Global Business Development

EGS Biweekly Global Business Newsletter Issue 47, Monday, January 11, 2022

Welcome to 2022, the Year of the Tiger! We are changing our biweekly global business update newsletter to every other Tuesday. It seems lots happens every Monday so we want to be providing our readers around the world – 20 countries – the latest information.

Going forward, we will also include a cartoon in each issue!!

First, A Few Words of Wisdom

“Always remember, your focus determines your reality.”,  George Lucas

“The bad news is time flies. The good news is you’re the pilot.”, Michael Altshuler

“To improve is to change; to be perfect is to change often.”, Winston Churchill

Highlights in issue #47:

  • Brand Global News Section: Little Caesars®, Papa John’s®, Popeyes®, Sweetgreen®

Interesting Data and Studies

5 Reasons to Be Optimistic About 2022 – Start the new year on a bright note: Here are five things to be excited about. There was a lot of hope at the start of 2021: COVID-19 vaccines had just arrived, an end to the pandemic seemed on the horizon, and a fresh start for the global economy was ahead. By now, it feels like much of January’s optimism was as inflated as today’s prices. But in the spirit of starting the new year on a bright and positive note, here are five things to look forward to in 2022 that prove it’s not all doom and gloom.”, Foreign Policy, December 27, 2021

“Has Inflation Peaked? At the risk of being premature so early in 2022, some are starting to wonder if the worst of inflation is now behind the world economy.”, Bloomberg, January 7, 2022

Bulls, Bears And Buffaloes: What Investment Strategists Are Telling Advisors And Investors To Expect In 2022. As 2022 approaches, markets continue to be powered by strong earnings growth as advisors and investors price in inflation and expected interest rate hikes from the Federal Reserve. Forbes spoke with several investment strategists about what to expect from 2022.”, Forbes, January 3, 2022

Prediction Consensus: What the Experts See Coming in 2022 – Even at the best of times, it’s human nature to want to decode the future. During times of uncertainty though, we’re even more eager to predict what’s to come. To satisfy this demand, thousands of prognosticators share their views publicly as one year closes and another begins. In hindsight, we see varying levels of success at predicting the future.”, Visual Capitalist, January 6, 2022

We are entering a new market regime unlike any in the past half century. What will this mean for markets? Learn more in our 2022 Global Outlook. We see another year of positive equity returns coupled with a down year for bonds. The powerful restart of economic activity will be delayed – but not derailed – due to new virus strains, in our view. Central banks will start to raise rates but remain more tolerant of inflation. We see inflation settling above pre-Covid trends – we’re going to be living with inflation. We favor equities over fixed income as a result, but have dialed back our risk-taking given the wide range of potential outcomes in 2022.”, Blackrock, January 6, 2022

The global normalcy index – Is the world returning to pre-pandemic life? Find out with our interactive tracker. The Economist has devised a “normalcy index” to track how behaviour has changed, and continues to change, because of the pandemic. Our index comprises eight indicators, split into three domains. Our index covers 50 of the world’s largest economies which together account for 90% of global GDP and 76% of the world’s population.”, The Economist, December 16, 2021

Global Supply Chain & Trade Update

Ningbo port clogged by lockdown measures – Truck entry into the port area remains restricted while some container freight stations have halted operations due to blocked roads and other lockdown measures. World’s third-busiest box port is trying to unclog the cargo traffic by establishing a whitelist for truck drivers and increasing barge and rail services among other efforts.”, Lloyd’s List, January 4, 2022

U.S. on Sidelines as China and Other Asia-Pacific Nations Launch Trade Pact – The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership will eventually eliminate more than 90% of tariffs on commerce among 15 member countries. China joins U.S. allies including Japan and Australia in a new Asia-Pacific trade agreement that launches Saturday—with the U.S. watching from the sidelines. It will also give China a more prominent role in setting rules of trade in the Asia-Pacific region at the expense of the U.S., according to some analysts.”, The Wall Street Journal, January 1, 2022

Global supply pressures may be nearing peak, New York Fed index shows – The Global Supply Chain Pressure Index (GSCPI) surged early in the pandemic when China imposed lockdown measures. Pressures eased as production resumed but picked back up during the winter of 2020 as COVID-19 infections jumped. ‘More recently, the [index] seems to suggest that global supply chain pressures, while still historically high, have peaked and might start to moderate somewhat going forward….’”, Reuters, January 4, 2022

U.S. manufacturing cools but globally factories take Omicron risks in their stride for now – Elsewhere, manufacturing activity in the euro zone remained resilient at the end of 2021 as factories took advantage of some easing in supply chain bottlenecks and stocked up on raw materials at a record pace, a survey showed on Monday. In Britain, manufacturing activity grew slightly faster than originally thought last month, another survey showed on Tuesday.”, Reuters, January 4, 2022

Global Energy – New Section!

European Energy Bills to Rise 54% From 2020 Level, BofA Says – Households in Europe are set to pay an average of 54% more for energy than they did two years ago, due to soaring natural gas and power prices across the region, according to Bank of America Corp. The average residential consumer will spend 1,850 euros ($2,095) on energy this year, up from 1,200 euros in 2020, analysts at the bank said in a research note. The biggest increases will be in Italy and the U.K., where bills will jump by about 950 euros.”, Bloomberg, January 5, 2022

Global flow of liquefied natural gas – Biggest exporters and importers. Tons (m), 2020.  Mapping Europe’s gas network also enabled us to show readers the physical complexity of the “connected world” — a reminder that supply chains, trade routes and pipelines remain vital to maintaining the global economy regardless of technological advancements.”, The Financial Times, December 29, 2021

Opec and its allies roll out more barrels for new year – The planned increase from February will mean that the alliance is still withholding about three million barrels per day from the market, which is due to be restored by September. RBC Capital Markets said: ‘Though Omicron cases continue to climb in key geographies, the absence of widespread lockdown restrictions will likely keep near-term demand concerns in check.’”, The Times of London, January 5, 2022

China Overtakes Japan as Top LNG Importer – China imported 81.4 million tons of LNG in 2021, up 17.8% from a year earlier. Japan’s imports rose 0.2% to 75 million tons. Japan lost its crown as largest LNG importer for the first time since early 1970s, according to the report. South Korea ranked third with 46.4 million tons. Australia was the world’s largest LNG exporter in 2021, selling 83 million tons of the clean energy. But the United States is likely to jump to the top place in 2022, surpassing Qatar and Australia, according to IHS Markit.”, Caixing Global, January 7, 2022

Global, Regional & Local Travel Updates

The world’s safest airline for 2022 revealed, and it’s largely influenced by COVID safetyWhen people are traveling, the safest airline – according to the annual list – is Air New Zealand. monitors 385 airlines from across the world, measuring factors that include crash and serious incidents, age of aircraft and, most notably, COVID-19 protocols.”, USA Today, January 5, 2022

Airbus keeps top planemaker spot with 8% delivery rise – The numbers gave Airbus an unassailable lead on revenue-generating deliveries – the industry’s main yardstick – after Boeing handed over 302 jets in the first 11 months. After slashing production due mainly to the pandemic, planemakers are seeing more demand for medium-haul passenger jets and freighters, despite global concern over Omicron.”, Reuters, January 10, 2022

Goldman Says China Border Curbs Likely to Last Most of 2022 – China could retain its tight border restrictions for the whole of the year as it prepares to host the Winter Olympics and a series of political events in 2022, Goldman Sachs Group Inc. said. Reports that vaccines made by domestic firm Sinovac Biotech Ltd. offer limited protection against the omicron variant will likely reinforce China’s resolve to stick with its Covid Zero strategy, analysts led by Andrew Tilton wrote in a note Tuesday.”, Bloomberg, January 3, 2022

Aeromexico passenger traffic reaches highest post-pandemic level –  Passenger traffic at Grupo Aeromexico (AEROMEX.MX) in December reached its highest level since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Mexican airline said on Thursday. Aeromexico transported 1.74 million passengers last month, or 98.9% of the 1.76 million people it moved in December 2019, the company said in a statement.”, Reuters, January 6, 2022

Israel reopening to all vaccinated, recovered international travelers next week – Shortly after announcing plans to reopen its borders to most countries, Israel announced Thursday that it would allow all international travelers – including those from the United States – to enter next week. The new rules go into effect Sunday and will allow fully vaccinated and recovered travelers to enter so long as meet pre-departure and post-arrival testing requirements.”, USA Today, January 6, 2022

How Short-Haul Flight Bans Are Transforming European Travel – A growing number of E.U. countries have proposed bans on regional flights where a train route exists to reduce carbon emissions. Short-haul flights between European cities have become increasingly common over the last few decades, popularized by the cheap, quick, and convenient offerings from low-cost regional carriers like EasyJet and Ryanair. But that will start to change this year. In an effort to shrink the region’s carbon output, governments across the European Union are imposing bans on short-haul flights, with new legislation taking effect as early as this spring.”, CNN Traveler, January 6, 2022

Global COVID & Vaccine Update

Vaccine Access and the Recovery – Access to COVID-19 vaccines is critical for economic recovery. We’re two years into the pandemic, but in many ways the start of 2022 feels very similar to the start of 2021. A holiday-induced wave of COVID-19 is picking up across the globe; restrictions on social activity are in place in many places to varying degrees; and supply chains are suffering from missing or damaged links. One notable difference, however, is the global administration of vaccines against the virus.”, Geopolitical Futures, January 7, 2022

The Times of London cartoon, December 27, 2021

Country & Regional Updates


China’s Economic Recovery Hits Road Bump in 2021 Amid Policy Tightening – As it stuck to its zero-infection policy, China kept new Covid-19 cases to a relatively low level, so manufacturers were able to smoothly deliver overseas orders amid strong global demand. But strict measures subdued domestic consumer spending, especially in the services sector. Meanwhile, rapidly increasing factory-gate inflation had an impact on some businesses’ profits. In addition, China launched a series of regulatory actions this year against industries including property, private tutoring, big tech, and high carbon-emission factories and mines, which piled pressure on supply and demand as well as on market entities’ confidence.”, Caixing Global, December 31, 2022

China’s Services Industry Growth Accelerates, Caixin PMI Shows – Activity in China’s services sector expanded at a faster pace in December as total new business orders continued to grow, a Caixin-sponsored survey showed. The Caixin China General Services Business Activity Index, which gives an independent snapshot of operating conditions in the sector, rose to 53.1 from 52.1 the previous month, according to the survey report released Thursday.”, Caixing Global, January 6, 2022

China Launches Digital Yuan App in Pilot Cities Nationwide – China has launched a smartphone app for making payments and transfers with the digital yuan, as the country plows ahead with tests of its central bank digital currency. The e-CNY app became available on app distribution platforms for Android and iOS users in China on Tuesday. The app is now open to users in 12 cities and regions including Shenzhen, Suzhou, Chengdu, and Shanghai, as well as the hosts for the upcoming Winter Olympic Games, Beijing and Zhangjiakou.:, Caixing Global, January 5, 2022

Nordic Countries

The pandemic delivered a surprise to Nordic countries: a baby boom – The long, dark winters may be great for making babies, but financial incentives play a bigger role. the Nordic countries—Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland, and Iceland—all have maintained their birthrates, and some are puzzled to find themselves in the midst of a pandemic baby boom.”, National Geographic, December 27, 2021

Electric cars hit 65% of Norway sales as Tesla grabs overall pole – While Norway, with a population of 5.4 million, has the world’s highest proportion of electric vehicles, China with its 1.4 billion people is by far the biggest overall car market. Oil-producing Norway has encouraged the switch to zero emission cars by exempting battery electric vehicles (BEVs) from taxes imposed on internal combustion engines (ICE).”, Reuters, January 6, 2022

