EGS Biweekly Global Business Newsletter Issue 22, Monday, January 25, 2021

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

“The future depends on what we do in the present”, Mahatma Gandhi

“Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving.”, Albert Einstein

“We must be willing to let go of the life we planned so as to have the life that is waiting for us.”, Joseph Campbell


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

Highlights in issue #22:

  • Vaccine Updates from Around the World:Ramped up production and better distribution are widely needed
  • A new USA administration takes office and starts to define trade policies
  • What you need to know about traveling in 2021 from several sources
  • The art and science of boarding an airplane in a pandemic
  • Health passports for travel are beginning to be available
  • 40 Happy Pictures to Take Your Mind Off Things from ‘Readers Digest’

We consistently 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

‘It’s the last mile”, said Honeywell Chief Executive Darius Adamczyk. As you can read below, the challenges currently are producing sufficient vaccine and getting it the last mile to the end user – us humans! But the really good news is that there are a number of apparently effective vaccines available.

As surely the reader knows, the USA has a new President. The expectation is for a calmer, more consistent and less tweet filled 2021.

Vaccine Updates from Around the World

“What to Know About the Global COVID-19 Vaccine Rollout So Far: Several countries stand out for their success in delivering coronavirus vaccinations, while most of the world is struggling to figure out how to get immunizations into more arms.”, The Council on Foreign Affairs, January 25, 2021

“Johnson & Johnson Aims for 100 Million Vaccine Doses by Spring: ‘Johnson & Johnson is making a very large supply, going all out with its production both here in the U.S. and elsewhere around the world, with the goal of having perhaps enough vaccines for 100 million Americans by spring, by this April or so,’ (Dr. Mark) McClellan (A Johnson & Johnson board member) said. 1So that’s going to make a big difference in supply available over the coming weeks and months, if the clinical trial does work out.’, Barron’s, January 22, 2021

Above chart from The Financial Times, January 25, 2021

Coronavirus vaccine delays halt Pfizer jabs in parts of Europe: Vaccinations in parts of Europe are being held up and in some cases halted because of a cut in deliveries of the Pfizer-Biontech vaccine. Germany’s most populous state and several regions in Italy have suspended first jabs, while vaccinations for medics in Madrid have been stopped too. The US pharmaceutical firm has had to cut deliveries temporarily while cases in many European countries surge.”, BBC News, January 22, 2021

Fed-Up Executives Plot a Faster Covid-19 Vaccine Rollout: Honeywell CEO and other leaders say their operational know-how can help jump-start America’s vaccine administration. ‘It’s the last mile,’ Honeywell Chief Executive Darius Adamczyk said of the problems that have plagued the vaccine rollout. “We dramatically need to pick up the pace.”, The Wall Street Journal, January 21, 2021

Africa’s long wait for the Covid-19 vaccine: Africa will have to wait “weeks if not months” before receiving Covid-19 vaccines approved by the World Health Organization, according to various officials working towards getting doses for the continent. Close to 900 million doses have been secured so far through various initiatives, enough to inoculate about 30% of the continent’s 1.3 billion people this year.”, BBC News, January 22, 2021

Interesting Data and Studies

From “TOP 10 GLOBAL CONSUMER TRENDS 2021’ by Euromonitor International, January 2021

40 Happy Pictures to Take Your Mind Off Things”: We need a bit of relief these days!

Global and Regional Travel Updates

“Delta CEO: Coronavirus vaccine could restore profitability by summer: Delta Air Lines CEO Ed Bastian told FOX Business Network’s “The Claman Countdown” Thursday that the company could return to profitability in six months’ time as more people receive the vaccine. ‘I think we’ll be profitable this summer,’ he said. ‘That requires that the vaccines become distributed at a higher pace and that we as a country continue to take the necessary steps to combat COVID and put the virus into a contained mode.; Bastian believes the U.S. can approach herd immunity by summer, allowing more people to travel confidently.”, Fox Business, January 14, 2021

“The art and science of boarding an airplane in a pandemic: Researchers and airlines obsessed over efficiency now worry about safety, too….. ‘Airlines are dealing with a very precious balancing act,’ says Martin Rottler, an aviation veteran who now runs his own consultancy. ‘They need to balance efficiency with customer satisfaction, and now they need to add on safety.”, ARS Technica, January 23, 2021

