaking to reporters, he said: ‘This period of higher protection should be seen as a ‘ceasefire’ that could bring us enduring peace.’”, BBC News, February 3, 2022

“Information is beautiful chart, February 7, 2022

New cases of COVID-19 begin to decline in most of the European Union countries and in the United Kingdom coming out of the latest variant. The Financial times, February 7, 2022

Country & Regional Updates

European Union

“The French national statistics office said average growth in 2021 was its fastest rate since 1969, at the peak of the postwar period known as “les trente glorieuses”. The economy has bounced back sharply from its 8 per cent contraction in 2020. The eurozone’s second-largest economy returned to its pre-pandemic level of GDP in the third quarter, it said.”, The Financial Times, January 28, 2022

Southeast Asia

Australia

After two years of closed borders, Australia welcomes the world back – Australia said on Monday it will reopen its borders to vaccinated travellers this month, ending two years of misery for the tourism sector, reviving migration and injecting billions of dollars into the world No. 13 economy. The move effectively calls time on the last main component of Australia’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, which it has attributed to relatively low death and infection rates.”, Reuters, February 7, 2022

China

It was in China, specifically the city of Wuhan, where the first cases of COVID-19 were detected in early 2020 before quickly spreading worldwide. China is now pushing a zero COVID policy using contact tracing, mass testing, a special app and lockdowns to try to eliminate the virus completely. Similar strategies have been adopted in other countries but were eventually abandoned in the recognition that COVID-19 is here to stay. But China is holding firm, imposing regulations very similar to the ones adopted at the beginning of the outbreak”, Geopolitical Futures, February 5, 2022

China Manufacturing Slips in Latest Sign of Slowing Economy – PMI surveys signal slowdown in factories, services sector. Small businesses under pressure, Caixin survey shows. The official purchasing managers’ surveys released on Sunday showed a moderation in factory production and services in January. Small businesses bore the brunt of the pain, with a separate private index dropping to its lowest in almost two years.”, Bloomberg, January 30, 2022

Japan

Japan Quarterly Output Gain Signals Growth Return Before Omicron Auto production led fourth quarter rebound in manufacturing Supply chain problems persist and omicron now clouds outlook. Japan’s industrial production rebounded last quarter, with the recovery in manufacturing likely helping restore economic growth at the end of 2021 before the omicron variant started its rapid spread.”, Bloomberg, January 30, 2022

New Zealand

New Zealand will finally start to reopen its borders this month – New Zealand is putting an end to its quarantine requirements for incoming travelers and will start reopening its borders with a five-phase plan in March. The island nation, which has implemented some of the toughest border restrictions in the world since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, announced Thursday it’s going to begin a phased reopening of its borders, the AP reported. New Zealand is putting an end to its quarantine requirements for incoming travelers and will start reopening its borders with a five-phase plan in March.”, The Points Guy, February 3, 2022

United States

A Record 50% of U.S. Small Businesses Raised Wages in January to Lure Workers – A record 50% of U.S. small-business owners said they raised compensation in January amid still-elevated job openings, the National Federation of Independent Business said Thursday. With some 47% of small businesses reporting job openings last month that they could not fill, employers have been raising wages to attract skilled candidates — a trend that doesn’t appear to be reversing any time soon.”, Bloomberg, February 3, 2022

With Omicron Waning, Americans Are Ready for the Reopening – A transition to a new pandemic normal holds major implications for the U.S. economy, and particularly for the hard-hit services sector, where recovery so far has been stunted even as spending elsewhere has soared. Even the perception of a pandemic lull this time around could have a significant effect. “People are going to, I think, have an even more euphoric attitude toward this if we do feel like this is really the actual end of the pandemic,” says Jefferies economist Tom Simons. ‘That will feel like a boom.’”, Barron’s, February 7, 2022

California finally reopens: Mammoth and Tahoe ski resorts reopen lodgings after rollback of state’s COVID order. Mammoth and Lake Tahoe area ski resorts and mountain towns are reopening hotels and lodges to leisure visitors after California’s governor on Monday lifted statewide regional orders that had closed lodging to most travelers.”, Los Angeles Times, January 25, 2022

