EGS Biweekly Global Business Newsletter Issue 38, Tuesday, September 7, 2021

Edited and curated by: William (Bill) Edwards, CFE, CEO of Edwards Global Services, Inc. (EGS)

Once again, travel and supply chains feature prominently in our biweekly global business update newsletter. Getting people back to work in office towers remains a challenge around the world. Restaurant innovation during the pandemic yields new online brands. Vaccination levels are tie closely to business recovery for all countries.

Words of Wisdom from Others

“Success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day in & day out.”, R. Collier

“Every day is an opportunity for a great opportunity.”, Up and Forward on Purpose

“That is one good thing about this world…..there are always sure to be more springs.”, L. M. Montgomery, Anne of Avonlea

Highlights in issue #38:

  • Brand News Section: Carl’s Jr®, Denny’s®, Jollibee, Tom Horton’s® China, Xiabu Xiabu® China

Our Mission and Information Sources

Please note: Article titles are live links depending on non-subscription availability.

Our biweekly global business update newsletter focuses on what is happening around the worldthat impacts new trends, health, consumer spending, business investment, economic development and travel. We daily 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 in 27 countries 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.

Interesting Data and Studies

The strong economic recovery in the baseline forecast would still leave global real gdp more than 2% below the pre-pandemic forecast level in 2022.  The recovery is stronger in advanced economies, where real gdp is expected to increase by 5.2% in 2021 (with a range of 4.6–5.6%) and by 4.2% in 2022 (with a range of 3.6–4.6%). Developing economies’ real gdp is expected to rise by 6.2% in 2021 (with a range of 5.2–6.8%) and by 5.1% in 2022 (with a range of 4.1–5.7%). This would leave developing economies’ output level almost 3% below the pre-pandemic forecast in 2022.”, Euromonitor International, September 6, 2021

Next Generation EU Begins – In 2020, the European Union was still recovering from the 2008 global financial crisis – and the subsequent sovereign debt crisis of 2010 that came as a result. Southern Europe, the worst afflicted region, was unprepared to take any new challenges. Then the COVID-19 pandemic hit. To provide relief, the European Council agreed to the so-called “Next Generation EU,” a relief package worth 750 billion euros meant to spark the economy and combat unemployment….n June, the commission issued its first NextGenEU bond, which should finance the recovery plan, and in August countries started to receive their first disbursements.”, Geopolitical Futures, September 5, 2021

Global Chemical Output Leaps As Industry Rides on High Demand – Global chemical production kicked off the third quarter on a positive note with output rising in July, according to the latest American Chemistry Council (“ACC”) report. Production rose across all regions barring Latin America in the reported month. The ACC also noted that the Global CPRI climbed 17.5% year over year on a three-month moving average basis in July. Global capacity ticked up 0.2% for the reported month and expanded 2.3% on a year-over-year basis. Capacity utilization for the global chemical industry also increased 1.5 percentage points to 90.7% in July on the back of higher production.”, Entrepreneur Magazine, August 31, 2021

Ranked: The World’s Fastest Growing Brands in 2021 – Here’s a look at the top 10 fastest growing brands of 2021, using data from Kantar BrandZ’s Top 100 Global brands report:”, Datastream (via VC), September 1, 2021

The Safe Cities Index 2021 is a report from The Economist Intelligence Unit, sponsored by NEC Corporation. The report is based on the fourth iteration of the index, which ranks 60 cities across 76 indicators covering digital, health, infrastructure, personal and environmental security.”, The Economist Intelligence Unit, September 2021

This is the Language Each Country Wants to Learn the Most – To find out which countries wanted to learn which languages, Wordtips used Google’s Keyword Planner, and tallied the number of searches for ‘learn x language’ (translated into different languages) in every country from May 2020 to May 2021.”, Wordtips (via VC), August 27, 2021

