EGS Biweekly Global Business Newsletter Issue 21, Monday, January 11, 2021

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


“The goal is not to be perfect by the end. The goal is to be better today.”, Simon Sinek

“You can find inspiration in everything. If you can’t, then you’re not looking properly.”, Paul Smith, fashion designer.

“The secret of getting ahead is getting started”, Mark Twain


Our biweekly newsletter focuses on what is happening around the world that impacts new trends, health, consumer spending, business investment and travel.

HiiHighlights in issue #21:

  • Vaccine Updates from Around the World: There are 12 vaccines in various stages of approval and distribution around the world with massive logistics challenges
  • This issue has links to several surveys that project economic recovery in 2021
  • Economic recovery uneven: US Chamber of Commerce, but Chipotle is hiring an additional 15,000 employees
  • A significant amount of generally positive travel news
  • The Middle East begins to open borders for business
  • Consumer spending on app stores over the holidays surpasses $100 billion
  • Women Pilots to Make History: Air India’s Longest Nonstop Flight

For our biweekly newsletter, 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

While shutdowns continue, the vaccine news is positive but with logistics challenges. Our first newsletter edition in 2021 has links to several studies projecting economic, health, travel and business trends for 2021. Asia Pacific region countries generally continue to lead the recovery with a few exceptions. Global retail and hospitality brands continue to innovate to address the new consumer trends as they prepare to come out of the COVID-19 crisis. Let’s start with vaccine news.

Vaccine Updates from Around the World


The number of approved vaccines continues to increase, but distribution is still lagging, the Financial Times, December 30, 2020



This version gives another look at the vaccines secured to go to various countries, World Bank, December 2020

“BioNTech lifts 2021 COVID-19 vaccine output target to 2 billion doses: Pfizer’s partner BioNTech boosted the 2021 delivery target for their COVID-19 vaccine to 2 billion doses, up from 1.3 billion previously, as they bring new production lines on stream and as more doses can be extracted per vial.”, Reuters, January 11, 2021

What vaccines mean for the return of travel: COVID-19 jabs will eventually help tourism start again, but expect a trip full of immunity passports, mouthwash tests, and wary travelers.”, National Geographic, January 2021

“Moderna Raises Covid-19 Vaccine Production Estimate: Biotech company says it will make at least 600 million doses this year, up 100 million from earlier forecast. The Cambridge, Mass., company also said it is making investments and adding staff to make as much as one billion doses this year.”, The Wall Street Journal, January 5, 2021

EU regulator approves Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine: The European Medicines Agency on Wednesday recommended Moderna’s coronavirus vaccine for authorization in the European Union’s 27 member states…..This is the second vaccine to be granted approval by the regulator. The European Commission — which has purchased 160 million doses of the Moderna vaccine — is likely to issue final approval this week.”, Axios, January 6, 2021

Indonesia to ink Pfizer, AstraZeneca vaccine deals as awaits Sinovac clearance: Indonesia is poised to secure coronavirus vaccines from Pfizer and AstraZeneca, the health minister said on Tuesday, as it awaits authorisation to begin its inoculation programme with a third drug, by China’s Sinovac.”, Reuters, December 29, 2020

Interesting Data and Studies

Good news from the OECD via Stratfor Worldview 2021 annual forecast, January 3, 2021

Manufacturers Overcame Covid-19 Setbacks to End 2020 on High Note: Sector’s strength in U.S., Europe and Asia contrasts with services businesses harmed by pandemic restrictions.”, The Wall Street Journal, January 4, 2021

The next normal arrives: Trends that will define 2021—and beyond: The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world, and its effects will last. Here are some factors that business leaders should keep in mind as they prepare for the next normal.”, McKinsey & Company, January 4, 2021

2021 Top Digital Trends and Resolutions: The pandemic forced us all to reconsider how we work and learn, all while the number of cyber threats significantly increased. Accelerated digital transformation became critical for us all to continue to live our lives and do our jobs.  As we look ahead to 2021, we wanted to share our insights on some of the biggest digital trends and resolutions.”, Boston Consulting Group, January 2021

