EGS Biweekly Global Business Newsletter Issue 9, Monday, July 27, 2020

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

 A pessimist is one who makes difficulties of his opportunities; an optimist is one who makes opportunities of his difficulties.” Harry Truman, the 33rd President of the United States

 “Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.” — Maya Angelou

“The main thing is to have good health and to embrace opportunities which come along every day. As Sir Winston Churchill once said: “Success is not final, failure is not fatal; it is the courage to continue that counts!”, Stewart Germann, Auckland


The goal of this biweekly newsletter is to update the economic and business situation in key trading countries across the world. In our business, we monitor 30+ countries, 25 daily international information sources and six business sectors to keep up with what is going on in this ever-changing environment. Our team on the ground covers 43 countries and provides us with updates about what is happening in their specific countries.

Many of our newsletter readers send us their input and perspectives to help us publish a balanced overview about the world every other week.  Our contact information is at the bottom of this newsletter.

Highlights In This Issue

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

  • McKinsey U.S. Survey says masks will be on people’s faces at least through early 2021
  • Google to Keep Employees Home Until Summer 2021 Amid Coronavirus Pandemic
  • The World Trade Organization has five charts that indicate the worst may be over for coronavirus and global trade
  • Patty power: The Economist’s latest Big Mac index: The McDonald’s Big Mac hamburger. It costs about US$3.10 in China and $5.71 in America. See below for what a Big Mac costs in key countries.
  • How retail shopping and eating will change as result of the pandemic

McKinsey Survey says masks will be on people’s faces at least through early 2021

“As of late May/early June, 88 percent of respondents in the United States thought the coronavirus infection rate would be the same or lower in the first quarter of 2021—whether there’s a vaccine or not. But most expect to still be wearing masks.”, McKinsey, July 14, 2020

International School Openings

“Some Countries Reopened Schools. What Did They Learn About Kids and Covid? Studies from around the world suggest that success depends on class size, distancing, the age of the students, and how prevalent the virus is locally. As school officials try to figure out whether to open classrooms this fall, the science they need to make these tough choices is still evolving. A few things are clear: That most kids don’t become as seriously ill from Covid-19 as adults, and have much lower fatality rates. That’s according to data from the US and China published by the Centers for Disease Control.”, WIRED, July 27, 2020

International Travel Updates

 “Here Are The New Rules For Air Travel After The Pandemic: Canceled flights. Mandatory masks. Temperature screenings. Air travel just isn’t the same since the COVID-19 outbreak. We’re flying in a strange and often confusing world. So what are the new rules for air travel after the pandemic? Some changes, like new airline refund policies and mandatory face coverings, are widely known. Others aren’t. And it’s these unpublicized shifts — happening quietly behind the scenes — that suggest passengers have an advantage that they haven’t had in years.”, Forbes, July 24, 2020

“Business travel changed– but not forever: In the thick of the pandemic, it seemed hard to imagine that we would ever travel for business again. Health and hygiene concerns coupled with global lockdowns, conspired to take all our meetings online. However, now the future is looking brighter, will businesses stay loyal to Zoom, or will we return to the old ways of travel and doing business face-to-face?

“EU extends travel ban on Americans amid spike in US coronavirus cases: The European Union extended its travel ban on Americans on Thursday, as coronavirus infections continued to rise across the United States. The EU first started lifting international travel restrictions on July 1, welcoming visitors from 14 countries, including Canada, South Korea and Australia. The U.S. was left off that initial list and Americans remain barred from visiting the bloc for at least another two weeks under Thursday’s decision, announced by the European Council.”, USA Today, July 16, 2020

“U.S., Canada, Mexico to Keep Land Border Closed Until August: The borders will be closed until at least Aug. 21. ‘Based on the success of the existing restrictions and close collaboration with Mexico and Canada, @DHSgov will continue to limit non-essential travel at our land ports of entry with Canada and Mexico until Aug 20,’ Chad Wolf, the acting U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security, said in a tweet. ‘Close collaboration with our neighbors has allowed us to respond to #COVID19 in a North American approach and slow the travel-related spread of the virus.’ Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said the extension was a move ‘to keep people in both our countries safe.’ Since the land border was closed, passenger crossings have dropped by 90 percent or more, Reuters reported.”, Travel and Leisure magazine, July 26, 2020