Supply Chain and Blockchain

Why the world supply chain crunch keeps getting worse – A supply chain crunch that was meant to be temporary now looks like it will last well into next year as the surging delta variant upends factory production in Asia and disrupts shipping, posing more shocks to the world economy….’We can’t get enough components, we can’t get containers, costs have been driven up tremendously,’ said Christopher Tse, chief executive officer of Hong Kong-based Musical Electronics Ltd., which makes consumer products from Bluetooth speakers to Rubik’s Cubes.”, Fortune, August 26, 2021

U.S. Ports See Shipping Logjams Likely Extending Far Into 2022 – With record volumes of goods reaching the U.S., port executives expect a crush of container imports beyond the holidays….Ports are already swamped by record numbers of containers reaching U.S. shores during this year’s peak shipping season, and the number of vessels waiting for berth space at Southern California’s gateways is growing as logjams stretch into warehouses and distribution networks across the country.”, The Wall Street Journal, September 5, 2021

One Stuck Box of Fertilizer Shows the Global Supply Chain Crisis – Somewhere in the world’s busiest port of Shanghai, a container of fertilizer sits among tens of thousands of boxes, waiting for a ride to the U.S. It’s been on the dock for months, trapped by typhoons and Covid outbreaks that have worsened major congestion in the global supply-chain network. This is the tale of one humble shipment and its arduous journey across the world.”, Bloomberg, August 28, 2021

Want New Golf Clubs? Get Ready to Wait a Few Months – Add your new putter and golf balls to the list of coronavirus-induced supply chain shortages and shipping delays. Irons, drivers, putters, even grips have been hard to find because of global supply chain shortages that have delayed everything from semiconductors to chlorine tablets.”, Bloomberg, August 26, 2021

Air Cargo Boom in Supply Chain Crunch Has Car Tires Flying First Class – Demand for service boosted ahead of holiday shipping season, with cabins of repurposed passenger planes deployed. The global air cargo sector is flying planes at almost 90% of capacity as record amounts of goods crisscross the globe, bound for free-spending consumers and parts-hungry manufacturers. Packed planes pose a challenge for shippers, airlines and airports entering the traditional peak U.S. season for moving goods, when demand increases for consumer electronics, household items and clothing ahead of the holiday-shopping spree.”, The Wall Street Journal, August 29, 2021

Global, Regional & Local Travel Updates

Here’s how the new EU recommendation affects travel from the US to Europe – he EU on Aug. 30 recommended that member states reimplement travel restrictions for U.S. visitors. The move is the result of the continued spread of the coronavirus in the United States. The recommendation, which is not mandatory, removes the U.S. from the EU’s “safe list” but gives member states the ability to make their own rules.”, The Points Guy, August 31, 2021

Ryanair predicts rapid rebound in airline travel – Ryanair is expecting a “very strong recovery” in European short-haul flights, according to its chief executive, Michael O’Leary. The airline, which forecast its capacity should return to pre-pandemic levels, has also launched 14 new routes from London airports.”, BBC News, September 1, 2021

Air Canada mandates COVID-19 vaccination for all employees – The move by Canada’s largest carrier was in line with a government mandate that workers in the transportation sector be vaccinated by the end of October and follows similar moves by other major companies……Workers who are not vaccinated by Oct. 30 will face termination or be sent on unpaid leave, Air Canada said. It has also made full vaccination a condition of employment for new employees.”, Reuters, August 25, 2021

Lufthansa, Singapore Airlines to Start Vaccinated Travel Lane – Lufthansa (LH) and Singapore Airlines (SQ) are starting a Vaccinated Travel Lane (VTL) from Frankfurt (FRA) and Munich (MUC) to Singapore (SIN). Starting from September 8, entry into SIN from Germany will be possible for fully vaccinated travelers without being imposed a quarantine period on arrival.”, Airways Magazine, August 30, 2021

Delta Airlines to impose $200 monthly surcharge on unvaccinated employees – Following the FDA’s full approval of the Pfizer vaccine, Delta Airlines is set to add a surcharge to health insurance policies of unvaccinated employees instead of requiring vaccines among its workforce. NBC News’ Danny Cevallos breaks down how much power the FDA approval gives Delta over vaccines and whether the airline can legally make its unvaccinated employees pay a surcharge.”, MNC News, August 26, 2021