Consumer spending on app stores surpasses $100 billion for the first time: Reported by Sensor Tower, spending on mobile apps and games has passed $100 billion in a single year for the first time in 2020. On Christmas alone, consumers spent around $407 million across Apple’s App Store and Google’s Play Store.”, iMORE, December 30, 2020

Global and Regional Travel Updates

“Delta CEO Confident There Is a ‘Turning Point’ for Travel This Year: Ed Bastian detailed what 2021 may look like in a published memo to employees. While COVID-19 continues to hinder travelers around the world, Delta Air Lines CEO Ed Bastian wrote in a New Year’s memo to employees that he was confident a “turning point” for the travel industry is ahead.”, Travel and Leisure Magazine, January 5, 2021

World’s safest airlines named in new ‘Airline Ratings’ report: US carriers Alaska Airlines, Hawaiian Airlines, Southwest, Delta, American and United made the top 20…Qantas topped the annual list from, a ranking which reviews 385 carriers on the following factors: crash and serious incident record; audits from governing and industry bodies; government audits; industry-leading safety initiatives; and fleet age.”, Fax News, January 4, 2021

What A Survey By Hilton Hotels Reveals About Travel Eagerness: A recent survey from Hilton has found that 95% of Americans are missing travel right now. Though that in itself is not a groundbreaking discovery, the reasons behind this large number is worthy of attention.”, Forbes, December 30, 2020

LAX begins rapid coronavirus testing for travelers: Fliers who pre-book an appointment at the recently built lab, located across from Terminal 6, will receive results in three to five hours. The lab, located in a shipping container, is processing about 250 to 300 rapid tests a day, with plans to ramp up to 1,000 tests daily. Additional testing sites are at Terminal 2 and Tom Bradley International Terminal, which will provide results in 24 hours.”, The Los Angeles Times, December 31, 2021

Will you need an immunity passport to fly? How the COVID-19 vaccine will restart travel: TPG spoke to healthcare and travel professionals, as well as travelers, to understand how vaccines (once they become widely available), ongoing COVID-19 testing and potential immunity passports could reshape the travel industry.”, The Points Guy, December 27, 2020

How Brexit Affects UK Aviation: Brexit is today a reality and major changes will affect tariffs, trade and mobility in the UK for the foreseeable future. Negotiations between the European Union (EU) and the UK regarding new rules have not come to term yet, but there are some that shed a Light on how they will affect the region’s aviation industry.”, Airways Magazine, January 2, 2021

China Southern Ranks (World’s) Third Largest Airline: China Southern (CZ) ranks third largest airline this winter due to the gradual resumption of air traffic in the country. Since 2019, CZ has gone up by three places, with a 16% increase per year from year to year® domestic flights, not international. As such, China’s total domestic seats are up by 35% this winter, OAG data shows. However, a shadow of its former self, down by 87%. Chinese airlines now account for seven of the world’s top-20 airlines, up from three last (year)., Airways Magazine, January 9, 2021

Canada announces strict new entry requirements: Canada is announcing strict new entry requirements for all international arrivals. The news comes as a new strain of COVID-19 first identified in the U.K. that spreads even more easily is showing up in more and more countries including Canada.”, The Points Guy, December 31, 2020

Singapore Airlines resumes UK, Australasia Flights:  Singapore Airlines (SQ) has resumed flying to the UK and to Australia and New Zealand under a special agreement. Last month, the government of Singapore banned foreign travelers in the UK from visiting or passing through the city state. Australia and New Zealand remain closed to foreign nationals, but resident citizens can return home by carrying out a 14-day preventive quarantine.”, Airways Magazine, January 6, 2021

“New app can be used as proof you’ve been vaccinated for COVID-19: Your doctor can upload proof of vaccination to software that links to app on your phone.”,, December 29, 2020

Copa Returns to Its Cabana in Tampa: Copa Airlines (CM) announced today that after a nearly ten-month hiatus due to travel restrictions in the region relating to the COVID-19 pandemic, the carrier is resuming operations from Tampa International Airport (TPA) and Tocumen International Airport (PTY) in Panama.”, Airways, January 10, 2021