“Virgin Atlantic resumed passenger flights on July 20, ending a three-month hiatus caused by the coronavirus outbreak. The first flight was London’s Heathrow Airport to Hong Kong. The first service, operated by a Boeing 787-9 aptly named Leading Lady, had special measures implemented to ensure that passengers can fly safely. These included mandatory face masks and a Health Pack for each passenger, which included three masks, surface wipes and hand gel. Since this flight, Virgin has resumed services to two additional destinations. These include New York, operated by an Airbus A350 named Queen of Hearts, and Los Angeles, which was served by the Dreamliner called Queen Bee.”, Airline Geeks, July 22, 2020

“U.S. passenger flights to India can resume July 23: The government of India has agreed to allow U.S. air carriers to resume passenger services in the U.S.-India market starting July 23, the U.S. Transportation Department said on Friday.”, Reuters, July 17, 2020

“Set sail and social distance: Taiwan resumes ocean cruise amid pandemic: Taiwan resumed an island-hopping ocean cruise on Sunday, joining a handful of places in the world to restart voyages after the coronavirus pandemic brought the industry to a virtual standstill. Some 900 holiday makers are adapting to new safety measures when boarding Genting Hong Kong’s (0678.HK) Explorer Dream embarking from Taiwan’s northern Keelung port. The company now offers trips of up to five days from Taiwan to its scenic outlying islands of Penghu, Kinmen and Matsu.”, Reuters, July 26, 2020

“Southwest Airlines backtracks on a full schedule by year-end as recovery stalls. It was less than two months ago when Southwest Airlines unveiled plans to fly a nearly full schedule by December in an effort to grow out of the coronavirus pandemic as it has past recessions. Dallas-based Southwest plans to fly about 25% less than it flew at the end of 2019 by December, CEO Gary Kelly said during the airline’s second quarter earnings call on Thursday.”, The Points Guy, July 26, 2020


“Welcome to Africa: A country-by-country guide to reopening: We’ve been doing a lot of stories about our dream trips and when we can realistically book them. Africa is at the top of our wish list. And several countries in Africa have reopened to tourism.”, The Points Guy, July 26, 2020

Greater Asia

“A Country-by-Country Look at How Asia Is Reopening: All the reopening statuses and current travel restrictions. Nearly every country in the world has been touched by the virus, there are travel restrictions at most borders and, for the imminent future, we’re all staying pretty close to home. But because countries in Asia like China, Japan, and South Korea were impacted early on, they’ve also been earlier to peak, earlier to flatten their curves, and, generally, earlier to reopen.”, CNN Traveler, July 15, 2020


“McDonald’s to open its 1,000th store in Australia – and the cutting-edge super green Melbourne restaurant will use solar panels, fibre cutlery and renewable energy. McDonald’s is set to open its 1,000th restaurant following 50 years in Australia at the end of the year.”, Daily Mail, July 25, 2020

“Australia extends jobs support as new COVID-19 outbreaks threaten economy: Australia will spend A$16.8 billion ($11.8 billion) to extend its wage subsidies for businesses hit by the coronavirus pandemic, as a surge in new infections in the country’s southeast threatens to keep the economy in recession.”, Reuters, July 20, 2020

“Bank chief executives have backed the government’s revamp of a scheme to provide up to $40 billion in taxpayer-backed loans to help the recovery of small and medium-sized firms. Changes to the $40 billion scheme include lending larger amounts for longer terms of up to $1 million for five years, which is an increase from the scheme’s initial limits of $250,000 for up to three years.”, The Brisbane Times, July 20, 2020, compliments of Jason Gehrke, Managing Director, The Franchise Advisory Centre, Brisbane


“WestJet Announces Schedule Expansion for August: As the summer travel season moves forward, Canada’s WestJet is expanding its August schedule and continuing its flight operations for July. The Calgary, Canada-based carrier plans to add more than 200 flights to 48 destinations across Canada and beyond. Even though there seems to be no end in sight for the global pandemic, the airline is also dedicating efforts to safeguard its passengers.”, Airline Geeks, July 20, 2020

Mainland China

“Chinese GDP grows 3.2% in second quarter: Gross domestic product grew 3.2 per cent in the three months to the end of June, compared with the same period last year. The positive economic data follow the first annual decline in decades in the previous quarter, when China’s GDP fell 6.8 per cent as the country struggled to deal with the impact of the Covid-19 crisis.”, The Financial Times, July 16, 2020

“Passengers Now Need a Negative Covid Test Certificate Before Flying to China: The test, paperwork, and five-day time frame all add up to a lot of extra work for the traveler. Those airlines that are allowed to fly to China will probably be hoping it’s a very temporary measure.”, July 21, 2020