United Kingdom

Jobs that offer hybrid working and flexible hours are on the rise The government is being urged to change the law so large companies make all vacancies available on a part-time, job-share and flexible basis. Research from the Recruitment and Employment Confederation and labour market analysts Emsi Burning Glass show that 25% of jobs advertised in December last year mentioned hybrid or flexible working, which also includes job shares and working irregular hours. That’s up from 19% before the pandemic.” , Sky News, January 7, 2022

Manufacturing activity rises as supply bottlenecks ease – Output and jobs in the manufacturing sector continued to grow at the end of last year as supply chain disruptions began to ease. The rise in the output index to 53.6 in December, from 52.7 in November, showed that the spread of the Omicron coronavirus variant had not yet hit the sector’s recovery. The IHS Markit/CIPS purchasing managers’ index for UK manufacturing measured 57.9 in December. The figure, a slight drop from a three-month high of 58.1 in November but above the flash estimate at 57.6, is thought to have been weighed down by a clearing of production backlogs.”, The Times of London, January 5, 2022

United States

“Small businesses growing more optimistic, survey finds – 83% of midsize businesses and 71% of small businesses “are optimistic about their own performance in 2022,” according to JPMorgan Chase’s 2022 Business Leaders Outlook Survey out today. That’s up from 77% and 63% at the dawn of 2021, respectively.”, Axios, January 5, 2022

Record 4.5 Million Americans Quit Jobs In November As Employers Struggle To Retain Workers – The quit rate increased to 3%, matching the series high in September, with large upticks in several industries, including food services (up 159,000), healthcare (up 52,000) and transportation (up 33,000). Meanwhile, there were about 10.6 million open jobs at the end of November, down 529,000 from a month prior, when openings nearly matched the record 11.1 million set in July.”, Forbes, January 5, 2022

Brand News

Interview: Arthur McColl, CEO of Express Employment Professionals Australia and New Zealand – Employers the world over have struggled to retain talent as the pandemic has brought about a shift in consciousness, but employment professionals have seen all kinds of shifts in thinking and are well-placed to advise companies on how to negotiate this issue.”, Global Franchise, January 10, 2022

American pizzeria chain Little Caesars opens in Moscow – The company plans to open over 50 points in Russia.  The first Russian establishments of the American Little Caesars pizza chain will start operating in Moscow at the end of December, the company’s development director Jeremy Vitaro told Vedomosti.”,, December 24, 2021. Compliments of Paul Jones, Jones & Co., Toronto

Papa Johns in Deal With FountainVest Partners to Expand China Footprint – Papa John’s International Inc. said Friday it has struck a deal with private-equity firm FountainVest Partners to open more than 1,350 new stores across China by 2040. The franchise development agreement is the largest in Papa Johns history as it accelerates store openings across its markets, the Louisville, Ky.-based pizza company said.”, Market Watch, January 7, 2022

Popeyes Will Open Hundreds of Restaurants In This Country – RBI International, the parent company of Popeyes, will be partnering with franchisor Silla Group to bring hundreds of the chain’s locations to Korea in the coming years. The first one, according to the press release, is slated to open later this year.”, Eat This, Not That!, January 5, 2022

Will customers subscribe to Sweetgreen’s plan to make pricey salads less pricey? With the company’s new Sweetpass program, customers can buy a $10 pass which rewards them with a $3 credit daily for 30 days. There is a minimum order requirement of $9.95. The offer is available for customers at the chain’s 140 stores who place orders on its website or through its mobile app. Discounts are not available for orders placed on DoorDash, Uber Eats or other third-party apps.”, Retail Wire, January 5, 2022

Fast food chains adopt subscription models – The subscription economy is expanding into the drive-thru lane….Subscriptions offer a source of dependable revenue, loyalty and data — the same elixir that fuels streaming services like Netflix and exercise powerhouses like Peloton. The subscription economy grew nearly sixfold from 2012 to 2021, according to subscription management company Zuora’s Subscription Economy Index.”, Axios, January 9, 2022

Articles & Studies For Today And Tomorrow

Which economies have done best and worst during the pandemic? We rank 23 rich countries along five measures. THE SPEED of the economic bounce-back from the enormous recession of 2020 has taken many forecasters by surprise. Output across the 38 mostly rich OECD countries combined probably surpassed its pre-pandemic level a few months ago. The average unemployment rate across the club, at 5.7%, is in line with the post-war average. And aggregate household income, adjusted for inflation, is above its pre-covid level.”, The Economist,  January 1, 2022

How Tech Will Help Restaurants Offset Labor Shortages, Reduce Inefficiencies and Tackle Other Challenges in 2022 – Restaurant operators once again find themselves refocusing priorities and altering their plans for 2022. A pandemic-induced and tumultuous 2020 for restaurants was followed by a puzzling 2021. Although sales are up from this time last year, so too, is the scramble to adequately staff restaurants and retain those workers. While many restaurants are offering hiring incentives like higher pay or signing bonuses, some are forced to reduce the number of hours they’re open to the public because of lack of staff. In 2022, restaurants are turning to technology for help.”, Restaurant Technology News, December 17, 2021

The 50 Most Visited Websites in the World – Together, the top three websites (Google, YouTube and FaceBook) rake in 152 billion visits monthly, outpacing the next 47 websites combined. What’s more, as the pandemic transformed everything from the way we work, learn, communicate, and shop—a majority of these activities migrated online. In this new visualization, we look at the most visited websites around the world, drawing data from SimilarWeb (as of November 2020).”, Visual Capitalist, 2021

Our Information Sources & Who We Are

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

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 and sources of information.

To sign up for our biweekly newsletter click on this link:

William (Bill) Edwards, Your Newsletter Editor, has a four-decade career successfully accelerating the international growth of more than 40 companies. Bill is known as an international problem solver, Advisor, Mentor, brand developer and start-up specialist. 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. Mr. Edwards is known for his extensive knowledge and understanding of business cultures. Mr. Edwards advises a wide range of companies on early to long term global development of their brands. 

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.

Download our December 2021 chart ranking 40+ countries as places to do business at this link:

Our Latest GlobalVue™ Country Ranking

Our global business update blog can be found at:

For advice on doing business across 40 countries, contact Mr. Edwards at or +1 949 224 3896.  Click here to schedule a call with Bill Edwards to discuss how to solve challenges as you grow your company around the world.

EGS Biweekly Global Business Newsletter Issue 46, Monday, December 27, 2021

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

The world economy is predicted to top US$100 trillion for the first time in 2022: As we come to the end of 2021 and prepare to start 2022, the Year of the Tiger, this special issue focuses on predictions for the coming year.

And we also look back at how 2021 predictions turned out.

First, please click on this link to go to my latest article in ‘Global Trade’ magazine:

5 Strategies To Expand Your Business Globally, Even in Trying Times

Global Business Predictions for 2022, Year of the Tiger

World economy to top $100 trillion in 2022 for first time – The world’s economic output will exceed $100 trillion for the first time next year and it will take China a little longer than previously thought to overtake the United States as the No.1 economy, a report showed on Sunday.”, Reuters, December 25, 2021


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2022 Market Outlook: More Upside For Stocks, Economic Growth To Rebound – ‘Our view is that 2022 will be the year of a full global recovery, an end of the global pandemic and a return to normal conditions we had prior to the COVID-19 outbreak. We believe this will produce a strong cyclical recovery, a return of global mobility and strong growth in consumer and corporate spending, within the backdrop of still-easy monetary policy. For this reason, we remain positive on equities, commodities and emerging markets and negative on bonds.’”, J.P. Morgan, December 15, 2021

Corporate predictions for 2022: what the business schools say – Academics share their thoughts on what’s to come — and how to thrive. With demand and supply in many sectors pitching like ships in a hurricane so that the twain hardly ever seem to meet, leaders need resilient people and systems that can cope with the oscillation and not become prostrated by organisational seasickness. Julian Birkinshaw, professor of strategy and entrepreneurship at London Business School, identified the three key areas — finance, people and operations — where that resilience lies.”, The Times of London, December 22, 2021

2022 Annual Forecast: A Global Overview – The global economy will continue its uneven recovery amid progress in COVID-19 vaccinations in most developed countries, lagging vaccinations in much of the rest of the world and the threat of new outbreaks. While global growth will be relatively strong, it is likely to slow from 2021 due to setbacks from the pandemic, persistent supply chain disruptions, higher inflation and tightening financial conditions, as well as constraints on public spending in many countries as they cope with high levels of debt and increased interest rates.”, Stratfor Worldview, December 20, 2021

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Five areas will shape the global operating environment for business in 2022 –  Embedded in this year’s predictions are increased demand for virtual healthcare, continued pressures on the availability of critical raw materials and advanced manufacturing products, and lingering social and economic pressures. All have been magnified by the festering pandemic.”, Kearney Global Business Policy Council, December 2021

Wall Street’s 2022 Outlook – New Challenges And Opportunities – Growth through easy money and deficit spending is being replaced by realistic expectations, planning and actions. Add in the Federal Reserve move to market-determined interest rates, and the 2022 outlook necessarily includes shifts in the financial markets. Among the shifts will be serious valuation adjustments of all assets, not just bonds.”, Forbes, December 22, 2021

Global Airline Capacity Is Seen Rising in 2022, Along With Fares – Carriers poised to return to 2015 level, U.K. consultancy says Ticket prices to be affected by labor, debt, other factors. Bloomberg, December 22, 2-21

Japan govt weighs raising FY22 growth forecast to +3.0% or more – The projection would be an upgrade from a forecast for 2.2% real GDP growth for the fiscal year starting in April 2022 released at a mid-year review in July. ‘The projected growth figure is not that overly bullish, considering the continued growth thanks to eased restrictions and a high vaccination rate,’ said Saisuke Sakai, senior economist at Mizuho Research and Technologies.”, Reuters, December 20, 2021

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What to Expect of China’s Economy in 2022 – After a bumpy ride in 2021, China enters a politically important year ahead… thing that’s certain is that growth will become the top priority in 2022. The readout from the Central Economic Work Conference (CEWC) that concluded on Dec. 10 became the most widely dissected document of this economically turbulent year. ‘Stability,’ mentioned 25 times in the CEWC readout this time, is the paramount goal before the party’s 20th National Congress later in 2022.”, Caixing Global, December 23, 2021

Wall Street’s 2022 Outlook – New Challenges And Opportunities – Growth through easy money and deficit spending is being replaced by realistic expectations, planning and actions. Add in the Federal Reserve move to market-determined interest rates, and the 2022 outlook necessarily includes shifts in the financial markets. Among the shifts will be serious valuation adjustments of all assets, not just bonds.”, Forbes, December 22, 2021

2022 Projected to Be Another Record Year For New Business StartsA recent survey reveals that almost three out of five U.S. employees (57%) want to start a business and one in five (20%) will make the leap in 2022. After two record-breaking years of new business creation, there’s no sign of the trend slowing down as QuickBooks projects as many as 17 million new small businesses could be set up in 2022. The prediction comes from a recent survey of 8,000 U.S. employees, commissioned by QuickBooks in November 2021.”, The Street, December 22, 2021

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The business builders – The more new businesses you build, the better you get at building them. That’s the lesson from the companies that do it best. Business building helps companies diversify their revenues and keep pace with shifting customers and markets.” McKinsey & Co., December 25, 2021

What major themes will we see in global media in 2022? What should we see more of? 0McKinsey Global Publishing’s Raju Narisetti asked dozens of journalists and media leaders around the world for their own perspectives on what’s to come—their personal lens on what’s likely to be covered heavily in 2022, and what issues might fly under the radar.”, McKinsey & Co., December 26, 2021

Technomic Releases 2022 Foodservice Predictions – 2022 Global Restaurant Trends Forecast…….read ahead for Technomic’s take on six major trends poised to make a global impact on foodservice in 2022, plus some up-and-comers likely to break out.”, Technomic, via, December 21, 2021

India Is on a Tear – Massive modernization presents opportunities for investors. ‘Adventures do occur, but not punctually,’ writes E.M. Forster in A Passage to India. In other words, exciting things happen in India, but a little patience is required. In recent years, however, it seems events have sped up in the Asian subcontinent, and that’s fueling a stock market rally.”,, December 21, 2021