Asia Pacific Countries

HSBC names 2 countries that have tackled the virus and will reap the benefits: Singapore and Vietnam have been successful in controlling Covid in 2020 and are likely to keep the situation contained next year, said HSBC Global Research’s Joseph Incalcaterra. Singapore and Vietnam have been successful in controlling the coronavirus in 2020 and are likely to keep the situation contained next year, an economist said this week.”, CNBC, December 30, 2020


“McDonald’s Australia reaches 1,000-store milestone with sustainability flagship: The new restaurant features 25 core sustainability initiatives. Located at Melton South, the restaurant is operating fully on renewable energy and features 25 core sustainability initiatives, including Happy Meal toy recycling, carbon neutral McDelivery via Uber Eats and DoorDash, a bespoke PlayPlace made with recycled content, electric vehicle charging stations, and daylight harvesting lighting. An on-site solar system will generate around 42,000kWh per year, the company said., QSR Media Australia, December 11, 2020

Radical plan to save Australia’s shopping centres: Smashed by online retail and battered by COVID, shopping centres have been all but written off. But one reckons it has the secret to survival – and it involves Ninja Warrior. The firm calls it a “retail-as-a-service concept”. In layman’s terms, it’s a space designed specially for online retailers that enables them to set up shop for a fraction of the price and time it would normally take. Rather than a month to build the interior of a store, Mirvac reckons it can now be done in a single day.”,, December 15, 2020

Mark Wahlberg is Bringing His Wahlburgers Chain to Australia: While in Australia promoting his F45 fitness chain, Wahlberg reportedly took a liking to the scenery. According to The Daily Telegraph, the actor signed a $50 million deal with the owners of the United Cinemas chain to house his restaurants at over 15 locations across Australia.”, Manofmany, January 5, 2021

Guzman y Gomez ends the year with an $86 million investment: Specialist funds manager Magellan Financial Group has acquired 10 percent of existing shares from (Mexican) restaurant chain Guzman y Gomez, the business announced on Tuesday morning. The deal cost Magellan $86.8 million, leaves TGM Growth Partners and GYG founder and CEO Steven Marks as the chain’s largest shareholders, and will allow Magellan head of governance and advisory Craig Wright to join the board.”, Inside Retail Australia, December 22, 2020

Mainland China – Chinese New year is coming up again soon!

“Apple launches special, limited edition AirPods Pro for Chinese New Year: Since the next year is Year of the Ox in the Chinese calendar, Apple’s new AirPods Pro – noticed by 9to5Mac – have a little image of a cow on the box and engraved on the earbuds’ case. The image is actually a reworked version of the cow face emoji.  These limited edition AirPods Pro are only available in certain Asian markets, such as China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan, and Malaysia.”, Mashable, January 7, 2021

Chain Favorites Foreign Hotels Expand Against Trend: In the past 2020, foreign hotel giants did not slow down their expansion due to the epidemic. On January 4, a reporter from Beijing Business Daily learned from several hotel groups that last year, InterContinental Group opened nearly 60 hotels, Hilton Group expanded dozens of high-end hotels, and Marriott, the largest hotel group, also opened in China. 36 hotels.”, Beijing Commercial Daily, January 5, 2021. Compliments of Paul Jones, Jones & Co., Toronto

China’s Factory Outlook Eases With Recovery Still on Track: A gauge of China’s manufacturing industry moderated in December from a three-year high in the previous month, with the economy’s recovery stabilizing as the year comes to a close. The official manufacturing purchasing managers’ index fell to 51.9 from 52.1 in November, the National Bureau of Statistics said Thursday, lower than the median estimate of 52 in a Bloomberg survey of economists. The nonmanufacturing gauge, which reflects activity in the construction and services sectors, dropped to 55.7. Bloomberg via Caixing Global, December 31, 2020


Women Pilots to Make History: Air India’s Longest Nonstop Flight: Four women Pilots will make history today by flying Air India’s (AI) inaugural flight from San Francisco International Airport (SFO) to Kempegowda International Airport (BLR). The 17-hour-long route, covering a distance of 9,942 mi (16,000km), will be Al’s longest nonstop flight. It will take the Pilots directly over the North Pole. Making them the first all-female Crew to operate a flight over that region.”, Airways Magazine, January 8, 2021