“Getting Expats Back to China During COVID-19: With the new school year due to resume in the fall, some AmCham China members are having to arrange alternative plans for their children’s schooling to contend with the very real possibility that they will not be able to return to China in time for the start of the fall term.”, AmCham China, July 24, 2020

“Yum China Holdings Inc was named as an official retail food services sponsor for the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics, the KFC operator in China said on Monday. Yum China’s brands, including KFC and Pizza Hut, will be on site at the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games in Beijing. The company, a licensee of Yum Brands Inc in mainland China, was also named as an official sponsor of the Chinese Olympic Committee through the end of 2024.”, Reuters, July 20, 2020

“Beijing partially reopens movie theaters as coronavirus threat recedes: Cinemas in parts of the city deemed at low risk of cross-infection began admitting moviegoers under social distancing rules. Tickets must be booked in advance, attendance is capped at 30% of capacity and no eating or drinking is allowed during the show. As with most venues in China, a temperature check and online travel record were required for entry. Cinemas have been closed for around six months but began reopening this week in major cities throughout the country.’ Fortune and Associated Press, July 24, 2020

“Cinemas in China begin to reopen after six-month coronavirus closure: Some cinemas in Chinese cities from Shanghai to Chengdu reopened on Monday after a six-month closure, raising hope that the world’s second largest movie market can start to recover from painful losses during the coronavirus pandemic.”, Reuters, July 20, 2020

“Chinese car stocks get Covid-19 sales boost as consumers look for safer alternative to public transportation. Car sales improved in June as buyers returned to showrooms after worst of the coronavirus”. South China Morning Post, July 20, 2020

The EURO Zone

“Eurozone business activity rebounds from pandemic hit: Bloc’s services sector posts notable uptick and German manufacturing recovers. Services sector businesses across the eurozone reported a substantial strengthening in July, according to the IHS Markit flash purchasing managers’ index that rose to 55.1, from 48.3 in June. The result exceeded the expectations of economists polled by Reuters, who had forecast a reading of 51.The index for manufacturing rose from 47.4 in June to 51.1 in July, and the composite PMI, an average of the two sectors, improved from 48.5 in the previous month to 54.8, above the 51.1 forecast by analysts.”, The Financial Times, July 24, 2020


“Disneyland Paris Is the Latest Disney Theme Park to Reopen Amid the Coronavirus Pandemic. Disneyland Paris welcomed guests back this week for the first time in months.”, Travel And Leisure magazine, July 16, 2020


“In Germany, the COVID-19 induced economic dive has led to a surge in Franchise leads by at least 50 percent; however, not all sectors are benefitting equally. There is massive interest for franchise systems that are doing well despite the downturn such as logistics brands InXpress or Mail Boxes Etc., security brand Signal 88 or care concept Home Instead. But buyers shun others, especially from the food, retail, fitness and wellness sectors out of fear of a second wave and another lockdown. “Candidates will be much more selective than in the past and will look at sectors that are COVID- and recession proof,” summarizes Franz-Josef Ebel, Managing Director of Master Franchise Germany.

“German cruise ship, Mein Schiff 2, sails with 1,200 people on board in first return voyage: Occupancy was limited to 60% so passengers can keep their distance. There were 1,200 people on board compared to the ship’s normal 2,900 capacity. The ship sailed from the port of Hamburg toward Norway, and passengers will spend the weekend at sea with no land stops before returning to Germany on Monday.”, USA Today, July 25, 2020


“It has been another important week for Lagardère Travel Retail Italia, which continues with the reopening of its stores around the country. Thanks to the collaboration of all the staff, we have achieved this new success, putting the safety of our employees and customers first. We are happy to celebrate these results once again, as we keep on looking into the future, working hard every day, to remain an important point of reference for Italians and international travelers.”, Lagardère, LinkedIn post, July 24, 2020


“Theme parks in Japan are telling visitors to ‘scream inside your heart’ — and it’s 2020 in a nutshell: As weird as this year has been, though, we didn’t see this new policy in Japan coming — namely, that you’ll have to “scream inside your heart” while riding roller coasters to stop the spread of COVID-19.”, The Points Guy, July 17, 2020


“Mexico tightens coronavirus curbs in tourist spots, other pockets: The spread of the coronavirus has spurred Mexican authorities to impose local restrictions on mobility, commerce, and leisure, particularly in popular tourist destinations, even as the government seeks to revive the battered economy.”, Reuters, July 16, 2020