Global Vaccine Update

Navigating the Delta Variant and the Future of COVID-19 – While the Delta variant does have relatively higher antibody resistance than the wild type1, vaccines are still proving to be highly effective in preventing severe disease and limiting spread. Headlines often focus on breakthrough cases of COVID-19 among the vaccinated and concerns over waning immunity among the elderly and vulnerable, but vaccines continue to be the best tool for managing disease. They provide a promising path out of the pandemic.”, Boston Consulting Group, August 2021

40.4% of the world population has received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. 5.49 billion doses have been administered globally, and 32.11 million are now administered each day.  Only 1.8% of people in low-income countries have received at least one dose.”, Our World In Data, September 5, 2021

Country & Regional Updates


Qantas already accepting flight bookings to Singapore ahead of December return of overseas travel – A day before the Qantas announcement, Trade and Tourism Minister Dan Tehan hinted Australia’s travel bubble with New Zealand would be expanded to include the likes of Singapore. ‘When we see 80 per cent are fully vaccinated, outbound international restrictions will be lifted and travel bubbles will be expanded,’ he told Parliament.”, The London Daily Mail, August 26, 2021


Canada To Reopen To Vaccinated Travellers From September 7 – In a statement, the CBSA said, ‘Effective September 7, foreign nationals who qualify for the fully vaccinated traveller exemption can enter Canada for discretionary (non-essential) travel.’”, Airline Geeks, September 5, 2021


China not ready to ease strict Covid-19 controls, says senior health officialChina’s zero-tolerance Covid-19 strategy will not change until the authorities are confident that its vaccination campaign has been effective enough to ease restrictions, a senior health official said on Friday. National Health Commission estimates around 1.1 billion people will have been vaccinated by the end of October. More than 900 million people are fully vaccinated, but senior official admits it is getting harder to convince holdouts to take the shot.”, South China Morning Post, September 4, 2021

PMI Report on China Manufacturing  – 10 of the 13 sub-indices were lower than their respective levels in the previous month. For example, the new orders index dipped below the critical 50-mark in August, indicating contraction in the market demand. The new export orders index also declined further to 46.7 in August, indicating that new export orders have dropped at a faster pace recently.”, Fung Business Intelligence, August 31, 2021

How China’s internet continues to rapidly change and why you should care – China added 85 million new internet users last year, averaging 161 per minute. Emerging trends point to the rise of Chinese tech significantly influencing the future of technology around the world. By the time you reach the end of this letter, almost 1,000 Chinese citizens will have accessed the internet for the first time.”, South China Morning Post, August 31, 2021


India Vaccinates 10 Million In One Day – India has given more than 10 million Covid-19 jabs in a single day for the first time, authorities said Saturday, as the South Asian giant bolsters its defences for a predicted new surge. The health ministry said the 10 million landmark was passed on Friday, beating the country’s previous daily record of 9.2 million.”, International Business Times, August 29, 2021


Italy’s economy could grow above 5.8% in 2021 – Italy’s economy could grow this year by more than 5.8% and post better than estimated deficit and debt ratios, Economy Minister Daniele Franco said on Sunday. Speaking at an annual business conference in Cernobbio on Lake Como, Franco added that Rome was committed to turning the post-pandemic rebound into higher structural growth.”, Reuters, September 2, 2021

New Zealand

PM Jacinda Ardern announces NZ outside of Auckland will shift to ‘Delta level 2’ at midnight tomorrow – All of New Zealand – except for Auckland – will move to alert level 2 at 11.59pm tomorrow, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has announced. However, new level 2 rules will be introduced because of the danger presented by the Delta strain, including mandatory mask use in most public venues and patron limits at restaurants, bars and clubs.”, New Zealand Herald, September 5, 2021. Compliment of Stewart Germann, Stewart Germann Law Offices, Auckland