Global demand for coal could hit all-time high in 2022 – Electricity from coal plants has risen by 9% this year to fuel economic recovery from Covid, says watchdog. Coal power is on track to hit a new global record this year after an economic rebound that could drive worldwide coal demand to an all-time high in 2022, according to the International Energy Agency.”, The London Guardian, December 17, 2021

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2022 Global Public Real Estate Outlook – We expect 2022 to be another solid year for the global economy with consensus forecasts calling for global real GDP growth of +4.4%. Job growth is anticipated to be strong in 2022. Segments we believe are exceptionally well positioned to outperform in 2022 include: Industrial Facilities in North America; Data Centers in Asia; U.S. Residential Sector; European Office REITs; and Cell Towers.”, Hazelview Securities Inc., December 2021

A Look Back at 2021 Predictions


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Who Got It Right? A Look Back at Expert Predictions For 2021 – Last year, the editorial team at Visual Capitalist scoured through 200+ reports, articles, podcasts, and more, to create our 2021 Prediction Consensus—a big picture and aggregated look at the key trends that experts predict for the year ahead. If 2021 taught us anything, it’s that things can change at the drop of the hat. Amidst all this uncertainty, how many of the highlighted predictions came to fruition, and which ones didn’t pan out exactly as expected?”, Visual Capitalist, December 13, 2021

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2021: The year in (McKinsey & Co.) charts – While the quick arrival of vaccines buoyed optimism, the persistence of COVID-19 and the rise of variants continue to pose stumbling blocks toward achieving herd immunity. In this new normal, people are learning to live with an endemic disease. The future of work is at a pivotal crossroad—with many workers reassessing their options. During the pandemic, people grappled with finding meaning and purpose in their work. Will the future of work be hybrid, purposeful, inclusive, and built for balance?”, McKinsey & Co., December 17, 2021

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What Happened to Supply Chains in 2021? Pandemic-related disruptions threw a wrench into global supply chains this year, causing shortages of goods. Significantly, the pandemic-induced increase in demand for goods persisted even as demand for services (such as dining out, entertainment, and travel) largely returned to pre-pandemic levels.”, Council on Foreign Relations, December 13, 2021

How 2021 became the year of ESG investing – Investors concerned about climate change and social justice had a bumper year in 2021, successfully pushing companies and regulators to make changes amid record inflows to funds focused on environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) issues.”, Reuters, December 23, 2021

Our Information Sources & Who We Are

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

William (Bill) Edwards, CFE and CEO and Global Advisor, Edwards Global Services, Inc. (EGS) has 4 decades of international operations, development, executive and entrepreneurial experience and has lived in 7 countries. Over the years, Bill has solved global challenges in the franchise, oil and gas, information technology and management consulting sectors. Along the way, he has directed projects on-site in Alaska, Asia, Europe and the Middle and Near East.  Mr. Edwards advises a wide range of companies on early to long term global development of their brands.  

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.

Download our December 2021 chart ranking 40+ countries as places to do business at this link:

Our Latest GlobalVue™ Country Ranking

Our global business update blog can be found at:

For global market research, operations and development support across 40 countries, contact Mr. Edwards at or +1 949 224 3896.  Click here to schedule a call with Bill Edwards to discuss how to solve challenges as you grow your company around the world.

EGS Biweekly Global Business Newsletter Issue 45, Monday, December 13, 2021

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

A Major Change in our newsletter: We are changing the format of our biweekly newsletter. As of today, this email will include a summary of the global business trends and happenings over the past two weeks. We hope this will make it easier for our readers to catch up on the top global business trends.

A more detailed look at the world today for each section of our newsletter is on our blog at if you wish to click through.

All of us at EGS wish all of our readers Happy Holidays and a prosperous and healthy 2022. Our next issue will come out on Monday, January 10, 2022.

First, Some Words of Wisdom

“Kindness is like snow. It beautifies everything it covers.” – Kahlil Gibran

“Cheers to a new year and another chance for us to get it right.” – Oprah Winfrey

“Last year’s words belong to last year’s language. And next year’s words await another voice.” – T.S. Eliot

Highlights in issue #45:

  • Brand Global News Section: 9Round®, Chipotle®, Del Taco®, Jack In The Box®, The Melting Pot®, Nathan’s Famous®, Shake Shack®

Our Mission and Information Sources

Bolded article titles are live links if the article is available without subscription. Specifically, articles from the ‘Economist’ and the ‘Financial Times’ do not have direct links to the article.

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 and sources of information. Our contact information is at the bottom of this newsletter.

To sign up for this free newsletter click on this link:

Interesting Data and Studies

Our company has released our last 2021 GlobalVue™ countries as a place to do business in 2022 ranking analysis. Countries going up in the ranking include Egypt, Germany and Taiwan. Countries dropping in the ranking include Ireland, Italy, New Zealand. Hong Kong has been dropped as it is no longer considered separate from Mainland China. A major factor continues to be how well business in a country is recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic.

If you could say anything positive about the COVID-19 pandemic—and its latest twist, the Omicron variant—it might be that it forced a lot of people to get better at accepting and acting upon the need for change. This week, we looked at three ways in which business leaders are transforming their organizations, as well as changes reshaping mortgages, infrastructure, healthcare, and the workplace.”, McKinsey, December 8, 2021

During the pandemic, venture funding has boomed globally. The United States has retained its lead, accounting for roughly half of total venture dollars invested worldwide. China comes second, reflecting its status as the world’s second-largest economy. The striking change is that other regions are catching up: the rest of Asia has grown fast, and so too has Europe.”, Council on Foreign Relations, December 6, 2021

Emerging markets hit by abrupt slowdown in new foreign investment – Flows into asset class ‘dry up’ on worries over US monetary policy and Omicron. Foreign investment in emerging market stocks and bonds outside China has come to an abrupt halt over fears that many economies will not recover from the pandemic next year, their prospects worsened by the Omicron coronavirus variant and expectations of higher US interest rates.”, Financial Times, December 8, 2021

What comes after the Great Resignation? 4 workplace predictions for 2022? 4 workplace predictions for 2022. Daniel Zhao, senior economist and lead data scientist at employer review aggregator Glassdoor, thinks 2022 will be defined by the new normal and skyrocketing employee power within a historically tight labor market. The companies to find success in the new year will be the ones who ‘embrace the opportunities to rethink old ways of hiring, employee engagement, and how business is done.’”, Fortune, December 9, 2021

J.P. Morgan says 2022 will be a great year: COVID’s impact will diminish and the economy will fully recover. In its annual global economic outlook, the U.S. investment bank optimistically predicted that 2022 will mark a huge improvement from the past two years. ‘Our view is that 2022 will be the year of a full global recovery,’ Marko Kolanovic, J.P. Morgan’s chief global markets strategist, wrote in a note to clients this week.”, Fortune, December 9, 2021

Global Supply Chain & Trade Update

When Shipping Containers Are Abandoned, the Cargo Becomes a Mystery Prize

Supply chain carnage creates opportunities for companies willing to take a chance on random goods, from cheese to used cars—and maybe even pumpkin seeds…… JS Cargo & Freight Disposal, acquires containers filled with abandoned goods that shipping lines want to get rid of. And business is booming in his line of work. Snarls in the global supply chain have left an estimated 3 million containers idling on ships queued up at ports around the world, according to Niels Larsen, president of Air & Sea North America at DSV, a global transport and logistics company.”, Bloomberg, November 29, 2021

“Toy sellers ponder reliance on China as supply problems bite – Companies hit by delays and soaring shipping costs are rethinking production options. The global supply chain crunch has led retailers from grocers to toy stores to warn of product shortages and higher prices. Recent manufacturing delays in China have added to the pressure, leading some in the $95bn global toy market to reconsider their reliance on the country.”, The Financial Times, December 11, 2021

Supply Chain Woes Force Murata to Ship Lithium Batteries by Air – ‘We are being forced to use airfreight to deliver our batteries because ships are unavailable, and that costs an outrageous amount of money. If we were able to use sea routes, we should be able to make a profit.’ (President Norio Nakajima said in an interview.) On top of inflated base cargo fees fueled by high demand, batteries shipped via air incur extra handling charges because they’re a fire hazard.”, Bloomberg, December 9, 2021

Vanishing Ships Underscore Supply Woe: Crisis Peak Is a Mirage – A line of more than 80 container ships waiting to dock at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, California, was cut in half in late November — or so it seemed. Turns out the vessels disappearing from the queue were merely hiding from it, loitering in the Pacific out of reach of the official count. The actual bottleneck at midweek stood at 96 ships. In a recurring theme in economies from Germany to the U.S., progress repairing this supply snarl proved to be a mirage.”, Bloomberg, December 9, 2021

Shipping container lines on track make a record-breaking $150 billion this year from the supply chain breakdown Container shipping pre-tax profit for 2021 and 2022 could be as high as $300 billion, according to Drewry, an independent maritime research consultancy. In 2021, the industry is forecast to make $150 billion. That’s a new record. In 2020, the industry brought in $25.4 billion, according to The Journal of Commerce. And even though 2021 has been a banner year, Drewry expects the industry to make even more in 2022.”, Fortune, December 3, 2021

China shipping to Southeast Asia sees prices surge tenfold as reopening demand picks up – Already taxed by the coronavirus pandemic, intra-Asian shipping routes have entered their traditional peak season. Reopening and work resumption in Southeast Asia, as well as ongoing disruptions in the global logistics network, have contributed to record high prices. A 20-foot container, shipped from Shenzhen to Southeast Asia, cost about US$100 to US$200 before the pandemic, but the price has since surged tenfold, from US$1,000 to US$2,000, said Yan Zhiyang, a manager with a logistics company based in Guangdong province.”, South China Morning Post, December 10, 2021

Perhaps this is the solution for the global supply chain crisis!!!

Global, Regional & Local Travel Updates

Qantas reopens Singapore, London lounges – Qantas’ Singapore and London business class lounges are once again open as the airline prepares to ramp up flights for the December/January holiday season. Along with the rest of Qantas’ international lounges, these were shuttered in March 2020 as the sweeping scope of the Covid pandemic became clear.”, Executive Traveller, December 11, 2021

China’s domestic air traffic recovery faltering due to zero-COVID policy – China’s domestic air traffic, once the world’s envy after a fast rebound during the pandemic, is faltering due to a zero-COVID policy that has led to tighter travel rules in Beijing and weaker consumer confidence after repeated small outbreaks. The outlook for the fourth quarter, normally a popular time for southerners to head north for winter breaks and northerners to head south for warmer weather, is dimming due to COVID-19 related disruptions at a time when international traffic is negligible.”, Reuters, December 9, 2021

International passenger flights will not resume till January 31, says India’s aviation regulator – The restrictions will not apply to flights specifically approved by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation and international all-cargo operations. International passenger flights to and from India will remain suspended till January 31, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation announced on Thursday, amid concerns about the spread of the Omicron variant of Covid-19.”, Scroll, December 9, 2021

Big Airline Orders Moving Ahead Despite Variant, Executive Says – Airlines are moving forward to finalize big commercial aircraft orders despite the newly discovered coronavirus variant and a fresh wave of travel restrictions to contain its spread, Pratt & Whitney’s top sales executive said. ‘The campaign activity is as high as I’ve seen, maybe ever,’ said Rick Deurloo, chief commercial officer of Pratt & Whitney, a unit of Raytheon Technologies Corp.”, Bloomberg, December 3, 2021

Global COVID & Vaccine Update

COVID-19 cases are plummeting in Asia, and scientists aren’t 100% sure whyAfter recording nearly 200,000 cases per day on Sept. 1, the region is recording 43,000 cases per day as of Thursday, according to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, meaning the entire continent is logging roughly a third of the daily cases in the United States……Asia’s COVID-19 decline comes as Delta-driven waves are fueling surges elsewhere.”, Fortune, December 9, 2021