New Zealand

“There are lots of good things happening with business – new franchisors are preparing to break forth and multiple, and existing franchise systems are appointing new franchisees as many people are keen to own their own business and help shape their destiny….As a nation we should embrace the good things happening and not dwell on the negative – yes, there are escapees from hotels under isolation and that will continue, there are new cases of Covid but no community spread so far, and we live in NZ with our borders closed except for Kiwis returning from overseas.”, Extracted from a July 16, 2020 LinkedIn post by Stewart Germann, Germann Law Office, Auckland


Panama has delayed the process of reopening the economy due to the increase in Covid-19 cases. There are only two economic  sectors open out of six sectors . Restaurants were scheduled to open in June but because of the above reason, the entire opening process has been paused until an undetermined date. air travel suspended. Reopening of airport pending.”, Jose Enrique Tellez, Franchise and Business Consultant, Panama City

“Copa Airlines Pushes Back Restart for Fourth Time: The Panamanian carrier Copa Airlines was repeatedly forced to modify the restart date of regular operations. According to ALNNEWS, the Civil Aeronautical Authority (CAA), extended for the fourth time the suspension that weighs since March 22 on commercial aviation in Panama. Due to the suspension of flying until August 22, Copa Airlines reported that the new restart date would be September 5. With this new postponement, the 102 aircraft fleet will have been grounded for a total of 6 months.”, Airline Geeks, July 25, 2020

Saudi Arabia

The government is expected to restart travel to and from the Kingdom in August or September according to a Riyadh consulting firm.


“Spain’s coronavirus epidemic is under control, government says: Spain’s coronavirus epidemic is under control, the (Spanish) foreign ministry said on Sunday, after the British government imposed a 14-day quarantine on all travellers returning from the Mediterranean country in response to a surge in new cases there. Hospitals are coping well with the increase in infections and more than half of new cases are asymptomatic, the ministry said, adding that outbreaks in Catalonia and Aragon should soon be brought under control.”, Reuters, July 26, 2020

South Africa

“After Early Success, South Africa Buckles Under Coronavirus Surge: Lauded in the early stages of the pandemic for taking decisive steps to limit Covid-19 infections, South Africa is now battling one of the world’s fastest-growing outbreaks that is overpowering hospitals and has caused a dramatic increase in deaths. Public schools, which partially reopened in early June, will close for four weeks starting Monday, as the country enters a peak-infection period that models suggest could stretch into September. Africa’s most developed economy now has confirmed 434,200 cases of Covid-19, the fifth-highest toll in the world behind the more-populous U.S., Brazil, India and Russia. ‘The coronavirus storm has indeed arrived,’ President Cyril Ramaphosa said Thursday, in his 11th address to the nation since the first case of coronavirus was identified in early March.”, The Wall Street Journal, July 26, 2020

United Kingdom

 “Retail sales rose by a better-than-expected 13.98 per cent month-on-month in June as they continued to recover after record falls at the height of the lockdown, according to data released this morning by the Office for National Statistics. City economists had forecast an 8 per cent rise. Jonathan Athow, from the ONS, said: “Retail continued to recover from the sharp falls seen in April, with overall sales now almost back to pre-pandemic levels.”, The Times of London, July 24, 2020

“Coronavirus: Gyms and swimming pools reopen in England as tourists are welcomed back to Wales: Indoor gyms, swimming pools, dance studios and leisure centres in England are allowed to reopen today for the first time in four months – but at least a third of public facilities are expected to remain shut due to financial hardship. Earlier this month, Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden announced that gyms and leisure centres would be able to reopen today, with strict hygiene and social-distancing measures.”, Sky News, July 25, 2020

“McDonald’s has announced plans to reopen hundreds of restaurants for dine-in services across the UK from this week. Last week, it was reported that the fast food chain was testing safety measures as it moved towards reopening dine-in restaurants in the near future. The firm has now stated that around 700 restaurants across the UK will be reopened for dine-in customers from Wednesday 22 July.”, The Independent, July 21, 2020

“Coronavirus: Heathrow packed as passengers turn up eight hours before flights: Concern grows as families prepare for big getaway this weekend. Air passengers are arriving up to eight hours before flights at Britain’s biggest airport, fuelling concerns over crowding in terminals. Passengers told of being packed in “like sardines” at Heathrow with claims that some were failing to wear facemasks or comply with one metre-plus social distancing rules.”, The Times of London, July 23, 2020