Brand News

New research shows 84% of franchise companies report revenues are now equal to or higher than pre-pandemic levels –  Franchise Business Review today announced the release of its 2022 Franchising Outlook Report.  The report is based on research from over 31,000 franchise owners across 350 brands, 6,000 employees at both the corporate office and unit-level, and 200 franchise executives.”, Franchise Business Review, February 2, 2022

How Dunkin’ Changed Franchising Forever – The first Dunkin’ was opened back in 1948, in Quincy, Massachusetts, after William Rosenberg had the idea to start selling donuts and coffee for just $0.05 and $0.10 each, respectively. Because of his dream and drive to make it a reality, Rosenberg remains a key pioneer of the fast food industry. In 2000, The LA Times reports, he was honored by the Nation’s Restaurant News as one of the top 100 people who ‘changed retailing and food service in the 20th century.’”, Mashed, January 30, 2022

KFC Australia makes its drone delivery debut – CMO says the pilot of drone food delivery was prompted by dramatic changes to consumer behaviours during the pandemic. KFC Australia has teamed up with drone service provider, Wing, to pilot a delivery service of both hot and fresh menu items in Australia.”, CMO Australia, February 4, 2022

Restaurant Brands lifts NZ sales by $51m; Covid closures cost it $26m – The fast-food company that owns the local franchises for KFC, Pizza Hut, Taco Bell and Carl’s Jr, made an extra $51 million in sales in New Zealand last year, but estimates it lost about $26m of sales as a result of Covid-19.”,  Stuff New Zealand, January 27, 2022. Compliments of Jason Gehrke, Franchise Advisory Centre, Brisbane, Australia

Wingstop creates digital-only, cashless storefront unit – Dallas prototype serves as testing ground for innovations — from sustainable uniforms and cashless transactions to a kitchen display system and grease extraction for bio-fuels. Wingstop Inc. in December opened a “Restaurant of the Future” in a Dallas strip mall, featuring cashless 100% digital transactions and serving as testing ground for new ideas, from new layouts and uniforms to a kitchen display system.”, Nation’s Restaurant News, February 3, 2022

Cartoon Of The Issue: Leadership!

Articles & Studies For Today And Tomorrow

AI in Restaurants? The Possibilities are Limitless – The global AI market as a whole is expected to grow to a value of $190.61 billion by 2025. It looks like 2022 is shaping up to be a very interesting year in restaurant technology, especially in the quick-serve and fast-casual spaces. For example, we learned in December that TikTok was teaming up with a ghost-kitchen company to open 300 virtual kitchens in March, aiming to reach 1,000 by the end of the year. On the menu? Recipes that have gone viral on the video-sharing app.”, QSR Magazine, January 28, 2022

Our Mission, Information Sources & Who We Are

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

To sign up for our biweekly newsletter click on this link:   https://lnkd.in/d_XkTGN.

William (Bill) Edwards, Your Newsletter Editor, has a four-decade career successfully accelerating the international growth of more than 40 brands. Bill Edwards has a four-decade career successfully accelerating the international growth of more than 40 brands. Bill is known as an international Problem Solver and Advisor. Over the years, Bill has made and/or seen most of the mistakes companies make when going global. In Bill’s role as a Global Advisor to ‘C’ level executives, his objective is to impart the wisdom he has learned over time to help them minimize costly mistakes.

With experience in the franchise, oil and gas, information technology and management consulting sectors, he has directed projects on-site in Alaska, Asia, Europe and the Middle and Near East.  He has lived in China, the Czech Republic, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Iran and Turkey and has worked on projects in over 50 countries.

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

www.edwardsglobal.com

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

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


EGS Biweekly Global Business Newsletter Issue 48, Tuesday, January 25, 2022

Trends in this issue:

The reinvention of company culture, an explosion of new small businesses, venture capital grew 111% worldwide in 2021, falling shipping rates may mean an end to the global supply chain crisis, working from to be a permanent part of how jobs are done. And a zoom cartoon to reduce stress!