Spain adds restrictions for US visitors – here’s what you need to do before traveling there – New requirement effective Sep 6 for travelers from U.S. to Spain: in addition to QR code from Spain Travel Health portal, must show at least one of: proof of vaccination, negative COVID test, or certificate of recovery.”, Lonely Planet, September 6, 2021


Singapore fully vaccinates 80% of population against COVID – Singapore has one of the world’s highest coronavirus vaccination rates, and the milestone means the government can continue loosening restrictions and prepare to allow fully vaccinated travelers from some other nations to visit.”, Axios, August 29, 2021

United Kingdom

UK employers plot return of office workers Companies have created hybrid working models that are being rolled out this month. Bosses across the City of London are hoping that most staff will this month start to spend at least some of the time at their offices, combining inducements such as social events and free food alongside policies that will insist on a minimum number of days’ attendance.”, The Financial Times, September 5, 2021

One in four UK food and hospitality firms are hit by low stock levels – ONS says 27% of food services and accommodation firms have reported lower than normal stock levels. Low stock levels also reported by 23% of manufacturers and 25% of firms in the wholesale and retail trade. Mounting supply chain crisis is increasingly leaving shelves bare and leading to a shortage of materials.”, The London Daily Mail, August 26, 2021

United States

Small manufacturers are the most optimistic – A National Federation of Independent Business quarterly report released Thursday shows that a net positive 9% of small manufacturers said in July that they expected sales growth in the next 3 months. That compares to a net negative of 1%, 6% and 12% of businesses in the services, retail and construction industries, respectively.”, Axios, August 27, 2021

Half of U.S. small businesses have unfilled job openings – NFIB – Half of U.S. small-business owners reported unfilled job openings in August as finding qualified workers remains an ongoing challenge, a trade group said on Thursday. The National Federation of Independent Business said in its monthly jobs report that 50% of small business owners reported unfilled job openings in August on a seasonally adjusted basis, up from 49% in July. August’s reading is 28 percentage points higher than the 48-year average of 22%.”, Reuters, September 2, 2021

Women have joined the gig economy at a rapid clip during the pandemic – Gigs offer the flexibility that so many working women seek, but the jobs can come with low, unstable wages. Women now represent 46% of the independent contracting workforce, up from 33% in May 2017, per the American Action Forum. Women have long dominated the gig workforces in areas like caregiving and home cleaning, but their rise in the delivery economy is more recent.”, Axios, August 26, 2021


Apparel brands warn of supply chain problems in Vietnam – Vietnam, a leader in footwear and apparel manufacturing, imposed strict lockdowns this week as the country attempts to contain the spread of the coronavirus. ‘We are working through an extended closure of factories in Southern Vietnam,’ Abercrombie & Fitch CFO Scott Lipesky said on a call with analysts on Thursday. ‘We’ll see how it plays out. [But it’s] out of our control at this point.’”, Axios, August 27, 2021

Brand News

The new restaurant that just delivered dinner could be a spinoff of one of these popular chains – Virtual brands are restaurants available only on third-party delivery apps. Their creators use existing restaurant kitchens to whip up orders from a menu that was designed for off-premise customers. Pizza, chicken wings and burgers are popular options because they all travel well and don’t usually require extra equipment to make. For many companies, virtual brands were one of the few bright spots for the businesses during lockdowns. In the 12 months ended March 2021, U.S. restaurant digital orders grew 124%, according to the NPD Group.”, CNBC, September 6, 2021

Carl’s Jr. Enters Master Franchise Agreement in The Russian Federation to Activate Growth – CKE Restaurants Holdings, Inc. Partners with Nevada Russia Franchising Company, LLC for Significant Growth Plans. The two groups are aiming to develop 300+ restaurants throughout Russia during the initial term of the agreement.”, RR Newswire, August 24, 2021

