EGS Biweekly Global Business Newsletter Issue 40, Monday, October 4, 2021

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

The key issues in the world today are: supply chain disruptions; rising energy prices; COVID Vaccinations in emerging markets; and finally, the reopening of the USA for international travelers.

Words of Wisdom from Others

“Growth and comfort do not coexist.”, Ginni Rometty, former CEO of IBM

“Working hard for something we don’t care about is called STRESS. Working hard for something we love is called PASSION.”, Simon Sinek

“Unless you have courage, a courage that keeps you going, always going, there is no certainty of success. It is really an endurance race.”, Henry Ford

Highlights in issue #40:

  • Brand News Section: Denny’s®, Dickeys®, Five Guys®, FranConnect, Impossible Foods®, LEGO®, Subway®, Tortilla®

Our Mission and Information Sources

Bolded article titles are live links, if available without subscription

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

Report Measures The Economic Importance Of Franchise Operators – A first-of-its-kind report from the International Franchise Association (IFA) and Oxford Economics sheds light on the impact and importance of franchising in America. The report, The Value of Franchising, details how franchisees are local business leaders who contribute to economic growth, job creation, and charitable endeavors in their communities.”,, September 29, 2021

Europe’s Energy Crisis Is Coming for the Rest of the World, Too – Millions of people around the globe will feel the impact of soaring natural gas prices this winter. Nations are more reliant than ever on natural gas to heat homes and power industries amid efforts to quit coal and increase the use of cleaner energy sources. But there isn’t enough gas to fuel the post-pandemic recovery and refill depleted stocks before the cold months.”, Bloomberg Businessweek, October 1, 2021

Eurozone consumer activity returns to pre-pandemic levels, mobility data show – Europeans are leaving their houses to go shopping, eat out, travel and visit cinemas as much as they did before the pandemic, in a sign of returning consumer confidence which suggests that the eurozone’s economic rebound remains intact, for now.”, The Financial Times, September 28, 2021

Societies that treat women badly are poorer and less stable – Oppressing women is not only bad for women; it hurts men, too. It makes societies poorer and less stable, argue Valerie Hudson of Texas A&M University and Donna Lee Bowen and Perpetua Lynne Nielsen of Brigham Young University. In “The First Political Order: How Sex Shapes Governance and National Security Worldwide”, Ms Hudson, Ms Bowen and Ms Nielsen rank 176 countries on a scale of 0 to 16 for what they call the ‘patrilineal/fraternal syndrome’.”, The Economist, September 11, 2021

Supply Chain & Energy – Worldwide Issues

The World Braces for a Period of High Energy Prices – High global energy prices are likely to remain through the end of the Northern Hemisphere’s winter, which will undermine COVID-19 economic recoveries in energy-importing countries, hurting low-income population segments the hardest. The higher prices will also exacerbate the global manufacturing sector’s fragile recovery and ongoing supply chain challenges, while increasing pressure on governments’ energy transition plans.”, Stratfor, October 1, 2021

Cargo ships docked at the Port of Los Angeles in September

Why Global Shortages Won’t Ruin the (US) Holidays – ‘You’ve heard it here first: Christmas will happen on Dec. 25,’ says Gene Seroka, executive director of the Port of Los Angeles. ‘Many of our savvy retailers and importers advanced their orders. We started seeing Christmas goods arrive on our shores back in June of this year. Normally, that arrival would take place at the end of August, beginning of September.’”, Barron’s, October 3, 2021

Containers Piling Up at U.S. Rail Yards Add to Port Strains – To understand why more than 100 container ships are waiting to enter U.S. ports from Southern California to Savannah, Georgia, it helps to keep tabs on the congestion that’s building at another key junction of freight transportation: rail yards. The so-called dwell time for containers at 11 major railroad depots reached an average of 9.8 days this month, according to a tally of its own boxes maintained by Hapag-Lloyd AG, the world’s fifth-largest container carrier.”, Bloomberg, September 29, 2021