“Air passengers from commercial hotspots like New York, Singapore and Dubai could be made exempt from quarantine in bid to boost economy: Government is being urged to approve new ‘test-on-arrival’ scheme at airports. Would see all passengers tested and, if negative, avoid 14 days of quarantine. Hoped new scheme would encourage business travel and boost the UK economy.”, Daily Mail, July 25, 2020

United States (including Hawaii)

“Hawaii islands could allow visitors to quarantine in ‘resort bubbles’: Officials on three Hawaiian islands – Maui, Kauai, and the Big Island – are considering a plan to let tourists have a vacation-like experience while adhering to their 14-day quarantine. The concept is known as the “resort bubble,” and it would let visitors roam beyond their hotel rooms as long as they stay within a “geofence,” or within the confines of the property where they’re staying. The plan, which is still tentative, would be in effect for selected resorts..”, Business Insider, July 26, 2020

“American Airlines has flown more than its competitors during the pandemic, and it’s paying off: Faced with the worst crisis in airline history, American cut less of its schedule and did so at a slower pace than either Delta or United in March. But by April, it had decided to fly a more robust schedule for the upcoming summer, providing connectivity across the country that presumed ‘some recovery in demand,’ as American vice president of network planning Brian Znotins put it. Soon, American’s hubs in Charlotte (CLT) and Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW) were hopping once again. So much so that DFW was the busiest airport in the U.S. in May. There were even traveler complaints about crowded flights despite the airline never promising to block middle seats — even in the early days of the pandemic. Then, in a clear signal that America was ready to move again, more and more people kept buying plane tickets and flights filled up. So many people were buying seats that the carrier lifted what caps it had bookings even as competitors extended seat blocking measures saying they were needed to assure customers.”, The Points Guy, July 24, 2020

“Universal canceling Halloween Horror Nights because of virus: It’s hard to scare the bejesus out of someone in a haunted house while socially distancing, which may explain the decision by Universal to cancel its Halloween Horror Nights this year at its U.S. theme parks.”, ABC News, July 25, 2020

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

 “Google to Keep Employees Home Until Summer 2021 Amid Coronavirus Pandemic: Search-engine giant pushes back return to normalcy. Google will keep its employees home until at least next July, making the search-engine giant the first major U.S. corporation to formalize such an extended timetable in the face of the coronavirus pandemic. The move will affect nearly all of the roughly 200,000 full-time and contract employees across Google parent Alphabet Inc., GOOG +0.92% and is sure to pressure other technology giants that have slated staff to return as soon as January.”, The Wall Street Journal, July 27,2020

 “COVID-19 and the great reset: Economic recovery depends on the return of the consumer—but shopping will never be the same. New McKinsey research considers the possibilities.”, McKinsey, July 23, 2020

“5 charts that show the worst may be over for coronavirus and global trade: World trade fell steeply in the first half of 2020 as the COVID-19 pandemic hit. Government and central bank intervention helped stem the losses. World Trade Organization economists now say we have avoided the worst-case scenario. Risks to the outlook include a second wave of COVID‑19 or trade restrictions. The worst-case scenario for global trade in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic has been avoided, according to economists from the World Trade Organization (WTO).,” World Economic Forum, July 15, 2020

“How Retail Shopping and Eating Will Change as a Result of the Pandemic: Both the retail and restaurant markets have been in a constant state of evolution, responding to generational shifts, technological advancements… and now, Covid-19. Will shopping at retail stores ever be the same post–Covid-19? How about dining at retail stores? The incorporation of food into retail stores was on the rise before Covid-19 (partially owing to the emerging Millennial generation and their experiential preferences), and is now on pause with stores closing or limiting their customer capacity.”,, July 26, 2020

“Patty power: The Economist’s Big Mac index: In foreign-exchange markets, 7 yuan will buy you a dollar. But 7 yuan stretches further in China than a dollar does in America. One example is the McDonald’s Big Mac hamburger. It costs about 21.70 yuan (US$3.10) in China and $5.71 in America, according to prices collected by The Economist. July 16, 2020

About US

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

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

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

William Edwards has 46 years of international operations, development, executive and entrepreneurial experience and has lived in 7 countries.   With experience in the franchise, oil and gas, information technology and management consulting sectors, he has directed projects on-site in Alaska, Asia, Europe and the Middle and Near East.

Mr. Edwards was named to the District Export Council of Southern California by the U.S. Secretary of Commerce in 2016 and again in 2019.

William Edwards, CFE, is CEO and Global Advisor to Chief Executives, of Edwards Global Services (EGS). Contact Bill at or +1 949 224 3896.