Bill Edwards personal comment: 3 years ago, I flew an all-female crew flight between New Delhi and Mumbai


“South Korea exports post sharpest expansion in 26 months in December but slide 5.4% year-on-year in 2020. South Korea’s exports expanded at their fastest pace in 26 months in December, on robust chip demand and improved global demand, providing additional signals that the recovery is on track despite resurgences in the novel coronavirus.”, Reuters, December 31, 2020

The Middle East 

“How the Middle East is defying a Covid downturn: Tarek Fadlallah took his seat among the bankers enjoying after-work drinks on the terrace of the International Financial Centre in Dubai on Wednesday and declared: ‘We’re seeing an economic bounce-back. Everything’s trending in the right direction.’ Fadlallah, who has run Nomura Asset Management across the Middle East for the past six years, can scarcely believe it.”, The Times of London, January 10, 2021

Saudi Arabia ends entry ban, keeps some coronavirus restrictions: Saudi Arabia said that entry to the kingdom by sea land and air will be resumed starting Sunday after a ban that lasted two weeks amid fears of a new coronavirus variant, the state news agency reported on Sunday. A ministry of interior official said that some restrictions including asking people coming from countries where the new variant spread such as the UK, South Africa and any others, to stay at least 14 days out of these countries before entering the kingdom.”, Reuters, January 2, 2021

Saudi Arabia to Open Borders with Qatar:  Saudi Arabia has agreed to open its air, sea, and land borders with Qatar. The move will help to end a dispute that has lasted more than three years and triggered a crisis in the oil-rich Gulf – setting two US allies against each other. According to The Financial Times, Kuwait mediated the agreement and has said that the borders would be open beginning Monday night.”, Airways, January 4, 2021


“Peru’s Economy Gets a Wake-Up Call. Will Its Leaders Listen? Peru’s post-pandemic path to economic recovery will primarily require retaining confidence in prudent fiscal management and political stability, as well as addressing the structural issues impeding the country’s long-term financial sustainability.”, Stratfor, January 6, 2021

The Philippines

Philippines signs deal to secure 30 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine Covovax: distributor: The Philippine government has signed a deal to secure the supply of 30 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine Covovax from Serum Institute of India (SII), the latter’s local partner said on Sunday.”, Reuters, January 10, 2021

United Kingdom

“No Deal’ Brexit Averted: EU/U.K. Reach Historic Bilateral Trade Deal: The full contours of the Agreement are detailed in a 1,256-page text released by the European Commission on December 25, 2020, and cover a broad array of issues including trade in goods and services, digital trade, intellectual property, public procurement, aviation and road transport, energy, fisheries, social security coordination, law enforcement and judicial cooperation in criminal matters, thematic cooperation and participation in EU programs.”, Faegre Drinker summary, December 30, 2020

Approval of Oxford vaccine hailed as game-changer in Covid fight: Astrazeneca chief promises 2 million doses a week. The Covid vaccine developed by Oxford University and the drugmaker Astrazeneca has been approved for use in Britain, with government advisers saying that a single shot could achieve 70 percent protection.”, The Times of London, December 30, 2020

COVID-19: Retail, leisure and hospitality firms to get up to £9,000 to help cope with lockdown: Rishi Sunak said the measures would help businesses get through the months ahead and sustain jobs for when firms reopen. Businesses in the specified sectors across the UK will receive up to £9,000 per property, costing a total £4bn. An estimated 600,000 properties are expected to benefit.”, Sky News, January 5, 2021

BBC to put lessons on TV during lockdown: BBC TV is to help children keep up with their studies during the latest lockdown by broadcasting lessons on BBC Two and CBBC, as well as online. Schools have been closed to most children across the UK as part of tougher measures to control Covid-19. The BBC will show curriculum-based programmes on TV from Monday. They will include three hours of primary school programming every weekday on CBBC, and at least two hours for secondary pupils on BBC Two.”, BBC News, January 6, 2021