Covid-19 booster jab results raise hopes of beating Omicron (UK) – Third dose gives immune system a massive lift. A third dose not only increased antibody levels thirtyfold, but roughly tripled levels of T-cells, a part of the immune system that experts believe could be the critical weapon against the heavily mutated Omicron strain.”, The Times of London, December 2, 2021

Country & Regional Updates


African Startup Inflows Seen Hitting Record $5 Billion This Year – The jump partly reflects greater interest in Africa from investors in the U.S. and China as well as institutional bankers, according to Nina Triantis, global telecoms and media head at Standard Bank Plc, who spoke at the Africa Tech Summit in London this week.”, Bloomberg, December 8, 2021


Australia GDP Falls Less Than Feared, Shows Signs of Resilience – Australia’s economy posted a smaller-than-forecast contraction, a result that’s likely to reinforce views the Reserve Bank will taper or potentially even scrap its bond buying program early next year. The result is “much stronger and consistent with the resilience theme,” said Su-Lin Ong at Royal Bank of Canada.”, Bloomberg, November 30, 2021

Beer Shortage Is a Nightmare Before Christmas for Australians – The nation’s two biggest brewers — Lion and Carlton & United Breweries — have flagged protracted delays and lower production of some of the beer-loving country’s most popular brews due to supply chain problems. That’s sparked fears major retail chains might start imposing limits on booze purchases at the worst possible time, with millions of Australians only recently emerging from a series of bleak lockdowns and hoping for a summer holiday season resembling some kind of normality.”, Bloomberg, December 9, 2021


Analysts Offer Clues for Where to Invest in Xi’s New China – Before the coronavirus struck, investing in luxury stocks and Chinese internet giants like Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. and Tencent Holdings Ltd. was a surefire way of tapping the world’s largest consumer base……But as investors are learning, Xi’s vision goes further than just reducing inequality. His speech also made clear that efforts to foster “common prosperity” would come amid a drive for “high-level development” of China’s economy.”, Bloomberg, December 11, 2021

China’s vegetable prices surge 30.6% in November as food costs soar – The gains followed a 15.9% year-on-year rise in October, as floods and other extreme weather in recent months have hit farms. Although the bureau noted the supply of vegetables increased in November, prices were still up on a monthly basis by 6.8%. Investors have been watching for signs of whether rapidly rising prices and stagnant economic activity might further drag down growth.”, CNBC, December 8, 2021

European Union

Few Europeans want a return to 9-5 at office after pandemic, survey shows – Only 14% of European workers want to return to the office 9-5, and more than half say they have become more productive as a result of working from home, which has boomed amid COVID-19 lockdowns and restrictions, a survey showed on Thursday. About 12% of employed people in the European Union usually worked from home in 2020, up from around 5% before the pandemic, according to data from Eurostat.”, Reuters, December 8, 2021

The Middle East

In the Middle East, a New Era of Alliances Emerges – Middle Eastern relations as we’ve known them for decades are over. As ambitious states try to expand their influence throughout the region, interests, not ideology, are driving the creation of new alliances. Even ultra-religious movements are showing signs of pragmatism.”, Geopolitical Futures, December 2, 2021

New Zealand

2021 Survey – FRANCHISING COUNTS – Highlights from Massey University’s latest survey show the resilience of franchising in difficult times. Sales through franchised units are estimated to be a massive $36.8 billion – equivalent to a remarkable 12 percent of our GDP – and this figure doesn’t include motor vehicle or fuel retail through franchised outlets. Add those in, and the total comes to $58.5 billion. The survey has also confirmed that New Zealand is still the most franchised country in the world.”, Franchise New Zealand Magazine, December 8, 2021. Compliments of Stewart Germann, Stewart Germann Law Office, and Simon Lord, Publisher, Franchise New Zealand Magazine

After 108 Days Of Lockdown, New Zealand’s Largest City Reopens As Nation Shifts Away From ‘Zero Covid’ Approach – Restaurants, cafes, cinemas and other public venues reopened in Auckland on Friday as New Zealand’s largest city exited 108 days of Covid-19 lockdown, a move that comes as the highly vaccinated south Pacific nation moves forward with its plans to ease pandemic restrictions despite the emerging threat from the Omicron variant.”, Forbes, December 3, 2021


Peru Lifts Key Rate to 2.5% as Economy Grows Most in Region – Peru raised interest rates for a fifth straight month as the economy grows at the fastest pace in Latin America and inflation exceeds the upper limit of its target range.”, Bloomberg, December 9, 2021

United Arab Emirates

“UAE to shift weekend and create shorter working week – Gulf state will introduce four-and-a-half day office week to boost economy and attract expats. The United Arab Emirates government is shifting the national weekend to Saturday and Sunday to synchronise with global markets, instituting a four-and-a-half day working week from January next year. Changes to the working week, which at present runs from Sunday to Thursday, are intended to “boost work-life balance and enhance social wellbeing, while increasing performance to advance the UAE’s economic competitiveness”, the government said in a statement.”, The Financial Times, December 7, 2021

United Kingdom

U.K. Warned of ‘Unsustainable’ Shortage of Workers as Pay Soars – Survey by REC and KPMG shows no easing of labor market strains Starting-pay inflation hits record as firms try to fill roles. U.K. employers increased starting salaries at a record pace in November amid an ‘unsustainable’ shortage of workers, according to a survey published Thursday.”, Bloomberg, December 8, 2021

Want to start a business? Next year could be a great time to do it – Among the positives, Covid-19 has had a significant impact on reducing costs inside companies, especially in areas such as business travel and property, and we are still seeing the beneficial effects of the enormous fiscal and monetary stimulus pumped into the economy by governments around the world in response to the pandemic. Unesco estimates the total stimulus at $16 trillion out of a global economy valued at $93 trillion.”, The Times of London, November 11, 2021

Christmas lunch burns hole in pockets – The price of a Christmas dinner has risen by 3.4 per cent as food inflation reaches its highest level so far this year. The average price of a festive meal for four is £27.48 (US$36.48), with the price of a frozen turkey rising by 7 per cent and brussels sprouts and Christmas puddings 5 per cent more expensive than last year, according to figures from Kantar.”, The Times of London, December 7, 2021

United States

Record Share of U.S. Small Businesses Raise Pay, NFIB Says – Forty-four percent of firms boosted pay, matching the largest share in monthly data back to 1986, according to the NFIB’s November survey. Those wage gains may be beginning to pay off. Some 48% of respondents reported having job openings they could not fill, and while still very high, it’s the second straight monthly decline.”, Bloomberg, December 2, 2021

Disneyland employees vote for union contract, avoid strike – The tentative agreement endorsed by Master Services Council leadership raises minimum pay from $15.50 to $18.50 per hour — a 19% increase….The union coalition represents approximately 40% of the 25,000 Disneyland resort cast members — Disney parlance for employees.”, OC Register, December 4, 2021

Brand News

13 restaurant prototypes unveiled in 2021, from Taco Bell to Denny’s – Restaurant chains unveiled plans for new prototypes in 2021, almost entirely catering to consumers’ evolving needs during the pandemic. Quick-service and fast-casual chains nationwide made plans to add drive-thrus and specific pickup areas for digital orders, with many shrinking or even eliminating dining rooms. Not every redesign came from limited-service chains, however. At least two family-dining restaurants joined in the trend.”, Nation’s Restaurant News, December 11, 2021

As 2022 Arrives, The Restaurant of the Future Comes Into Focus – The pandemic brought a catalog of questions to restaurateurs’ tables. Nothing was revolutionary, necessarily. Notions like mobile ordering and loyalty. Finding ways to alleviate drive-thru capacity. Whether or not guests even needed a dining room. And just like early lockdown days, three vectors have driven evolution as operators approach 2022, according to new data from consulting giant Deloitte, which polled 1,000 consumers who dined in a restaurant within the past three months to field its latest “Restaurant of the Future Report.’”, QSR Magazine, December 8, 2021

9Round finalizes South Korean expansion plans, expands Middle Eastern operations – “We are thrilled to welcome South Korea to our roster and to continue to expand our presence across the Middle East,” said 9Round founder and CEO Shannon Hudson.”, Upstate Business Journal, December 2, 2021

America’s Most Popular Fast-Casual Chain Could Double Its Locations, CEO Says – Chipotle is on a meteoric rise, and according to CEO Brian Niccol, not afraid of the competition. While expressing cautious concern about the impact of the latest COVID-19 variant Omicron on the chain’s operations, Niccol was optimistic about Chipotle’s ability to continue its dominance of the fast-casual market in a recent interview with CNN.”, Eat This, Not That!, December 1, 2021

Jack in the Box to acquire Del Taco for over $450 mln – Jack in the Box, which would now have over 2,800 restaurants spanning 25 states, said the deal would help the chain beef up its off-restaurant premise sales. About 99% of Del Taco restaurants feature a drive-thru.”, Reuters, December 5, 2021

How the Melting Pot is re-emerging from COVID-19 stronger – The 100+-unit fondue chain is expanding its franchising footprint amid a menu overhaul. Moving forward, The Melting Pot is looking to expand franchising and add new franchisees to the team, with plans for the new Melting Pot Social spinoff: the “younger, hipper cousin” to the Melting Pot with shorter experience times (which originally could run up to 2-3 hours per table) and an emphasis on the bar program.”, Nation’s Restaurant News, December 1, 2021

Nathan’s Famous (US) Expands to Saudi Arabia – Nathan’s Famous, Inc., the American tradition serving New York favorites for more than 100 years, announces a new expansion plan into Saudi Arabia. Nathan’s Famous will serve their world-famous hot dogs and fries in seven kiosks across Saudi Arabia, with plans to open three more in the coming weeks.”, World Franchise Associates, November 4, 2021

Shake Shack expands into drive-thru industry – In 2022, Shake Shack plans to open 45 to 50 new restaurants, including up to 10 drive-thru locations….In addition to ordering directly in Shack and at drive-thru lanes, guests will have the option of placing orders ahead of time for pickup via the Shack app and online at, Fox Business, December 7, 2021

Articles & Studies For Today And Tomorrow

The Year In Franchising: Reflecting On 2021, And Anticipating 2022 – Over the past two years, the world has changed in ways it never has before, and the franchise industry is no exception. It has taken a while, but following the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic, 2022 is positioned to be a massive year for franchise development and sales growth.”, Forbes, November 30, 2021

The digital transformation market size is expected to grow from $521.5 billion as of this year to $1.25 trillion by 2026.   Corporations need to create bionic capabilities so that they can harness the potential of disruptive technologies and integrate them into new processes, business models, and ways of working.  Evidence shows that successful digital transformation drives performance and competitive advantage and directs companies towards becoming bionic.  In the short term, digital technology improves productivity and customer experiences.  Longer term, it opens up new growth opportunities and sets up companies for sustained success.”, NMS Consulting, December 2021

Global Factory Output Stabilizes But New Threat of Omicron Lurks – Euro-area PMI ends four-month slowdown from record expansion. Asia benefits from looser lockdown and border restrictions. Factories across Southeast Asia had been on a recovery path as loosened movement restrictions allowed output to catch up before the crucial year-end holiday season.”, Bloomberg, November 30, 2021

How Technology is Evolving to Make Companies More Productive – What’s one of the biggest goals of most small businesses? Efficiency. Emerging technology is helping to make companies more productive. When operations are fast, effective, and accurate, the company can do more with less. Though the dream of full-on productivity might not be entirely feasible, many professional teams are making headway.”, Entrepreneur Magazine, December 9, 2021

“Global Economy in 2022: Getting Back on Track with Challenges Ahead – Key issues for business to watch in 2022 and beyond”, Euromonitor, December 2021

Back in the 1960s, global population growth peaked at a 2.1% annual rate, but since then it has been on a historic downtrend. In fact, according to the most commonly cited United Nations projection, which is based on a medium fertility rate scenario, it’s expected that annual population growth could drop all the way to 0.1% by the end of the 21st century.”, Visual Capitalist and Our World In Data, December 2, 2021

William (Bill) Edwards, CFE and CEO and Global Advisor, Edwards Global Services, Inc. (EGS) has 4 decades of international operations, development, executive and entrepreneurial experience and has lived in 7 countries. With experience in the franchise, oil and gas, information technology and management consulting sectors, he has directed projects on-site in Alaska, Asia, Europe and the Middle and Near East.  Mr. Edwards advises a wide range of companies on early to long term global development of their brands.