In the first seven months of 2021, cargo volumes between Asia and North America were up by 27% compared with pre-pandemic levels, according to BIMCO, a shipowners’ association. Port throughput in America was 14% higher in the second quarter of 2021 than in 2019. There has been little growth elsewhere: throughput in northern Europe is 1% lower. Yet rates on all routes have rocketed, because ships have set sail to serve lucrative transpacific trade, starving others of capacity.”, The Economist, September 16, 2021

Reality bites as supply chaos hits – Bosses scramble to keep firms afloat amid cargo delays and staff shortages. John Lyttle, chief executive of online fashion group Boohoo, said prices of container shipments from Asia have increased sixfold in recent months as freight companies jack up their rates. Air freight prices were also up two to three times’ normal levels, he said, as the lack of passenger flights usually used for cargo meant companies like his had to charter whole aircraft. “I don’t see the situation easing until some time in 2022.”, The Times of London, October 3, 2021

Global, Regional & Local Travel Updates

Airlines Add Winter Flights Between U.S., Europe in Sign of Hope – The number of flights from Western Europe to North America is poised to jump by 7.5% between late October and early November, when the U.S. ban lifts on visits from most European countries, based on data from BloombergNEF. Traffic will then head for a peak in late December.”, Bloomberg, September 28, 2021

Australia to Lift International Travel Ban in November – Australia is racing ever faster toward reopening its international borders, with Prime Minister Scott Morrison on Friday announcing that bans on international travel will be lifted in November, a month ahead of schedule. The shift will allow states that have reached the 80% vaccination rate to welcome immunized overseas visitors, while Australians will be able to travel abroad with no restrictions on destination.”, Bloomberg, September 30, 2021

Qantas to Resume International Flights on November 14 – In a press release today, QF says it will have three weekly round-trip flights to both London (LHR) and Los Angeles (LAX) using its Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners. The airline will add more flights as demand returns.”, Airways Magazine, October 1, 2021

Air New Zealand becomes latest airline to announce international passengers will need to be vaccinated. Many of the world’s airlines and governments require proof of a negative COVID-19 test before a person can board a flight, but very few have said they will require vaccination. The rule will affect international travellers aged 18 and over departing or arriving in New Zealand.”, Sky New, October 3, 2021

COVID-19: UK’s travel rules are changing this week – what will be different and how will it work? The current traffic light system of red, amber and green countries will be replaced with one red list only. People who are fully vaccinated ‘won’t need a pre-departure test before arrival into England from a non-red country,’ said the transport secretary. And from later this month, the day two PCR test will be replaced ‘with a cheaper lateral flow’.”, Sky News, October 3, 2021

Britain poised to join EU’s vaccine passport in a boost for travel – Joining the EU Digital Covid Certificate (EUDCC) — the biggest vaccine passport scheme in the world — could make travelling to Europe cheaper for British tourists as some countries, such as France, Portugal and the Netherlands, require non-EU residents to take tests even if they are double-jabbed. The scheme will reduce queues as it makes it easier to verify vaccine status.”, The Times of London, September 24, 2021

Qatar Airways Backtracks on A380 Withdrawal, Cites A350 Issues – Qatar Airways has revealed that it will return at least five Airbus A380s to service from this November, a complete U-turn on the company’s decision to permanently withdraw the fleet due to the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.”, Airline Geeks, September 29, 2021

Global Vaccine Update

99.5% of United employees have now complied with the vaccine mandate – Of United’s 67,000 U.S.-based employees, only 320 of them haven’t complied with the airline’s vaccine mandate.”, The Points Guy, September 30, 2021

Vaccine Dispensing Machine Deployed In COVID-19 Centers In Singapore – An automated vaccine dispenser developed in Singapore in just six weeks has been deployed to at least seven vaccination centers, eliminating the need for syringes to be loaded manually. The Automated Vaccine Inoculation Dispenser (Avid) system, the first of its kind in Singapore, weighs less than 25kg and can fill six vaccine syringes in less than five minutes.”, Business Times, September 30, 2021