First, A Few Words of Wisdom

“Try to be a rainbow in someone’s cloud.”, Maya Angelou

“Your success in life isn’t based on your ability to simply change. It is based on your ability to change faster than your competition, customers and business.”, Mark Sanborn

“People begin to be successful the minute they decide to be.”, Harvey Mackay

Highlights in issue #48:

  • Brand Global News Section: Checkers & Rally’s®, Denny’s®, KFC China, McDonalds®, Phenix Salon Suites®, Starbucks®, TGI Friday’s®,  Tropical Smoothie®

Bolded article titles are live links, if the article is available without subscription

Interesting Data and Studies

State Of Venture 2021 Report – It was a record year for global & US venture funding, exits, unicorns, and more. Global venture deals and dollars reached record highs in 2021. Funding more than doubled year-over-year as startup investment soared across sectors and geographies.”, CB Insights, January 12, 2022

GDP is growing fastest in these countries – what it means – Countries including India and Turkey saw strong GDP growth in the third quarter of 2021. While other countries, including China, Australia and Japan, saw their GDP slow or fall. The OECD says GDP growth in half the G20 major economies is still below pre-pandemic levels.”, World Economic Forum, January 17, 2022

Inflation: Seven reasons the cost of living is going up around the world – From buying groceries to heating our homes, the cost of living is rising sharply – not just in the UK but around the world. Global inflation – the rate at which prices rise – is at its highest since 2008. Here are some of the reasons why.”, BBC News, January 20, 2022

The knot around the global economy from intractable supply networks is still holding tight at the start of the new year as the omicron variant complicates recovery efforts. According to fresh IHS Markit data, U.S. supplier delivery times lengthened slightly in early January. Still, there’s reason for optimism. Europe’s factories were able to lift output as shipping delays and materials shortages eased somewhat. German businesses expectations for the coming months improved recently. In the U.S., the ISM’s index of future manufacturing output climbed to the highest level in more than a year.”, Bloomberg, January 25, 2022

The Global Risks Report 2022, 17th Edition – In some societies, rapid progress on vaccination, leaps forward on digitalization and a return to pre-pandemic growth rates herald better prospects for 2022 and beyond. Others could be weighed down for years by struggles to apply even initial vaccine doses, combat digital divides and find new sources of economic growth.”, World Economic Forum, January 2022

Global Supply Chain & Trade Update

“Omicron, Supply-Chain Troubles to Slow Growth, World Bank Says – Bank forecasts 4.1% growth in 2022, down from 5.5% last year. The global economy is poised to slow down in 2022, the World Bank forecast Tuesday, citing the effects of the Omicron variant, supply-chain disruptions, labor shortages and the winding down of government economic support. Japan, Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia and Vietnam are among countries expected to strengthen in 2022. The report projects growth to slow further, to 3.2%, in 2023.”, Wall Street Journal, January 11, 2022

Falling shipping rates point to end of the great supply chain crisisThe Baltic Dry Index……….measures the price of shipping bulk materials around the world and as such is used as a proxy to measure the stability and efficiency of worldwide supply chains. In times of market dislocation, it rises sharply to reflect the difficulties in transporting goods — and during the pandemic it has done little else but rise, peaking at more than 5,700. That peak in the Baltic Dry was hit on October 7. Since then, the index has fallen sharply, halving within a month. Though it jumped in the run-up to Christmas, it has dropped back again since. Yesterday it fell further, its tenth consecutive daily decline, to 1,570.”, The Times of London, January 21, 2022

Race to Measure Supply Chain Snarls Draws a Crowded FieldJumping in this month were logistics giant Kuehne+Nagel, economists at Citigroup and Morgan Stanley, and researchers at the New York Fed.  Analysts at Bloomberg, Flexport and the White House have already launched such data points and are making refinements as the crisis drags on.”, Bloomberg, January 24, 2022