Our Latest GlobalVue™ Country Ranking

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 in many countries. Our Associate network on the ground overseas covers 40+ countries.  EGS has twice received the U.S. President’s Award for Export Excellence.

For global market research, operations and development support across 40 countries, contact Mr. Edwards at or +1 949 224 3896.  Click here to schedule a call with Bill Edwards to discuss how to successfully grow your company around the world.

EGS Biweekly Global Business Newsletter Issue 43, Monday, November 15, 2021

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

Trends in this issue:

Inflation spreads, air travel restarts to the USA, some good news for Asian economies, global port congestion continues, global PMIs once again positive, COVID passes remain in Europe this winter and the U.S. starts giving out visas in China again.

But First, Some Words of Wisdom

“You will either step forward into growth or you will step back into safety.”, Abraham Maslow

“Intellectual growth should commerce at birth and cease only as death.”, Albert Einstein

“You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.”, Martin Luther King, Jr.

Cultural Wisdom

In China, “Yes” does not always mean yes. When a person nods their head, they may be merely following what you are saying, not giving a definitive answer. District Export Council of Southern California, December 16, 2020 webinar

Highlights in issue #43:

Our Mission and Information Sources

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

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™ on the ground in 27 countries covers 43 countries and provides us with updates about what is happening in their specific countries.  Please feel free to send us your input and sources of information. Our contact information is at the bottom of this newsletter.

To sign up for this free newsletter click on this link:

First, Something a bit Different

Jane Goodall on a life as a woman defending the wild – In a series exploring women in international affairs, global environmentalist, Dr Jane Goodall DBE, speaks to Gitika Bhardwaj about why humanity still has reason to hope.”, Chatham House, November 12, 2021

Interesting Data and Studies

With rising vaccination rates, surveyed economies are reopening more fully; industry and trade are expanding despite the pandemic’s knock-on effects. The global purchasing managers’ indexes (PMIs) for manufacturing and services show healthy expansion, with respective readings of 54.1 and 53.4. Unemployment is generally falling, and world trade has effectively recovered to prepandemic levels.”, McKinsey, November 8, 2021

Status of the Global Economic Recovery – Economies around the world are still climbing out of the hole created by the pandemic, and plenty of things could derail the recovery, from supply chain shortages to rising prices.”, Geopolitical Futures, November 5, 2021

Global Supply Chain & Trade Update

Major Ports Are Congested. Shipping Companies Maersk and Hapag-Lloyd Are Thriving  This year is likely to end as the best year on record for the sector. Global trade volumes jumped by 8% to 10% this year as the global economy started recovering from months of lockdowns and other trade restrictions. Meanwhile, shipping rates have more than doubled between January and August, amid signs of a shortage of container transport capacity.”, Barron’s, November 11, 2021

Supply chain disruption: is the worst over? As companies, investors and policymakers fret over port logjams, freight costs and chip shortages, some indicators are starting to signal that global supply chain stress may be on the wane. The coming months will show if the snarl-ups portend a toxic scenario of stagflation for the world economy or are just a bump in the road to recovery. They will also determine how inflation expectations, monetary policy and corporate earnings pan out.”, Reuters, November 3, 2021

“(UK) Supply chain crisis ‘will last into 2023’ – Henrik Pedersen, chief executive of Associated British Ports (ABP), said he would be ‘positively surprised’ if the problem eased before the end of next year. ‘We have a shortage of truck drivers in the UK, and in other countries, too, so it [the problem] is in the shipping leg and the road leg.’ Pedersen said ABP’s ports were still clogged up with empty containers that Asian ports were reluctant to take back because they did not have the space.”, The Times of London, November 14, 2021

Small-business owner faces fees of at least $30K due to delays after shipping container flagged for inspection – A small-business owner could be on the hook for tens of thousands of dollars in fees after her container was flagged for inspection by the Canada Border Services Agency amid international shipping congestion.”, CBC, November 11, 2021

The global port backlog continues. Domestically, L.A. and Long Beach ports are the most severe pinch points for U.S. trade, while shortages of trucking, rail, and warehouse capacity at alternative gateways are challenging importers seeking to avoid the Southern California port logjam. Meanwhile, port congestion extends worldwide and container freight prices are surging, including in China from two of the three biggest container ports in the world.”, Exiger Trends Report, September – October 2021

The Busiest Port in America: Los AngelesU.S. e-commerce grew by 32.4% in 2020—the highest annual growth rate in over two decades. Such rapid growth has resulted in many more goods being imported, leaving America’s western ports completely overwhelmed.”, Visual Capitalist, November 2, 2021

Snarled Supply Chain Is Making U.S. Warehouse Shortage Worse – Record numbers of cargo ships bob in the waters off Southern California, unable to unload. A late shipment of patio furniture gets moved — three times — before finding a home for the winter. With no warehouse space, a crew assembles holiday displays in a parking lot in an effort to get them to clients on time.”, Bloomberg, November 9, 2021

Global, Regional & Local Travel Updates

U.S. Resumes Visa Services in China After Reopening Borders The U.S. embassy and consulates in China resumed regular visa services as the country reopened its border to international travelers after barring them for nearly two years under Covid-19 restrictions.”, Caixing Global, November 10, 2021

Virgin 3 and Speedbird 1 lifting off Heathrow’s runway’s at the same time.

British Airways and Virgin Atlantic Synchronize Departures to Celebrate U.S. Reopening – More than 600 days after the U..S.’s travel ban was introduced aimed to reduce the spread of coronavirus infections, arch-rivals British Airways and Virgin Atlantic momentarily put rivalries aside as both airlines departed from London Heathrow to New York’s John F. Kennedy Airport, symbolizing the end of restrictions on travel to the U.S.”, Airline Geeks, November 8, 2021

Delta bookings soar in six weeks after U.S. move to open borders – Delta Air Lines (DAL.N) has seen a 450% surge in international bookings in the six weeks since Sept. 20 when the United States said it would reopen for fully vaccinated visitors. The U.S. carrier said that international flights were expected to operate in full capacity on Nov. 8, with high passenger volume throughout the following weeks.”, Reuters, November 4, 2021

Chinese Airlines Struggle While the World Slowly Reopens – Carriers attributed the subpar performance to the repeated appearance of Covid-19 cases in China and rising oil prices over the past months. The year 2021 is turning to be worse than 2020 for some carriers.”, Airline Geeks, November 11, 2021

“The pandemic has accelerated digitalisation as businesses pivot online. Mobile travel sales are expected to regain all lost ground by 2022, hitting almost USD500 billion. Online travel will continue to grow, accounting for 54% of travel sales in 2021. Online sales gained five years’ worth of growth during the pandemic.”, Euromonitor International, “Travel Rewired: Innovation Strategies for a Resilient Recovery” report, November 2021

LATAM Confirms Demand Recovery for November – LATAM Airlines Group’s operational passenger projection for November 2021 is estimated to reach 62% compared to the same month in 2019, as measured in available seat kilometers.”, Airline Geeks, November 14, 2021

Global COVID & Vaccine Update

51.2% of the world population has received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.   7.34 billion doses have been administered globally, and 28.14 million are now administered each day.   Only 4.2% of people in low-income countries have received at least one dose.”,   Our World In Data, November 13, 2021

Covid vaccine mandates around the world – Many countries have made inoculation mandatory for at least some of their citizens, with penalties for those who do not get jabbed. The UK became the latest country to introduce vaccine mandates on Tuesday after the government announced all NHS workers would need to be jabbed by next spring. Although obligatory shots have been ordered in many other countries, some have balked at the measures and resorted to protests and legal action.”, The Guardian, November 9, 2021

Covid passes set to stay as Europe heads for winter – There have been protests and complaints of restricted freedom, but much of Europe is now using Covid passports to enter bars, restaurants, cinemas and museums.”, BBC News, October 28, 2021

Pfizer says antiviral pill 89% effective in high-risk cases – A pill to treat Covid developed by the US company Pfizer cuts the risk of hospitalisation or death by 89% in vulnerable adults, clinical trial results suggest. The drug – Paxlovid – is intended for use soon after symptoms develop in people at high risk of severe disease.”, BBC News, November 6, 2021

Rising Covid infections in Europe spark fears of new wave – WHO says pace of transmission across continent and Central Asia is a ‘grave concern’. Europe is experiencing a surge in coronavirus infections to levels not seen in months, alarming health officials and sparking fears that the continent could be engulfed by a new wave of the pandemic this winter.”, The Financial Times, November 4, 2021

Country & Regional Updates


Argentina Reopens to Vaccinated Tourists Around the WorldWhat to Know –  Argentina opened its borders to the world Monday, welcoming fully vaccinated travelers to experience the country’s amazing wine, breathtaking mountains, and deep-rooted culture. Eligible travelers must have received a completed vaccination at least 14 days before coming and must show proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within 72 hours of entering the country, according to the Ministry of Tourism and Sports.”, Travel and Leisure, November 2, 2021


Why Australia’s ‘great resignation’ is a myth – There is no evidence of such a phenomenon here. if there was, it would be no bad thing. Australia’s resignation rate has fallen to an all-time low.”, Inside FMCG, November 9, 2021. Compliments of Jason Gehrke, Franchise Advisory Centre, Brisbane


Soaring inflation at China’s factory gates raises fears for rest of world – Producer prices increased by 13.5 per cent in the year to October, accelerating still further from the 10.7 per cent jump recorded for September. The new figure showed producer inflation picking up to a level not seen since July 1995 and exceeding analysts’ consensus forecast of 12.4 per cent.”, The Times of London, October 19, 2021

China industrial output, retail sales accelerate but property clouds outlook – China’s industrial output and retail sales grew more quickly than expected in October, despite fresh curbs to control COVID-19 outbreaks and supply shortages, but the slowing property sector weighed on the economic outlook. Output grew 3.5% in October from the same period a year ago, official data showed on Monday, accelerating from a 3.1% increase in September. Retail sales growth also picked up.”, Reuters, November 14, 2021

Consumers win in public interest civil lawsuitThe Wuxi Intermediate People’s Court recently awarded punitive damages to consumers of counterfeit coffee purporting to be from US coffee-maker Starbucks. Unlike traditional trademark infringement cases, where the rights owner is the plaintiff, this case was unusual as it had been initiated by the Consumers Council of Jiangsu Province (JSCC)….”, INTA Bulletin, November 8, 2021. Compliments of Paul Jones, Jones & Co., Toronto

The first digital convenience store in the country landed in Shanxi – This is the first digital convenience store in the country. Customers can shop while receiving coupons and enjoy Alipay prices; they can also experience personalized services such as laundry delivery, old clothes recycling, and mobile phone teaching for the elderly through the ‘small program convenience corner’.”, China Chain Store & Franchise Association, October 29, 2021. Compliments of Paul Jones, Jones & Co., Toronto


India opens for international travel — what happens next? India has opened up for travelers and will allow commercial flights from November. The Home Ministry announced that tourist visas would be issued to those arriving on chartered flights first, whereas travelers on commercial flights would start getting their visas approved from November.”, Deutsche Welle, November 2, 2021


Worst Is Over for Indonesia’s Growth as Consumers Head to Malls – Indonesia will likely catch up on growth in the fourth quarter as its all-important consumption engine returns to high gear. More Indonesians are venturing outside to malls and supermarkets as a sharp decline in Covid-19 cases lets the government ease movement restrictions. Traffic in retail and recreation areas has largely returned to pre-pandemic levels, while mobility in groceries and pharmacies have rebounded well beyond that, according to Google data.”, Bloomberg, November 9, 2021


