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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

First, a few Personal Comments

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

The COVID-19 Vaccine Announcement

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

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

Interesting Data To Start

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


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

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

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

International Travel Updates

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

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

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

The Americas

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

Asia Pacific Countries

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


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

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

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

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


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

Mainland China

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

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

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

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

European Union and Euro Zone

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


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

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

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


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

The Philippines

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

South Korea

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

United Kingdom

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

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

United States

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

Brand News

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Who We Are And What We Do

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

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

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

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

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


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