Challenges at ports, bad weather conditions or vessel issues can impact your shipments and cause disruptions in your supply chain. Currently, more than 561 vessels of the major carriers are anchored off ports, as many ports on every continent are facing disruptions in their operations.”, Sea Explorer, January 25, 2022

Canada Faces Empty Shelves as Trucking Snarls Hit Food Supplies – About $45 billion worth of goods crosses the border every month, and Canada is the top export market for 32 U.S. states, according to the Department of Commerce. Most trade between Canada and the U.S. travels by truck.”, Bloomberg, January 21, 2022

Global Energy

Europe’s Energy Shock Rattles ConsumersWholesale gas prices are up almost 300% in the past year because of unusually low storage levels, increased demand from economies emerging from the pandemic and capped flows from Russia. That has driven inflation higher, and analysts at Bank of America estimate that household energy costs will rise 50% this year, and aid from governments to shield households will only offset about a quarter of that.”, Bloomberg, January 12, 2022

Global, Regional & Local Travel Updates

A Brighter Outlook For Airlines In 2022?Airlines are on the cusp of facing their third year dealing with the Coronavirus pandemic. The challenges have continued relentlessly, ranging from new variants of the virus, to shifting government policies on travel restrictions and testing. The impact on customer confidence and on airlines’ ability to plan and operate predictable schedules has hit revenues and finances severely.  However, compared with the outlook when I reviewed the landscape 12 months ago, there are reasons for cautious optimism for 2022.”, Forbes, January 23, 2022

When will international travel return? A country-by-country guide to coronavirus recovery. The emergence of the omicron variant of the COVID-19 virus created upheaval on an international scale……Many countries also changed their entry requirements over the last weeks of 2021, with some decreasing the number of days allowed for pre-travel testing and others once again requiring fully vaccinated travelers to present pre-travel negative test results.”, The Points Guy, January 22, 2022

The biggest travel trend of 2022: Go big, spend big – If 2021 was about domestic travel, 2022 may be the year of the ‘bucket list’ trip. This is one of the biggest trends that travel insiders expect this year, despite 2022’s tumultuous start as the omicron Covid-19 variant snarled the industry.”, CNBC, January 20, 2022

How China’s Zero-COVID Goal Is Impacting The Aviation Industry – Inbound international flights to China are operating at a fraction of comparable 2020 numbers and don’t look like recovering any time soon. If anything, capacity may further tighten. Among many industries, the aviation industry is a casualty of China’s zero-COVID policy. China closed its international borders to nearly all foreigners in March 2020, shutting down the inbound tourism and business markets. China has not relaxed that policy since. If anything, they’ve become tougher on who they award the few visas they grant to.”, Simple Flying, January 14, 2022

Global COVID & Vaccine Update

Europe Slowly Starts to Consider Treating Covid Like the Flu – New metrics are needed as Covid becomes endemic, Spain PM says Hospitalization rates remain manageable despite surging cases. Spain is calling for Covid-19 to be treated as an endemic disease, like the flu, becoming the first major European nation to explicitly suggest that people live with it.”, Bloomberg, January 11, 2022

Country & Regional Updates

Australia

Chicken shortage to continue for weeks to come, Australian Chicken Meat Federation warns – The continued supply chain strain of Omicron and a national shortage means Australia’s most popular protein will remain off the menu for weeks yet to come.”, News.com.au, January 20, 2022

Canada

Ontario restaurants take pragmatic approach as they come out of yet another lockdown – As restaurants in Ontario prepare to reopen from the fifth wave of the pandemic, business owners say they’re going to be more cautious this time by bringing in measures such as smaller menus and limited operating hours to ensure they don’t suffer large losses in the case of another lockdown.”, The Globe and Mail, January 23, 2022

China

Beijing Winter Olympics Will Spotlight a Richer, More Confident China – The country is richer, more confident, and more assertive than it was when the 2008 Summer Games were held in Beijing.”, Bloomberg, January 21, 2022