Toyota accelerating vehicle production in December as COVID-induced parts shortages ease. The automaker’s 14 plants, 28 production lines in Japan will be operating normally for the first time since May. The automaker expects to build approximately 800,000 vehicles globally during the month, up from approximately 760,000 vehicles built during the same period a year ago.”, Fox Business, November 12, 2021

Japan’s wholesale inflation hits 40-year high as fuel costs spike – The corporate goods price index (CGPI), which measures the prices companies charge each other for their goods and services, surged 8.0% in October from a year earlier, exceeding market expectations for a 7.0% gain, Bank of Japan data showed onThursday.”, Reuters, November 10, 2021


Malaysian Economy Returns to Contraction as Virus Curbs Hit – GDP shrank 4.5% y/y in 3Q, deeper than est. for 2.6% decline. BNM sees growth rebounding in 4Q as virus curbs are lifted. Gross domestic product in the three months ended September shrank 4.5% from a year earlier, Malaysia’s central bank said Friday, worse than the 2.6% drop predicted by analysts in a Bloomberg survey.”, Bloomberg, November 11, 2021

Southeast Asia

Southeast Asia Digital Economy to Reach $363 Billion by 2025 – E-commerce, travel, media, transport and food are driving the region’s digital growth, with online spending rising 49% in 2021 to $174 billion, the companies said in their latest annual report. The region added 60 million new digital consumers since the start of the pandemic, led by Thailand and the Philippines.”, Bloomberg, November 10, 2021

New Zealand

New Zealand Jobless Rate Falls to 14-Year Low, Hiring Surges – New Zealand’s unemployment rate fell to its lowest level in almost 14 years in the third quarter as employment surged, sending the currency higher as traders boosted bets on interest-rate increases. The jobless rate dropped to 3.4% from 4% in the second quarter, the lowest rate since the fourth quarter of 2007 and matching the lowest on record, Statistics New Zealand data showed Wednesday in Wellington. Economists expected 3.9%.”, Bloomberg, November 2, 2021

United Kingdom

Most furloughed workers returned to their jobs – The Office for National Statistics said yesterday that 65 per cent of these employees returned to work on the same hours, while 16 per cent went back with reduced hours and 6 per cent went back with hours increased. Another 6 per cent were either laid off or left their jobs voluntarily.”, The Times of London, October 22, 2021

Ingredient costs push up price of food – Food prices have risen by 2.1 per cent over the past four weeks, driven higher by the rising cost of ingredients and supply chain pressures. Cash-conscious shoppers are beginning to shop around, visiting an average of 3.3 supermarkets a month to find the best value for money.”, The Times of London, November 10, 2021

Christmas comes early to high streets amid fear of shortages – More than a third of shoppers are changing their approach to Christmas shopping this year with 52 per cent buying gifts earlier than normal, particularly children’s presents, according to figures from Barclaycard. Online spending at toy retailers jumped by 38.4 per cent in October compared with 9.9 per cent in September.”, The Times of London, November 9, 2021

United States

How the Great Resignation is fueling the passion economy – In a post-pandemic world, the notion of having a job and working in a single role felt old-fashioned, several people who recently resigned from their jobs told Fortune. In a world where work is made increasingly autonomous through gig work, social media, and ecommerce, seeking out entrepreneurial endeavors is likely to become the rule, rather than the exception.”, Fortune, November 3, 2021

NFIB’s Latest Covid-19 Survey: Supply Chain Disruptions, Staffing Shortage, And The Holiday Season – About half of small business owners (48%) reported that supply chain disruptions are having a significant impact on their business, almost unchanged from September’s survey.:,, November 9, 2021

U.S. consumer prices jump 6.2% in October, the biggest inflation surge in more than 30 years – Core inflation, stripping out food and energy, increased 4.6%, the fastest gain since August 1991. Energy, shelter and vehicle costs led the gains, which more than wiped out the wage increases that workers received for the month.”, CNBC, November 10, 2021

Brand News

Applebee’s and IHOP are ready to open new restaurants again – Parent Dine Brands is winding down a financial review that led to hundreds of closures over the past several years, and sees fertile ground for growth coming out of the pandemic. Parent company Dine Brands is winding down a financial review that led to the closure of hundreds of underperforming restaurants over the past several years, executives said Thursday. It plans to get Applebee’s back to net new unit growth in 2023, and expects IHOP to double its historical unit growth by then.”, Restaurant Business Online, November 4, 2021

The new (Australia) burger king: The rise and rise of Betty’s Burgers amid Covid-19 – Betty’s Burgers and Concrete Co. might only have 39 stores across the country, but it has arguably been the form player during the Covid pandemic. The slick chain of 1950s-themed diners has enjoyed a meteoric rise since launching in Queensland seven years ago, growing steadily from a single outlet on the Sunshine Coast to now having a restaurant in nearly every state and capital.”,, November 8, 2021. Compliments of Jason Gehrke, Franchise Advisory Centre, Brisbane

Fat Brands to acquire Fazoli’s for $130 millionThe purchase from Sentinel Capital Partners is expected to close in December 2021. This will be the growing restaurant group’s third acquisition in 2021 alone, following the purchase of the Twin Peaks ‘breastaurant’ sports bar chain in October and Global Franchise Group in July, which includes mainly snack and dessert brands like Hot Dog on a Stick, Marble Slab Creamery, Pretzelmaker, and Great American Cookies.”, Nation’s Restaurant News, November 2, 2021

Burger King parent to buy Firehouse Subs for $1 billion – The deal would immediately add to Restaurant Brands’ earnings, the company said. Jacksonville, Florida-based Firehouse Subs’ system-wide sales would be about $1.1 billion for 2021, with October U.S. same-store sales about 20% higher from pre-pandemic levels two years ago, Restaurant Brands said.”, Reuters, November 15, 2021

Sonic Parent (Inspire) Launches First-Of-Its-Kind Ghost Kitchen – There are more than 1,000 ghost kitchens in the U.S., but Inspire Brands recently launched one unlike any before it. The company, which owns Dunkin’, Baskin-Robbins, Arby’s, Buffalo Wild Wings, Jimmy John’s, Sonic Drive-In, and Rusty Taco, recently introduced Alliance Kitchen, which it called the first ghost kitchen owned and operated by a multi-brand restaurant company.”, QSR Magazine, November 9, 2021

Legendary Restaurant Brands Partners with Franklin Junction to Accelerate Growth in Asia-Pacific Regions – Legendary Restaurant Brands – the parent company of Bennigan’s, Bennigan’s On The Fly, Bennigan’s On The Fly Virtual Kitchens and Steak & Ale – is preparing to introduce its chef-driven American fare to more markets across the globe through a new partnership with Franklin Junction…. (who) boasts a network of more than 500 virtual restaurants and over 300 Host Kitchens™ across more than 10 countries.”, Restaurant News, November 2, 2021

JAB bought Panera Bread in 2017 and in August combined it with Caribou Coffee and Einstein Bros. under one unit. Panera Bread is planning to go public and has secured an unconventional investment from Danny Meyer’s special-purpose acquisition company, adding to one of the busiest restaurant IPO seasons in years.”, The Wall Street Journal, November 9, 2021

Planet Fitness CEO says gym membership has almost reached its pre-Covid peak – In an interview on “Mad Money,” Rondeau said the gym chain now has 15 million members, describing that figure as “unbelievable” after locations were shuttered for months early during the Covid crisis and then even when they reopened, many people were hesitant to return right away. ‘Our height was 15.5 [million members]. We’re 97% all the way recaptured back to where we were pre-Covid,’ Rondeau said.”, CNBC, November 4, 2021

Roll’d to make US debut ahead of further international expansion – Australia-based Vietnamese food restaurant chain, Roll’d, is set to accelerate its expansion plan with an international debut in the US next year, to be followed by more overseas markets. The restaurant chain will open its first US store in Salt Lake City next May, paving the way for more international restaurants to come, including Canada, the UK, France, Japan and New Zealand.”, Inside Retail (Australia), November 5, 2021. Compliments of Jason Gehrke, Franchise Advisory Centre, Brisbane

More Steak ‘n Shake stores closed this year as revenue dips – Biglari Holdings, the local company that owns the burger and shake chain, reported that 16 more stores “temporarily closed” as of  December 31, 2020, according to the public company’s third quarter filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. One of those stores was company operated and the 15 others were traditional franchises. Biglari Holdings only operated 221 stores as September 30.”, My San Antonio, November 9, 2021

Subway Inks One of the Biggest Franchise Agreements in History – Subway announced Tuesday that it signed a deal to open more than 2,000 stores across South Asia, a move the fast-food chain called one of the ‘largest master franchise agreements in quick-service restaurant history.’ The sandwich concept will work with Everstone Group, a South Asia-focused private investment firm, to open the locations in India, Sri Lanka, and Bangladesh over the next 10 years. Currently, those markets have nearly 700 Subway restaurants.”, QSR Magazine, November 2, 2021

Unleashed Brands Adds The Little Gym and CEO Nancy Bigley – The Little Gym has a new owner, Unleashed Brands, and a new president and CEO, Nancy Bigley, a former Dunkin’ Brands executive turned entrepreneur. She started Bottle & Bottega and grew it to 27 studios before selling to the largest paint-and-sip franchise, Painting With a Twist, in 2018. She stayed on, eventually being named CEO of Twist Brands and its portfolio of art and entertainment franchises.”, Franchise Times, November 5, 2021

Articles & Studies For Today And Tomorrow

In the Race to Boost Semiconductor Manufacturing, Global Powers Take Their Marks – Increased investments following the pandemic-induced semiconductor shortage will lead to more chip factories being built in more parts of the world. But the sector’s rigid nature and boom-and-bust cycles will still result in countries facing similar supply disruptions in the future.”, Stratfor, November 11, 2021

William (Bill) Edwards, CFEand CEO and Global Advisor, Edwards Global Services, Inc. (EGS) has 4 decades of international operations, development, executive and entrepreneurial experience and has lived in 7 countries. With experience in the franchise, oil and gas, information technology and management consulting sectors, he has directed projects on-site in Alaska, Asia, Europe and the Middle and Near East.  Mr. Edwards advises a wide range of companies on early to long term global development of their brands.

Our Latest GlobalVue™ Country Ranking

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 in many countries. Our Associate network on the ground overseas covers 40+ countries.  EGS has twice received the U.S. President’s Award for Export Excellence.

For global market research, operations and development support across 40 countries, contact Mr. Edwards at or +1 949 224 3896.  Click here to schedule a call with Bill Edwards to discuss how to successfully grow your company around the world.

EGS Biweekly Global Business Newsletter Issue 41, Monday, October 18, 2021

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

Inflation, supply chains, vaccination levels, air travel remain the major trends for this issue of our newsletter: “Wages are surging across the rich world”, “Ikea warns stock shortages likely to last another year”, “where are the world’s worst port delays?”, Thailand and the USA to reopen to vaccinated tourists, “India faces electricity crisis as coal supplies run critically low”, “UK job vacancies hit record amid Brexit and Covid staff shortages”, “Nearly all major (USA) airlines mandate COVID vaccine for employees”, “There is no quick fix for Europe’s self-manufactured energy crisis”, etc.

Words of Wisdom from Others

“If you are not willing to learn, no one can help you. If you are determined to learn, no one can stop you.”, Zig Ziglar

“Success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day in and day out.”, R. Collier

“The secret of change is to focus all of your energy not on fighting the old, but building on the new.”, Socrates

Highlights in issue #41:

Our Mission and Information Sources

Bolded article titles are live links, available without subscription

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™ on the ground in 27 countries covers 43 countries and provides us with updates about what is happening in their specific countries.  Please feel free to send us your input and sources of information. Our contact information is at the bottom of this newsletter.