Your Questions About the COVID-19 Vaccine and Travel, Answered: Experts on what the industry could look like after shots become widely available. While the pandemic likely won’t end until the majority of the world’s population is vaccinated, many of us are looking ahead to a return to travel. But what will that look like after the vaccine widely available?”, Conde Nast Traveler, January 13, 2021

What You Need to Know for Traveling in 2021: As the pandemic continues, many people are still planning major trips for later this year—here are the factors to consider before booking. Demand is double-barreled. Many travelers rebooked canceled 2020 trips for dates in 2021 and 2022. In addition, there’s massive pent-up demand for travel. But travel has changed. It will require more paperwork, preparation and patience.”, The Wall Street Journal, January 13, 2021

Etihad, Emirates Launch IATA Travel Pass App: The International Air Transport Association (IATA) today announced partnerships with Etihad Airways (EY) and Emirates (EK) to launch the IATA Travel Pass for guests of two airlines. The IATA Travel Pass is a mobile app that helps passengers easily and securely manage their travel in line with government requirements for COVID-19 tests or vaccines.”, Airways Magazine, January 19, 2021

Singapore Airlines aims to vaccinate entire workforce, become first fully-vaccinated carrier in the world: Singapore’s Changi Airport opened a vaccination center in Terminal 4. Singapore’s Transport Minister Ong Ye Kung, as well as Singapore Airlines CEO Goh Phong Choon, are currently urging all employees of the country’s national carrier to register for the first dose of their COVID-19 vaccinations, with the goal of completing the vaccination of all front-line workers in the aviation and maritime industries within two months.”, Fox News, January 18, 2021

American Airlines Passengers Can Soon Upload COVID-19 Test Results to New Health Passport Before Travel: The app will be available to passengers traveling internationally starting Jan. 23.”, Travel and Leisure, January 19, 2021

EU leaders draw up coronavirus vaccine passports to restart foreign travel: European Union leaders will discuss plans next week for coronavirus vaccination “passports” to allow people who have had the injections to avoid travel restrictions and go on holiday.”, The Times Of London, January 15, 2021

All UK travel corridors to close on Monday to stop new Covid variants: Everyone travelling to Britain from Monday will have to produce a negative coronavirus test taken within the previous 72 hours and go into immediate isolation for up to ten days.”, The Times of London, January 16, 2021

Lufthansa’s Boeing 747-8 (and first class) returns to the US in March: The route is set to switch back to the 747-8 on Mar. 30, 2021. This route is currently operated by the airline’s Airbus A350-900…. This marks the return of Lufthansa’s first-class service to the U.S. as well.”, The Points Guy, January 15, 2021

Qatar Airways: More Capacity on Flights to USA: Qatar Airways (QR) has announced it will add its 12th gateway in the US with four-weekly flights to Atlanta (ATL) starting June 1. The carrier will also significantly increase frequencies, adding an additional 13 weekly flights to operate a total of 83 weekly flights across its 12 gateways.”, Airways. January 22, 2021

KLM suspending long-haul operations to stem COVID-19 spread: As part of the Dutch government’s bid to crack down on the spread of COVID-19, the airline said that it will suspend 270 weekly flights, according to Reuters. When it takes effect on Jan. 22, the suspended routes will include all intercontinental flights as well as some connections between Amsterdam and other European destinations where crew have to stay overnight.”, The Points Guy, January 21, 2021

Aeromexico Secures COVID-19 Testing Partnership for U.S.-Bound Travelers: In response to the new COVID-19 testing requirement for international air travelers entering the U.S., Mexico’s largest carrier Aeromexico has reached agreements with two large medical laboratories in Mexico to provide discounted COVID-19 testing and benefits for its travelers in Mexico and those on partner airline Delta Airlines.”, Airline Geeks, January 24, 2021

Everything You Need to Know Before Traveling to Mexico During the COVID-19 Pandemic: Planning a trip soon? Here’s what you need to know.”, Travel and Leisure, January 21, 2021

Air Canada Adds Flights to Cairo, Egypt: Air Canada (AC) is launching flights from Montréal (YUL) to Cairo (CAI) in Egypt, which marks a new destination for the airline. According to MEDIAinTORONTO, AC has confirmed the establishment of this new route.”, Airways, January 23, 2021