Starbucks to widen online reach in China through new alliance with Meituan ending coffeehouse chains partnership with Alibaba – Seattle-based Starbucks said the collaboration with Meituan, which operates China’s largest online food delivery platform, will enable more consumers across the mainland to make reservations at its stores and get their coffee delivered, according to a statement published on Tuesday on the American firm’s official WeChat account.”, South China Morning Post, January 19, 2022. Compliments of Paul Jones, Jones & Co., Toronto

The Philippines

Philippines Sets Vaccination Mandate For Unrestricted Air Travel – As of January 17th, only fully vaccinated individuals will be allowed to take public transportation to, from, and within the national capital region of the Philippines. While there are exceptions to this policy provided, the blanket policy will apply to air travel as well, which would appear to cover a large portion of flights since Manilla is the country’s largest air hub.”, Simple Flying, January 15, 2022

Poland

Poland’s Biggest Convenience Chain Overtakes Amazon In European Race For Autonomous Stores – Using contactless, AI-powered computer vision technology from U.S. tech player AiFi—a system similar to Amazon’s Just Walk Out set-up—the concept enables shopping to be checkout-free and fast.”, Forbes, January 18, 2022

Spain

Spain’s tourist sector seen reaching 88% of pre-pandemic size in 2022 – Spain was the world’s second most visited country before the pandemic. Holidaymakers flocked to its beaches and historic buildings while trendy cities like Barcelona and Madrid were popular for short breaks. Industry association Exceltur expects Spain’s tourism gross domestic product to be worth 135 billion euros ($155 billion) in 2022, 88% of pre-pandemic levels, versus 57% in 2021, when a partial recovery of domestic tourism didn’t offset a contraction in international travellers.”, Reuters, January 13, 2022

United Kingdom

Britain ‘will be among first’ to emerge from Covid pandemic – Hospital admissions have stopped rising across most of England. The northeast and Yorkshire is the only part of England where admissions are still clearly rising, with London seeing falls and the rest of the country broadly level or starting to decline, adding to confidence in weathering the Omicron wave.”, The Times of London, January 11, 2022

United States

How Much Are You Willing to Pay for a Burrito? The pandemic has led to the largest price spikes at fast-food restaurants in two decades. The pandemic has led to price spikes in everything from pizza slices in Manhattan to sides of beef in Colorado. And it has led to more expensive items on the menus at fast-food chains, traditionally establishments where people are used to grabbing a quick bite that doesn’t hurt their wallet.”, New York Times, January 21, 2022

The flip side of the ‘great resignation’ — a small-business boom. From January through November, just under 5 million new businesses were launched, a jump of 55 percent over the same period in 2019. “This time has been really fertile. We’ve seen a huge increase in new businesses since the pandemic started,” said Julia Pollak, the chief economist at ZipRecruiter. ‘There are more opportunities out there.’”, NBC News, December 30, 2022

Starbucks, McDonald’s, more are cutting hours due to staffing shortagesStarbucks reached out to customers about shortened hours, halt on features and products as omicron cases surge; McDonald’s also announces shorter hours. With a double whammy of surging omicron cases and continued labor shortages, several major restaurant chains are cutting back on hours and services to deal with the challenges, including Starbucks, and Chipotle.”, Nation’s Restaurant News, January 14, 2022

Brand News

2021 Reflections, 2022 Predictions for Franchising – Naturally, hiring and retention will be crucial in 2022, as will all relationship “soft skills,” from development teams nurturing candidates to FBCs supporting franchisees to being attuned to customer desires. So what else does the future hold for 2022? See what these franchising pros are predicting.”, Franchising.com, January 2022

Checkers and Rally’s hope to serve up turnaround and debt refinancing – Checkers and Rally’s, backed by private equity firm Oak Hill Capital Partners, “hopes” to refinance its debt within a year, conditioned upon stable markets, CEO Frances Allen told Axios. Why it matters: The beleaguered burger chain is making headway under Allen, who was brought in to turn around the business in early 2020.”, Axios, January 13, 2022