China, one of the world’s few ‘COVID-zero’ holdouts, sets a loose timeline for easing virus measures – On Sunday, Zhong Nanshan, one of China’s top epidemiologists and government advisers, suggested that the country may begin to loosen its “COVID-zero” restrictions by the end of the year and learn to live with the virus—a potential change in tack for a country that has not budged from its mission to eliminate every single case of COVID-19 since the pandemic began.”, Fortune, October 4, 2021

45.7% of the world population has received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. 6.33 billion doses have been administered globally, and 26.6 million are now administered each day. Only 2.3% of people in low-income countries have received at least one dose.”, Our World In Data, October 3, 2021

Country & Regional Updates


Argentine Economy Grew More Than Expected Amid Reopening – The economy grew 11.7% in July from a year ago, faster than the 8.5% median estimate of analysts surveyed by Bloomberg. Activity in July expanded 0.8% on a monthly basis, a slower pace from June, according to government data published Tuesday. Argentina’s hotels and restaurants saw activity grow 55%, while construction and manufacturing also recorded double-digit gains.”, Bloomberg, September 28, 2021


China hit by power cuts and factory closures as energy crisis bites – The world’s top coal consumer implements power rationing as supplies dwindle ahead of winter. China has told railway companies and local authorities to expedite vital coal supplies to utilities as the world’s second largest economy grapples with extensive power cuts that have crippled industrial output in key regions. As many as 20 provinces are believed to be experiencing the crisis to some degree, with factories temporarily shuttered or working on short hours.”, The Guardian, September 29, 2021

Beijing Olympics to Allow Spectators But Only Those in China – China is limiting spectators for the Beijing Winter Olympics to those residing within the country, as the nation applies its zero-tolerance Covid-19 strategy to the upcoming winter games. Tickets for the 2022 winter games will be sold exclusively to residents in mainland China who meet the requirements of Covid-19 countermeasures, the International Olympic Committee said Wednesday in a statement listing the steps planned by Beijing.”, Bloomberg, September 29, 2021

China’s population could halve within the next 45 years, new study warnsResearchers say previous estimates may have severely underestimated the pace of demographic decline. Census data says the birth rate was 1.3 children for each woman last year – well below the level needed to stop the population from falling”, South China Morning Post, September 30, 2021


“How France Overcame Covid-19 Vaccine Hesitancy – The French have long been wary of vaccines, but a mixture of mandates and inducements encouraged millions to get the shot as the Delta variant spread. When France started vaccinating its population at the start of the year, it had one of the highest rates of hesitancy in the world (66%). Today, it has one of the highest vaccination rates among larger Western countries, after a mix of enticements and government pressure pushed millions of French to receive the shot this summer.”, The Wall Street Journal, September 27, 2021


Japan to lift nationwide COVID-19 emergency restrictions – The Japanese government announced Tuesday that the country’s coronavirus state of emergency will end this week. Japanese economic minister Yasutoshi Nishimura said ‘[m]easures will be gradually eased out to prevent early re-infection.’ The government will create more temporary coronavirus treatment facilities, as well as introduce vaccine passports and testing.”, Axios, September 28, 2021

New Zealand

New Zealand to End ‘Zero Covid-19’ Strategy – Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says the government is aiming to ‘actively control the virus’ as it prepares to ease restrictions. Pandemic restrictions in the country’s largest city, Auckland—in place after a Covid-19 outbreak in mid-August—will be eased in stages starting this week, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said Monday.”, The Wall Street Journal, October 4, 2021

Brand aid – lockdown solution for franchiseesWhen one franchise had too much work and the other had too little, two well-known franchise brands worked together. Green Acres home cleaning and lawnmowing franchisees weren’t allowed to work during Level 4 lockdown­, but a number of them kept busy and earning thanks to an innovative partnership with courier franchise Aramex. The arrangement saw the familiar Green Acres-branded vehicles delivering parcels around the country – a clever solution to the problem of one franchise having too little work while the other was run off its feet.”, Franchise New Zealand magazine, compliments of Simon Lord, Publisher