“Saga Cruises: First To Require Covid-19 Vaccinations, Bookings Surge – The U.K. cruise company, Saga, has become the first tour operator to require passengers to have a Covid-19 vaccination before setting sail. It marks a turning point in international travel, as more and more companies are deliberating how to safely restart travel, and as the clamours for ‘vaccination passports’ or ‘immunity passports’ become louder.”, Forbes, January 23, 2021


Iconic fast-food chain Pizza Hut has declared ambitions to unseat rival Domino’s as the nation’s dominant pizza chain, as its private equity owner Allegro Funds explores a possible ASX float of the business.”, Brisbane Times, January 17, 2021

Fast food giant Five Guys chooses unusual spot to launch its first site in Sydney: Seagrass Boutique Hospitality Group has signed a deal with the Panthers Group to open next door to the Leagues Club and in between a KFC and McDonalds. The Five Guys eatery will also be adjacent to the first Krispy Kreme store in Australia.”,, January 19, 2021

The two Australia articles above are supplied compliments of Jason Gehrke, Managing Director, Franchise Advisory Centre, Brisbane


Brazil braced for IPO spree this year after bumper 2020: Bankers says pipeline of companies preparing to hit markets may be ‘biggest ever’.  Brazil’s stock market is gearing up for another rush of flotations in 2021, after an army of new investors helped spur the strongest year for initial public offerings in more than a decade.”, The Financial Times, January 20, 2021

Mainland China – Chinese New year is February 12th

“China Trade Surplus Hits Record as Exports Surge More Than Expected: China’s goods trade surplus hit a record high last month while exports rose more than expected, official data showed Thursday, as overseas demand for personal protective and remote work equipment remained strong while the Covid-19 pandemic continued to rage across much of the world. Exports rose 18.1% year-on-year in dollar terms in December, down from 21.1% in the previous month, according to data (link in Chinese) from the General Administration of Customs. Imports increased 6.5% year-on-year in December, faster than the previous month’s 4.5%.”, Caixin Global, January 14, 2021

“CPI returns to growth while factory gate deflation continues to ease in December: Year-on-year growth in CPI picked up to 0.2% in December, returning to positive territory. Factory gate deflation eased as the year-on-year growth in PPI improved to minus 0.4% in December. Year-on-year growth rate of the purchaser price index of industrial products improved to 0.0% in December, ending 18 consecutive months of deflation in upstream price.”, FBIC Group, January 18, 2021

“China’s economic centre of gravity is moving south: The country’s dynamic southern provinces now account for two-thirds of output….The south’s share of GDP has risen to 65%, up from 60% five years ago and the highest on record.”, The Economist, January 20, 2021

Starbucks cultivates growing taste of coffee in China: In 1999, the first Starbucks outlet on the Chinese mainland opened in Beijing, a pioneering move to nurture a taste of coffee in a tea-drinking culture. The company’s initial attempt in the Chinese market failed to generate a profit in the first nine years. “We were not successful in the early years,” acknowledged Howard Schultz, Starbucks Corporation’s chairman emeritus. “It took us several years to get traction and gain success and loyalty,” he said in an interview with China Global Television Network.”, Shine/ Xinhua, January  20, 2021. This articled was submitted by Paul Jones, Jones & Co., Toronto


Cancun Hotels Offer Free Covid Tests And Discounted Quarantine Stays: In Cancun area, hotels are taking the lead in making guests feel comfortable. Posadas Resorts, including The Grand Fiesta Americana and LiveAqua, the Hard Rock Hotel and AMResorts’ many brands are offering free on-site Covid tests.”, Forbes, January 15, 2021


“Bank of Japan lifts next year’s growth forecast, saves ammunition as virus risks linger: The Bank of Japan kept monetary policy steady on Thursday and upgraded its economic forecast for next fiscal year, but warned of escalating risks to the outlook as new coronavirus emergency measures threatened to derail a fragile recovery.”, Reuters, January 21, 2021

Japan Denies ‘Categorically Untrue’ Rumors of 2021 Tokyo Olympics Being in Doubt: The Japanese government released a statement Friday saying rumors it’s been decided the Summer Olympics in Tokyo will be canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic are ‘categorically untrue.’”, Bleacher Report, January 22, 2021


“These Singapore hotels are offering health insurance for guests who catch COVID-19: In an effort to ease some of the worries that still come with traveling, one hotel group has announced it will offer health insurance to all of their guests so that their expenses will be covered in case they contract COVID-19 during their stay.”, Lonely Planet, January 20, 2021

United Kingdom

Trucks sent to Britain return to EU without goods over post-Brexit export fears as UK firms are ‘told to set up hubs across the Channel’ to help avoid disruption: Bosses of firms claim they have been advised to set up subsidiaries in Europe”, The Daily Mail, January 25, 2021

United States

Most of the business related news in the USA since our last biweekly newsletter is focused on the new Biden administration and how they will handle trade issues.   