Interesting Data and Studies

Our latest GlobalVue™ country ranking chart as places to do business in 2022 can be downloaded at this link:

The coronavirus effect on global economic sentiment – Eighteen months into the COVID-19 pandemic, executives’ responses to our latest McKinsey Global Survey suggest that they believe the economy is on track toward a recovery. 1 Throughout 2021, their views have, on average, been consistently positive. And they continue to report largely positive expectations: 71 percent of respondents predict that conditions in the global economy will improve in the next six months, down from an all-time high of 81 percent who said so last quarter.”, McKinsey, September 29, 2021

IMF Revises Down Projected 2021 Growth – On Oct. 12, the International Monetary Fund announced a marginal revision down of its 2021 forecast for the global economy to 5.9%, though the adjustment does not reflect large changes for some countries. The IMF’s 2022 projection is unchanged at 4.9%…. The World Economic Outlook cited “dangerous divergence” across countries as a result of the “great vaccine divide” and differences in policy support by governments. Emerging market and developing countries face tighter financing conditions and the risk of “de-anchoring” inflation expectations, with the group’s output remaining 5.5% below pre-pandemic levels in 2024 amid deteriorating living standards. Supply bottlenecks, coupled with the release of pent-up demand, are also contributing to inflation.”, Stratfor, October 12, 2021

Wages are surging across the rich world – When lockdowns were imposed poorly paid people in service jobs dropped out of the workforce, for instance, which had the effect of raising average pay as measured by statisticians. Even so, wage growth seems to have been stronger than the scale of the economic downturn alone would have suggested. Goldman Sachs, a bank, has created a “tracker” that corrects for pandemic-related distortions. Underlying wage growth, at about 2.5% across the (G)10 group of large economies, is as fast as it was in 2018.”, The Economist, October 16, 2021

Coal Shortages in China and India – China’s attempts to resolve its ongoing power crunch hit a new snag. New flooding in the central Shanxi province over the weekend shut down a number of coal mines, hitting China’s plans to offset the loss of coal imports with a surge in domestic output. Several Indian states are reporting shortages of coal and warning of possible power cuts. Tamil Nadu and Kerala are running low on supplies, while Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra have shut down power generation units because of coal shortages.” Geopolitical Futures, October 11, 2021

Supply Chain & Energy – Worldwide Issues

Port Gridlock Stretches Supply Lines Thin in Blow for Economies – Delays may get worse before improving, several experts warn. Christmas gifts are sitting on the dock of a bay, wasting time. Global ports are growing more gridlocked as the pandemic era’s supply shocks intensify, threatening to spoil the holiday shopping season, erode corporate profits and drive up consumer prices.”, Bloomberg, October 16, 2021

The waiting game: where are the world’s worst port delays? From Shenzhen to Los Angeles, storms, Covid and labour shortages are causing disruption. The nearly 100 ships waiting on the horizon to berth at the Hong Kong and Shenzhen container ports are just the latest sign of the problems to have snarled global supply chains, pushed up consumer prices in Europe and the US, and led to shortages of goods ranging from Christmas toys to furniture…..Globally, there are now 584 container ships stuck outside ports, nearly double the number at the start of the year, according to real-time data from Kuehne+Nagel, one of the world’s largest freight forwarders.”, The Financial Times, October 15, 2021

Dubai to restrict cargo imports into airport to clear shipment backlog – Cargo logjam at regional trade and financial hub blamed on labour shortages. Dubai will restrict imports of cargo into its international airport for six days from Tuesday to clear a backlog caused by “extraordinarily high” volumes of inbound shipments. Dnata, the cargo handling arm of government-owned airline group Emirates, said the restrictions would also include transit cargo en route to other destinations in the United Arab Emirates. Certain categories of essential freight would be exempted.”, The Financial Times, October 15, 2021

Stranded at sea with the cargo – Unvaccinated crews growing desperate to get off ships….Some 300,000 of these migrant merchant sailors have been stranded on vessels at sea or in ports around the world, according to the International Transport Workers’ Federation, a London-based trade union that is among the maritime agencies lobbying governments to address what’s been labeled the ‘crew-change crisis.’ They endure unbroken monotony and growing desperation. Their unions and charity groups describe exhaustion, despair, suicide and violence at sea, including at least one alleged murder on a cargo ship headed to Los Angeles.”, The Los Angeles Times, October 2021. Compliments of Guy Fox, Chairman of the Board, International Seafarers Center, Ports of Long Beach & Los Angeles

China’s energy crisis threatens lengthy disruption to global supply chain – Buyers in Europe and US must wait longer for supplies as factories are forced to slash operating capacity. Factory owners in China and their customers worldwide have been told to prepare for power supply disruptions becoming part of life as President Xi Jinping doggedly weans the world’s second-biggest economy off its dependence on coal.”, The Financial Times, October 16, 2021

Don’t expect supply chain challenges to end anytime soonPort backups are delaying equipment deliveries for months. Here’s why it’s happening, and how long it will last. Shipping delays can be expected to last until late next year. Restaurants looking to replace old fryers or build new locations have found it can sometimes take months to get equipment in the door, thanks to a backlog of imports that has left two dozen or more container ships waiting outside of U.S. ports. Such waits are likely to continue to be a problem for the foreseeable future.”, Restaurant Business Online, September 24, 2021

“(The commissioner of the Federal Maritime Commission), Carl Bentzel, discusses State of US Ports at International Forum – The shipping challenges the nation is currently experiencing are, he says, “the largest meltdown since World War II.” It is the first time since WWII that cargo shipments are not getting into the U.S. at a time when people want shipments. There are two primary factors behind this meltdown. The first reason is the dislocation of products and closures brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic. In California alone, cargo decreased by 20%–30% for a three-month period. The second factor is the resumption of activity after the COVID-19 closures, which led to an almost 30% surge in cargo. So, the industry quickly saw a swing of 60% in volume, he explains.”, California Chamber of Commerce, October 12, 2021

Ikea warns stock shortages likely to last another year – World’s largest furniture retailer faces supply chain struggles but pandemic has shifted sales online. Ikea has become the latest retailer to warn on supply chain problems, saying on Thursday that stock shortages were likely to last another year…..Reporting its annual results, the world’s largest furniture retailer also said the pandemic had helped its business and sped up its transformation.”, The Financial Times, October 14, 2021

Global, Regional & Local Travel Updates

The US reopens to international travelers on November 8 — what you need to know. Although we now have a confirmed date of Nov. 8, some questions remain regarding acceptable proof of vaccinations and what the entire process will look like. Here’s what we know so far about the U.S. reopening.”, The Points Guy, October 15, 2021

European Cities Top Travel Openness Ratings in New Analysis – U.S. lags behind; Asian cities dominate bottom of Bloomberg’s ranking. European finance and tourism capitals dominate a Bloomberg ranking of 70 global cities most open to travelers, based on vaccination rates, local public health rules and Covid-19 travel restrictions.”, Bloomberg, October 10, 2021

Nearly all major (USA) airlines mandate COVID vaccine for employees….. the largest pilots association and most major carriers — United Airlines, American Airlines, Southwest Airlines, JetBlue, Alaska Airlines and Hawaiian Airlines — confirm they will follow President Biden’s executive order requiring workers to get the shots.”, CBS News, October 12, 2021

Canada Announces Vaccine Mandate for Air, Rail and Cruise Travelers – The Canadian government announced Wednesday that domestic and international travelers arriving in the country via commercial flight, train or cruise ship must be fully vaccinated. According to the official website of Canada, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau revealed that all travelers 12 years of age and older entering or departing the country via federally regulated modes of transportation must be fully vaccinated by October 30.”, Travel Pulse, October 7, 2021

LATAM Colombia Exceeds 2019 Passenger Numbers – LATAM Airlines Colombia exceeded the number of passengers moved during the third quarter of the year compared to the same period of 2019. The carrier transported a total of 1,742,988 passengers between its 15 destinations and 25 domestic routes handled in Colombia. With these results, the Colombian market remains one of the key countries in the LATAM Airlines Group’s strategy, with a trend that has continued to rise in recent months.”, Airline Geeks, October 12, 2021

Phuket’s sandbox to Singapore’s travel corridors: as Asia wakes up to travel, destinations weigh risks and rewards – Thailand and Singapore are at the vanguard of Asia’s tourism reawakening and their moves will be eagerly watched by other destinations seeking an insight into what works and what doesn’t. Early data looks encouraging, but experts say such schemes are small steps. Increased costs, the risk of new variants emerging, and a lack of demand from Chinese tourists are all hurdles on the long road to full recovery.”, South China Morning Post, October 16, 2021

Asian Destinations Are Finally Cracking Open For U.S. Travelers – In general, there are very few Asian destinations that an American leisure traveler can visit right now. A couple of destinations, including the Maldives and Sri Lanka, stand out as exceptions in welcoming tourists since early 2021. Yet slowly but surely, the tourism doors are starting to crack open, if ever so hesitantly and with many restrictions still in place. Here’s a tentative timeline for countries that have recently announced rolling out a conditional welcome mat for U.S. travelers.”, Forbes, October 11, 2021

The Best Airports in the World: 2021 Readers’ Choice Awards – The airports you can’t wait to fly into again. 10. London Heathrow Airport (LHR), 9. Zurich Airport (ZRH), 8. Athens International Airport (ATH), 7. Marrakech Menara Airport (RAK), 6. Dubai International Airport (DXB), 5. Hamad International Airport (DOH), 4. Seoul Incheon International Airport (ICN), 3. Tokyo Narita International Airport (NRT), 2. Istanbul Airport (IST) and as usual 1. Singapore Changi Airport (SIN)”, CNN Traveler, October 8, 2021

Global Vaccine Update

47.6% of the world population has received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. 6.67 billion doses have been administered globally, and 19.23 million are now administered each day. Only 2.7% of people in low-income countries have received at least one dose.”, Our World In Data, October 18, 2021

Country & Regional Updates


Covid Australia: Sydney celebrates end of 107-day lockdown – Midnight rush for shops and pubs as Sydney reopens. Australia’s largest city, Sydney, has emerged from Covid lockdown after almost four months, with locals celebrating a range of new freedoms. People queued for pubs and shops that opened at midnight on Monday. Many others have been enjoying anticipated reunions with relatives and friends.”, BBC October 12, 2021


Brazil Comes Out of Pandemic and Hits the Next Hardship—Inflation – Prices of electricity and cooking gas are up 30% or more over the year, while meat prices are up 25%. Prices rose in September at the fastest pace for the month since 1994, while the 12-month figure reached 10.25%, returning Brazil to double-digit inflation for the first time in more than five years, the country’s national statistics agency, IBGE, said Friday.”, Wall Street Journal, October 8,2021


A remarkable milestone’: Canadian employment jumps back to prepandemic levels – The country added 157,100 positions last month, building on a gain of 90,200 in August, Statistics Canada said Friday. Hiring was considerably stronger than the 60,000 positions that economists were expecting. The unemployment rate fell to 6.9 per cent from 7.1 per cent. In September, around 19.13 million people were employed – the same as in February, 2020, marking a significant milestone in the country’s recovery from the pandemic.”, The Global and Mail, October 8, 2021


China GDP: economic recovery stalls, growth slows to 4.9 per cent in third quarterChina’s economy grew by 4.9 per cent in the third quarter of 2021 compared with a year earlier, down from the 7.9 per cent growth seen in the second quarter. Retail sales and industrial production rose by 4.4 per cent and 3.1 per cent, respectively, in September from a year earlier.”, South China Morning Post, October 18, 2021

China goes back to coal to combat power crisis ahead of Cop26 – China has ordered coalmines to increase production by tens of millions of tonnes before the end of the year as President Xi prioritises a nationwide power crisis over reducing Beijing’s dependence on fossil fuels…..The power shortage and rationing of electricity has seen factories halt assembly lines in the manufacturing hubs of Zhejiang, Jiangsu and Guangdong provinces.”, The Times of London, October 10, 2021