World Bank cuts Thai GDP growth outlook to 1% this year – Thailand’s economy is forecast to grow 1% this year, down from the 2.2% projected in July, hit by a spike in COVID-19 cases and a delayed reopening to visitors, the World Bank said on Tuesday, as the country fights its biggest virus outbreak to date…..The economy is now expected to return to its pre-pandemic level in 2023, Kiatipong Ariyapruchya, senior World Bank economist for Thailand, told a virtual briefing.”, Reuters, September 27, 2021

United Arab Emirates

Dubai economy to grow 3.1% this year on Covid-mitigation measures and Expo 2020 – The emirate’s gross domestic product is expected to grow by 3.4% in 2022. The economy of Dubai, the commercial and tourism hub of the Middle East, has bounced back strongly from a pandemic-driven slowdown that disrupted global trade flows and severely affected travel and tourism sectors last year, tipping the world economy into its worst recession since the 1930s.”, The National News, September 21, 2021

United Kingdom

London’s mojo is rising . . . but it’s still not quite like the old times Drinkers rub shoulders. Glasses clink. Chatter rises to the rafters. It’s Thursday night in the City of London and Leadenhall Market looks more like its old self. Just weeks earlier, during the summer lull, the City retained the sleepy air of lockdown, with workers staying away for good parts of the week. Now there are signs that workers are finally returning to their offices on a regular basis.”, The Times of London, October 3, 2021

Fuel crisis: Shoppers warned of Christmas nightmare – Kwasi Kwarteng, the business secretary, admitted yesterday that the fuel crisis could affect Christmas as he announced the deployment of the government’s reserve tanker fleet. He said that the tankers would be on the road this afternoon, driven initially by civilians, but that the public may see soldiers driving some vehicles in the next day or so.”,  The Times of London, September 29, 2021

United States

Small Businesses Continue to be Challenged by Labor Shortages and Supply Chain Disruption – Fifty percent are significantly impacted by supply chain disruptions and another 27% by significant staffing shortages. In a survey of small business owners published last week by the NFIB Research Center, two major headwinds facing small businesses as they fight to recover from the pandemic and business restrictions, remain staffing shortages and supply chain disruptions.”, NFIB, September 27, 2021

PwC to let US employees in client services work remote full-time – The pandemic has forced more companies to reconcile with employees preferring to work from home…..A company spokesperson told FOX Business PwC is the first professional services firm in the U.S. to offer employees the option to work virtually and live anywhere in the country.”, Fox Business, September 30, 2021

Freelance Professionals Find That Answering Consumer’s Questions On ‘Expert’ Sites Can Be Lucrative In An Era Of Online Everything – When Billy Wills, a heating and cooling professional from Battle Creek, Michigan, had trouble with a lawnmower repair he was doing, he started hunting online for information that would help him finish the repair. He came across JustAnswer, a site where it’s possible to hire experts for a small flat fee or under a subscription program and sent his question to one of the experts.”, Forbes, September 30, 2021


HSBC: Two scenarios for Viet Nam’s economy in 2021 – Viet Nam’s economic outlook by year end very much depends on the effectiveness of the vaccine rollout together with the effective and timely re-opening of the economy, said Tim Evans, CEO of HSBC Viet Nam on September 13.”, VF Franchising, September 25, 2021

Brand News

Denny’s modernizes consumer digital offerings – Family-dining brand refreshes website, on-demand and mobile app components. The Spartanburg, S.C.-based family-dining brand said it was working to make its digital platforms as personalized as the customers’ experience in the company’s more than 1,500 Denny’s locations.”, Nation’s Restaurant News, September 23, 2021

Dickey’s (Barbecue Pit US) Signs Master Franchise Agreement for Africa – Dickey’s announced today that the company signed a Master agreement with exclusive rights to grow its Africa presence by opening eight locations in Botswana over the span of a decade.”, World Franchise Associates, September 7, 2021

