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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

First, a few Personal Comments

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

Interesting Data To Start

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

International Travel Updates

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

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

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

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

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

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

Asia Pacific Countries

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


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

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

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

Mainland China 

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

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

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


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

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


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


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

The Philippines

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

South Korea

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

New Zealand

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


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

United Kingdom

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

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

United States

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

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

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

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

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

Brand News

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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.