United States

“Prediction Consensus: What the Experts See Coming in 2021: Making predictions is a tricky business at the best of times, but especially so after a year of upheaval. Even so, that didn’t stop people from trying their hand at reading the crystal ball. If anything, the uncertainty creates a stronger temptation for us to try to forecast the year ahead.”, Visual Capitalist, January 5, 2021

Economic recovery uneven: US Chamber of Commerce – The survey includes responses from thirty-six business leaders across a wide range of industries, from healthcare to finance and energy to entertainment. A new analysis released Monday by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce reveals that the United States’ economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic continues to be uneven.”, Fox Business, January 11, 2021

Traveling soon? Here’s where you can quickly get a COVID-19 PCR test for travel.”, The Points Guy, January 7, 2020


“Lowest in 10 years, Vietnam 2020 growth among world’s highest: A 4.48 percent Q4 growth has propelled Vietnam’s annual growth to 2.91 percent for the year, the General Statistics Office said Sunday afternoon. ‘This is the lowest GDP growth level in the 2011-2020 period. However, given the negative impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic, it is considered a success for Vietnam, with the growth rate among the world’s highest,’ Nguyen Thi Huong, head of the GSO, said at a press briefing.”, VF Franchise Consulting, Ho Chi Minh City, December 29, 2020

Long Thanh International Airport to Break Ground Next Week: The aviation industry in Vietnam is growing fast. With new startups in Vietnam like Vietravel Airlines, Bamboo Airlines, and VietJet Airlines emerging, airports in Vietnam can handle limited passengers. For example, Ho Chi Minh City’s main airport, Tan Son Nhat International Airport, is designed to handle 25 million passengers. However, pre-pandemic in 2019, the airport carried 40.6 million passengers, according to data from the Civil Aviation Authority in Vietnam. The overcapacity at Tan Son Nhat International Airport has necessitated a new airport to be built. The solution to this will break ground on January 5, 2021, which is Long Thanh International Airport.”, Airline Geeks, January 2, 2021

Brand News

Burger King revamps brand for first time in over 20 years: Burger King has redesigned its brand including its logo, food packaging and restaurants in order to reflect improvements such as eliminating preservatives, the fast food chain announced on Thursday. ‘We’ve been doing a lot in terms of food quality and experience,’ said Fernando Machado, global chief marketing officer of Restaurant Brands International, which owns Burger King.”, Reuters, January 7, 2021

2021 Will Be “Road To Recovery” For Foodservice Industry Say Reports: Technomic foresees strong to moderate growth—specifically in the U.S. and Canada—over the next 12 months, being led by aggressive strategies. One commonality across regions is the streamlining of menus.”,, December 31, 2020

Chipotle to hire 15,000 workers in the United States: Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc said on Monday it would hire 15,000 workers in the United States, as the fast-casual burrito chain benefits from strong demand during the COVID-19 pandemic. The move comes about five months after Chipotle said it planned to add 10,000 more people to its more than 85,000-strong workforce. It now employs about 94,000 people, most of them in the United States.”, Reuters, January 11, 2021

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

“Change Is Just Beginning: How Leaders Can Focus on Meeting 2021’s Challenges: As this new year begins amid much economic uncertainty, companies that successfully navigated 2020’s turbulence can’t rest. They need engaged, forward-thinking leaders who can keep adjusting and focusing on the right factors in a volatile business environment. We live in a VUCA world, which stands for volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity. We need to adjust to how fast things are changing.”,, January 10, 2021

Demystifying Global Consumer Choice: What really drives consumer choice around the world? An intensive BCG research project offers three key insights…”, Boston Consulting Group, December 15, 2020

The Serial Innovation Imperative – THE MOST INNOVATIVE COMPANIES 2020: Facing turbulent and fast-changing markets, innovators need a well-tuned innovation system that can spot emerging product, service, and business model opportunities—and then rapidly develop and successfully scale them—over and over again.”, The Boston Consulting Group, January 2021

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:

Download our 4th quarter 2020 GlobalVue™ 40 country ranking chart at this link:

To download our latest published article, “2021 International Outlook – Mixed Prospects Amid Global Uncertainty”, go to 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.