Five Guys’ first Australian restaurant opening on September 20 – The 500 square metre outlet in Penrith, Sydney will initially offer takeaway. Last year, QSR Media first reported that the American fast casual chain entered into a master franchise agreement with Seagrass Boutique Hospitality Group, the parent company of the Ribs & Burgers, Italian Street Kitchen and Butcher and the Farmer restaurant brands to expand in Australia and New Zealand.”, QSR Media AU, September 16, 2021. Compliments of Jason Gehrke, Franchise Advisory Centre, Brisbane

Impossible Foods to launch meatless pork in U.S., Hong Kong and Singapore – The ground pork product will first be available in restaurants, with plans for retail expansion in those markets in the coming months. In a first-on interview, Impossible Foods’ president Dennis Woodside told CNBC that the pork alternative could beat the real deal in both taste and nutritional value.”, CNBC, September 23, 2021

Lego Profit Doubles as Consumers Turn to Toys During Lockdown – Lego A/S’s first half-profit more than doubled as consumers turned to its well-known building blocks to entertain stuck-at-home children. Families across the globe have increased spending on consumer goods while staying at home and Lego emerged last year as a pandemic winner, booking record profits and sales.”, Bloomberg, September 28, 2021

Sandwich Chain Subway to Reappear in Indonesia through Franchising Agreement with Sari Sandwich Indonesia – Sari Sandwich Indonesia (SSI) will be the operator of Subway stores in Indonesia. SSI is owned by publicly listed MAP Boga Adiperkasa which already holds exclusive licenses to operate seven premium brands (aside many other brands) in Indonesia: Starbucks, Pizza Marzano, Cold Stone Creamery, Krispy Kreme, Godiva Chocolatier, Genki Sushi, and Paul.”, VF Franchising, September 25, 2021

Mexican chain Tortilla floats to feed dozens of new sites – Tortilla, which claims to be Britain’s biggest “fast-casual” Mexican chain, has hired Liberum as its adviser and is looking to raise £5 million of new funds to finance its expansion plans, along with a £10 million debt facility from Santander. In addition to the new money, existing shareholders in the chain are expected to raise between £20 million and £25 million from the sale of shares.”, The Times Of London, September 24, 2021

Articles & Studies About Doing Business Going Forward

How subscriptions became quick service restaurants’ hottest marketing trendThis month, Taco Bell became the latest restaurant chain to launch a subscription service, by testing a “Netflix for Tacos” pass.  The pilot program, which launched at Tucson, Arizona locations, allows customers to get one taco a day for a monthly fee. The Taco Lover’s Pass pilot will run between September 9 and November 24, and costs between $5 and $10 for a 30-day pass.”, Modern Retail, September 24, 2021

What 200 Operations Executives Told Us About Operations Today – FranConnect ‘polled our audience of 200 franchise operations executives about how the current labor shortage is affecting their business, and whether in-person visits have gone up or stayed the same since vaccine rollouts began. three quarters of respondents are moderately or severely affected by the labor shortage.”,, September 24, 2021

“3 Hot Retail Tech Trends to Watch in 2022 – Smart shopping carts and headless tech tools are will be on the minds of retailers looking to get out from under the logistics woes that dominated the last two years. In addition to the automation advancements, here are three tech trends she says retailers should watch heading into 2022: 1. Pricing Technology; 2. Headless Tools; and 3. Smart Carts.”, INC., September 27, 2021

Which countries have the fastest (mobile broadband) internet connection? Using data from the Speedtest Global Index™, this map ranks the fastest (and slowest) internet speeds worldwide…. The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is first on the list, with a download speed of 195.5 mbps. Not only is mobile data fast in the UAE, it’s also relatively cheap, compared to other countries on the ranking. The average cost of 1 GB of data in the UAE is around $3.78, while in South Korea (#2 on the list) it’s $10.94.”, Visual Capitalist, September 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.

Download our latest 40 country ranking chart at this link:

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.