Let’s Hear it for the O-Line: Denny’s Announces NIL Deal with Top Offensive Linemen in College Football – Pancakes and pigskin go together like … well pancakes and bacon, and nobody understands that better than . That’s why America’s Diner, famous for serving up the best pancakes in the game, has selected a different kind of All-American collegiate team – The All-Pancaker Team. This move is part of Denny’s continued mission to bring people from all backgrounds together and to support talented individuals who align with its core values. In recruiting players to join the All-Pancaker Team, the company purposefully looked at star student-athletes from leading Power Five and HBCU schools across the nation, as part of an ongoing effort to support the communities in which it serves.”, Johnson City Press, September 2, 2021

Jollibee, famous for its fried chicken, completes acquisition of Michelin starred Tim Ho Wan with eye on global expansion Jollibee Worldwide, a unit of JFC’s, has completed the acquisition of Hong Kong-based Tim Ho Wan from private-equity fund Titan Dining. China is JFC’s second-largest market and is playing an important role in generating revenue during the Covid-19 pandemic”, South China Morning Post, September 5, 2021

McDonald’s Shows Why Perspective Is Important Before Responding To A Crisis – Perspective is important in a crisis…… Donald’s is a case in point. According to the Wall Street Journal last week, McDonald’s franchisees have been upset for some time about company-supplied ice cream machines that keep breaking down.”, Forbes, September 6, 2021

Xi’s Data Clampdown Spurs Novel Solution From Tim Hortons China – Tim Hortons China said that as part of its merger with Silver Crest Acquisition Corp. it will create an independent entity incorporated in China, which will have the “sole purpose” of safeguarding and protecting customer data. Tim Hortons China will not own any equity in the entity, called NewCo in the filing, which will provide its services back to the parent at cost.”, Bloomberg, August 24, 2021

Hotpot Chain Xiabu Xiabu Comes to a Post-Pandemic Simmer With 58% Revenue Boost – The Hong Kong-listed firm, which runs 1,077 restaurants under its flagship Xiabu Xiabu hotpot brand and higher-end Coucou label, cut its losses by 81% to 46.9 million yuan compared with a shortfall of 252 million yuan in the first half of 2020 when the Covid-19 outbreak forced it to close operations. In the six months through June 30, the company shuttered 24 Xiabu Xiabu outlets “due to commercial reasons” while opening 40 new Xiabu Xiabu and nine Coucou restaurants, according to its earnings report released late Monday.”, Caixing Global, August 31, 2021

Articles & Studies About Doing Business Going Forward

Visualizing the Critical Metals in a Smartphone – Over 60% of the world’s population owns a mobile phone and smartphone adoption continues to rise in developing countries around the world. While each brand has its own mix of components, whether it’s a Samsung or an iPhone, most smartphones can carry roughly 80% of the stable elements on the periodic table.”, Elements Visual Capitalist, August 24, 2021

What’s fueling ‘The Great Resignation’ among younger generations? According to a new study from Adobe, members of Generation Z are leading the charge for a few different reasons. (For the purposes of this study, Adobe defined Generation Z as encompassing adults between the ages of 18 and 24, and millennials as those between the ages of 25 and 39.) Based on a survey of 3,400 enterprise workers in the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, Australia, New Zealand, and Japan, more than half of Gen Z workers plan to pursue a new job in the next year—more than any other generation. They are the least satisfied generation at work, with only 56% satisfied with work/life balance and 59% with their job overall.”, Fortune, August 26, 2021

William (Bill) Edwards, CFE, is CEO and Global Advisor of Edwards Global Services (EGS). He has 4 decades 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.

Bill recently was published on in an article about how global franchise supply chain management is critical for international success. Read the full article here:

Edwards Global Services, Inc. (EGS) provides a complete International solution for companies 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.  EGS has twice received the U.S. President’s Award for Export Excellence.

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July 2021 GlobalVue™ Country Ranking Chart

For global market research, operations and development support across 40 countries, contact Mr. Edwards at or +1 949 224 3896.  Click here to schedule a call with Bill Edwards to discuss how to succeed in developing your company around the world.