China inflation: factory-gate prices rise at fastest pace on record due to surging coal costs amid power crisis – China’s official producer price index (PPI) rose by 10.7 per cent in September from a year earlier, compared with 9.5 per cent in August. The consumer price index (CPI) rose by 0.7 per cent in September from a year earlier, compared with a 0.8 per cent rise in August.”, South China Morning Post, October 14, 2021

China’s Consumer Spending May Suffer ‘Long Covid’ Contraction, Economists Warn – Surely one of the most commonly asked questions by people in China and indeed all over the world is: when will the Covid-19 pandemic end and life finally return to normal? Unfortunately, the answer from experts appears increasingly that it remains some time off.”, Caixing Global, October 7, 2021

European Union

Europe’s Faltering Economy (???) – As the COVID-19 vaccination campaign proceeds, the pandemic seems almost under control in Europe….But like the rest of the world, European supply chains can’t keep pace with demand. Industrial production in some states is faltering due to supply shortages…..Supply issues are also evident in the energy sector, where gas and electricity prices are hitting record highs, causing energy firms across the continent to shut down and putting upward pressure on inflation – a particularly sensitive issue in the eurozone….Put it all together and the supply bottlenecks, rising energy prices and inflationary pressures are headwinds that could hamper the European economic recovery.”, Geopolitical Futures, October 15, 2021

There is no quick fix for Europe’s self-manufactured energy crisis A bit more than a decade ago, a concerted effort was launched within the European Union countries and a few others on the continent to phase out their coal-fired generating plants to clean the skies and slow the pace of global warming. That’s the good news. The bad is that the Europeans are guilty of spectacularly bad planning. What was lost – coal-fired plants and their ability to meet peak demand fairly quickly – was never adequately replaced. Yes, loads of solar and wind power came on stream, but not enough. And – surprise! – solar and wind power became utterly useless when the sun did not shine and the wind did not blow.”, The Global and Mail, October 8, 2021


India faces electricity crisis as coal supplies run critically low – Eight in 10 thermal power stations within days of running out as state blackouts spark protests. States across India have issued panicked warnings that coal supplies to thermal power plants, which convert heat from coal to electricity, are running perilously low.”, The Guardian, October 12, 2021

The Philippines

Why the Philippines Became the Worst Place to Be in Covid – The Philippines fell to last place in Bloomberg’s Covid Resilience Ranking of the best and worst places to be amid the pandemic, capping a steady decline over the course of 2021. The monthly snapshot — which measures where the virus is being handled the most effectively with the least social and economic upheaval — ranks 53 major economies on 12 datapoints related to virus containment, the economy and opening up.”, Bloomberg, September 29, 2021


Thailand to reopen for some vaccinated tourists from November – Visitors from Britain and the US among those permitted as country seeks to boost its crucial tourism sector. Thailand plans to fully re-open to vaccinated tourists from countries deemed low risk from 1 November, the country’s leader said, citing the urgent need to save the kingdom’s ailing economy.”, The Guardian, October 12, 2021

United Kingdom

UK job vacancies hit record amid Brexit and Covid staff shortages – Job vacancies soared to a record high of almost 1.2m in September, according to official figures, as employers hunted for staff to meet shortages brought on by Brexit and the pandemic. The Office for National Statistics (ONS) figures also showed a 207,000 increase in the number of people on payrolls to a record 29.2 million – 120,000 above pre-pandemic levels.”, The Guardian, October 12, 2021

Containers of Christmas gifts turned away as Felixstowe port hits capacity – The problem was described yesterday as a “perfect storm” caused by a shortage of lorry drivers to move the containers, restrictions at ports because of Covid, and a surge in imports. One shipping boss said: ‘I don’t want to sound like a Grinch but there are going to be gaps on shelves this Christmas.’ The delay threatens to become the latest emergency to hit Britain after fuel shortages at the pumps and rising gas prices.”, The Times of London, October 13, 2021

Warehouse space harder to find after online boom – Amid a desperate battle for space, several companies have agreed recently to pay 20 per cent above the asking price, CBRE said. ‘Supply levels are now critical, particularly in the northern belt that straddles the M62 motorway,’ Jonathan Compton, senior director for UK logistics at CBRE, said. Reflecting the change in shopping habits, of all the warehouse space taken in the most recent quarter, 39 per cent was leased by online retail companies.”, The Times of London, October 2, 2021

United States

The ‘Great Resignation’ is likely to continue, as 55% of Americans anticipate looking for a new job – Most Americans expect to look for a new job as the pandemic continues. Some 55% of people in the workforce, meaning that they’re currently working or actively looking for employment, said they are likely to look for a new job in the next 12 months, according to Bankrate’s August jobseeker survey, published Monday. YouGov Plc conducted the survey of 2,452 adults for Bankrate from July 28 to July 30.”, CNBC, August 25, 2021

Will Gen Z save malls and stores from their online rivals? Physical retailers have a rare chance to make shopping attractive again this holiday season. New US data from Accenture suggests 70 per cent of Gen Z customers plan to make most of their holiday purchases in store, while 54 per cent of Baby Boomers plan to buy largely online. Younger consumers are driven partly by fear of shortages — they would rather physically pick up items than risk shipping delays — but also by a desire to get out and do things with other people…..That means brands and malls that lost ground to online sales last year have a vital chance to fight back.”, The Financial Times, October 13, 2021

Brand News

BurgerFi to acquire Anthony’s Coal Fired Pizza & Wings – Palm Beach, Fla.-based fast-casual burger chain BurgerFi International announced Monday the intention to acquire Anthony’s Coal Fired Pizza & Wings for $161.3 million from growth investment firm L Catterton. When the deal goes through, likely in the fourth quarter of 2021, L Catterton will become one of the largest shareholders of Burger Fi International.”, Nation’s Restaurant News, October 11, 2021

US burger giant Carl’s Jr. states intention to enter the UK market – Popular US burger restaurant chain Carl’s Jr. is looking to enter the UK for the first time with plans to open restaurants in the capital and beyond. The brand, best known for its charbroiled burgers, is actively seeking companies to invest in franchises to open its first restaurants on UK soil. Founded in 1941, Carl’s Jr. is one of the most popular QSR chains in the world with more than 1,000 restaurants in 28 markets worldwide. The company already has a presence in Europe, with 79 restaurants across France, Denmark, Spain, Turkey and Russia and has just signed a 300-restaurant deal in Russia and is now targeting the UK as well as Germany for further expansion.”, Big Hospitality, October 7, 2021

Denny’s Corporation: Catalyst Rich Third Quarter Likely To Deliver Strong Growth – Dine-in sales are likely to benefit significantly from pent-up customer demand. Additional growth is expected as 60% of the footprint that was operating with limited hours reverts back to the 24/7 schedule. The launch-to-date success of the virtual brands indicates a possible new leg of growth.”, Seeking Alpha, October 14, 2021

Domino’s Pizza Enterprises Ltd celebrates official 3000th store opening – – in Dresden, Germany. In 2021 the Company has opened 206 new stores and has acquired its 10th market Taiwan and over the next 3-5 years plans to open new stores at a rate of 9-11% of the network annually.”, Dominos Australia, October 7, 2021. Compliments of Jason Gehrke, Managing Director, The Franchise Advisory Centre, Brisbane

Why Founders Sold $2.1B Home Instead After Resisting for Years – ‘It’s different, that’s for sure,’ said co-founder Paul Hogan when reached in late September, about his life after selling Home Instead to Honor Technology in August. How hard was it to decide to sell the homecare franchise that he and his wife, Lori, built from zero in 1994 to $2.1 billion in systemwide sales in 2020? ‘It was like this Olympic wrestling match with this decision.’”, Franchise Times, September 30, 2021

KFC will go Straight” – The (Russia) network launched its own delivery – High rates of food delivery aggregators are forcing large fast food chains to develop their sales channels. KFC, five years after an unsuccessful attempt to create such a service, again decided to launch its own delivery. KFC has launched its own delivery in Moscow and St. Petersburg, the company itself told Kommersant. They added that in the near future the service will work in other cities with a population of over one million, which ‘will increase the volume of orders by 15-20%.’”,, October 10, 2021. Compliments of Paul Jones, Jones & Co., Toronto

Why Tropical Smoothie Cafe is Bucking the Ghost Kitchen Trend – The 1,000-unit brand is letting franchisees dictate the path forward…… Ghost kitchens? CEO Charles Watson says they are not a part of the chain’s sizable growth plans. For Watson, it comes down to the brand’s roots as a franchisee-led organization. Since operators haven’t expressed overwhelming interest to jump in, it’s likely not in the company’s path forward. But the reasons go beyond that.”, QSR Magazine, October 6, 2021

Articles, Podcasts & Studies For Today And Tomorrow

I was featured in a Global Chamber podcast last week which can be heard at this link: Globinar Featuring Bill Edwards on “Global Business Recovery from the Trenches”

Charting the Continued Rise of Remote Jobs – When the pandemic first took hold in 2020, and many workplaces around the world closed their doors, a grand experiment in work-from-home began. Today, well over a year after the first lockdown measures were put in place, there are still lingering questions about whether remote work would now become a commonplace option, or whether things would generally return to the status quo in offices around the world.”, LinkedIn Work Force Report, September 2021

What matters most? Five priorities for CEOs in the next normal – The pandemic has both revealed and accelerated a number of trends that will play a substantial role in the shape of the future global economy. In our conversations with global executives, they have identified five priorities. Companies will want to adopt these five priorities as their North Star while they navigate the trends that are molding the future.”, McKinsey, September 8, 2021

The World’s 100 Most Valuable Brands in 2021 – In 2020, the global economy experienced one of the worst declines since the Great Depression. Yet, while the ripple effects of COVID-19 have thrown many businesses into disarray, some companies have not only managed to stay afloat amidst the chaos—they’ve thrived. Using data from Kantar BrandZ, this graphic looks at the top 100 most valuable brands of 2021.”, Visual Capitalist, October 6, 2021

Over the last 70 years, the global population has gotten older. Since 1950, the worldwide median age has gone from 25 years to 33 years. Yet, despite an overall increase globally, not all regions have aged at the same rate. For instance, Europe’s median age has grown by 14 years, while Africa’s has only increased by 1 year. Today’s animated map uses data from the UN Population Index to highlight the changes in median age over the last 70 years, and to visualize the differences between each region. We also explain why some regions skew older than others.”, Visual Capitalist / UN Population Index / Statista, July 10, 2020

E-books are certainly not a new phenomenon. In fact, they’ve been around longer than the internet.  Yet, while the emergence of e-books dates back to the early 1970s, they didn’t hit the mainstream until the 2000s, when big companies began launching their own e-book readers, and digital libraries started to become more accessible to the public. Around this time, sales for e-books started to soar, and by 2013, e-book sales made up 20%of all books sales in America. Many wondered if this was the end for print books. But fast forward to 2021, and e-books haven’t made print books obsolete. At least, not yet.”, Statista / Visual Capitalism, October 2021

William (Bill) Edwards, CFE, is CEO and Global Advisor of Edwards Global Services (EGS). He has 4 decades of international operations, development, executive and entrepreneurial experience and has lived in 7 countries. With experience in the franchise, oil and gas, information technology and management consulting sectors, he has directed projects on-site in Alaska, Asia, Europe and the Middle and Near East.  Mr. Edwards advises a wide range of companies on early to long term global development of their brands.

Bill recently was published on in an article about how global franchise supply chain management is critical for international success. Read the full article here:

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 in many countries. Our Associate network on the ground overseas covers 40+ countries.  EGS has twice received the U.S. President’s Award for Export Excellence.

Download our latest 40 country ranking chart at this link:

July 2021 GlobalVue™ Country Ranking Chart

For global market research, operations and development support across 40 countries, contact Mr. Edwards at or +1 949 224 3896.  Click here to schedule a call with Bill Edwards to discuss how to succeed in developing your company around the world.

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