Biden Team Promises New Look in Trade Policy: A ‘worker-centered’ policy means less focus on opening markets for banks and drug makers. Leading members of the Biden administration are promising a very different approach to international trade. No longer would American negotiators focus on opening markets for financial-service firms, pharmaceutical companies and other companies whose investments abroad don’t directly boost exports or jobs at home.”, The Wall Street Journal, January 24, 2021

Brand News

How McDonald’s technology investments helped it navigate the pandemic: Chief digital customer engagement officer Lucy Brady talks about outdoor digital menu boards, kiosks and more.”, Nation’s Restaurant News, January 20, 2021

Chipotle, Just Eat Takeaway CEOs bullish on return to normal: Fast-casual U.S. chain Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc and Dutch delivery company Just Eat predicted a return to more normal levels of dining out by spring or summer of 2021, they said on Thursday. The two companies, which have both prospered during the coronavirus pandemic, saw little downside to the idea that consumers will want to eat in dining rooms again – instead of grabbing burritos to go or ordering in-home delivery.”, Reuters, January 14, 2021

Denny’s tests two virtual brands with rollout plans: Family-dining brand says the virtual brands focus on burgers and melts. Denny’s Corp., the family-dining brand, is testing two virtual brands that it plans to expand in 2021 and they “focus on burgers and melts,” the company said Monday. ‘Both concepts have shown promising results in testing and each is expected to be launched in the first half of fiscal 2021 in over half of Denny’s domestic restaurants,’ the company said in a press release before its presentation at the 23rd annual ICR Conference 2021, which was held virtually.”, Nation’s Restaurant News, January 11, 2021

This Book Is Required Reading For Every Chick-Fil-A Manager: According to Maisie Bolton, a former Chick-fil-A assistant manager, every manager is given a copy of Ken Blanchard’s book, The New One Minute Manager, with the hope that the manager will follow the tips provided within….”,, January 22, 2021

Stories from the Covid-19 Front Lines: Scott Williams, Batteries Plus CEO: How many locations has your brand reopened? How many closed permanently? ‘All of our stores remain open. In fact, none of our stores had to close as Batteries Plus was deemed an essential business almost immediately. To add to all of this, we were on track to sign for 30 new stores during the course of 2020, with the majority of those signings since March.’”,, January 24, 2021

How Covid accelerated the rise of ghost kitchens: The Covid pandemic has decimated the restaurant industry and has created huge demand for food deliveries. It’s leading to the accelerated growth of ghost kitchens, or cooking facilities that produce food only for delivery and takeout with no dine-in areas. According to Euromonitor, ghost kitchens could create a $1 trillion global market by 2030.”, CNBC, January 15, 2021

White Castle celebrates Valentine’s Day with a retro drive-in dining experience: Reservations are now open for ‘Slider Lover’s Point’. For the past 29 years, White Castle has established itself as the dark horse of Valentine’s Day hoopla. Instead of scrapping this year’s festivities due to COVID-19, White Castle is taking it outside and launching “Slider Lover’s Point,” a socially distanced drive-in dining experience that will take over more than 300 parking lots across the country.”, Time Out, January 12, 2021

Topgolf opens first location in Dubai: Topgolf Entertainment Group has announced the opening of its first location in Dubai, UAE, which marks the fifth country where Topgolf venues now operate. The brand currently has 64 sites in operation, throughout the U.S., U.K., Australia, and Mexico. This news comes shortly after Topgolf announced plans for more venues across Southeast Asia.

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

“These are the fastest growing jobs in Southeast Asia, according to LinkedIn: Careers in health care, education and digital services are set to be among the fastest-growing in Southeast Asia this year, according to a new report released Tuesday. LinkedIn’s inaugural “Jobs on the Rise” report points to a surge in demand for medical professionals, teachers and creatives in 2021, as the coronavirus changes the face of the region’s jobs landscape.”, CNBC, January 18, 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.