Denny’s Fuels Growth with Innovative Development Initiatives – The chain is rolling out an upfront cash incentive development program to help domestic franchisees capitalize on market opportunities. The incentive ranges from $50,000 to $400,000, with more money going toward underpenetrated markets.”, FSR Magazine, January 14, 2022

Phenix Salon Suites Signs 8-Unit Development Deal in Sweden – Phenix Salon Suites, the nation’s leading salon suite brand turned international trailblazer, has announced another global development deal. Randa Shebly-Cobb, who opened the brand’s 300th salon location in Atlanta earlier this year, will soon bring Phenix Salon Suites’ brand to Sweden.”, Franchising.com, January 22, 2022

TGI Fridays launching new format – TGI Fridays is launching Fridays on the Fly, a small-format restaurant concept that is designed to meet rising consumer demand for delivery and takeout. At approximately 2,500-sq. ft., the new format will be focused on filling delivery and takeout orders.  It will also offer in-door dining, but with a smaller dining space than a traditional TGI Fridays.”, Chain Store Age, January 21, 2022

Tropical Smoothie Cafe Considers Going Public – Coming off a record year, Tropical Smoothie Cafe is reportedly planning to go public later in 2022, according to Bloomberg. The red-hot fast casual could be valued at at least $1 billion, sourced told the media outlet. Tropical Smoothie is said to be working with Morgan Stanley and Jefferies Financial Group.”, QSR Magazine, January 11, 2022

Cartoon Of The Week: Recent Zoom Call!

Articles & Studies For Today And Tomorrow

“European sales of electric cars overtake diesel models for first time – Switch to battery-powered vehicles enjoys record growth on back of government subsidies and emissions regulations.  More than a fifth of new cars sold across 18 European markets, including the UK, were powered exclusively by batteries, according to data compiled for the Financial Times by independent auto analyst Matthias Schmidt, while diesel cars, including diesel hybrids, accounted for less than 19 per cent of sales.”, The Financial Times, January 16, 2022

Work From Home Is Becoming a Permanent Part of How Jobs Are Done – Data show we can expect 30% to 40% of workdays to be remote, long after the pandemic is over. In the second-to-last week of December, 42.4% of U.S. workdays were worked from home. Before the pandemic, WFH accounted for about 5% of U.S. paid full workdays.”, Bloomberg, January 18, 2022

79% of baby boomers want to keep working, but with more flexibility. Is this the end of retirement? Baby boomers nearing retirement age don’t want to kick up their feet and relax through their sunset years. Instead, most of them want to continue working, but just fewer hours or in less demanding roles, according to a new survey.”, Fortune, January 12, 2022

2022 Global Talent Trends – The Reinvention of Company Culture. Because of the pandemic, employees are rethinking their priorities and their relationships with employers. They’re seeking flexible work arrangements and more work-life balance. They want to work for employers who value their physical and emotional well-being. And they’re ready to walk away from those who don’t.”, LinkedIn Talent Solutions, January 2022

Our Mission, Information Sources & Who We Are

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

To sign up for our biweekly newsletter click on this link:   https://lnkd.in/d_XkTGN.

William (Bill) Edwards, Your Newsletter Editor, has a four-decade career successfully accelerating the international growth of more than 40 brands. Bill Edwards has a four-decade career successfully accelerating the international growth of more than 40 brands. Bill is known as an international Problem Solver and Advisor. Over the years, Bill has made and/or seen most of the mistakes companies make when going global. In Bill’s role as a Global Advisor to ‘C’ level executives, his objective is to impart the wisdom he has learned over time to help them minimize costly mistakes.

With experience in the franchise, oil and gas, information technology and management consulting sectors, he has directed projects on-site in Alaska, Asia, Europe and the Middle and Near East.  He has lived in China, the Czech Republic, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Iran and Turkey and has worked on projects in over 50 countries.

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

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