EGS Biweekly Global Business Newsletter Issue 44, Monday, November 29, 2021

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

Trends in this issue:

We are monitoring the impact the new COVID-19 variant will have on international business travel through the end of 2022. Some countries limit travel. Supply chain issues remain but are lessening in some areas of the world. Labor shortages in OECD countries continue as workers resign to try something new, including starting their own companies.

First, Some Words of Wisdom

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

“There are far better things ahead than any we leave behind.”, C. S. Lewis

“Don’t sit down and wait for the opportunities to come. Get up and make them.”, Madam C. J. Walker

Highlights in issue #44:

Our Mission and Information Sources

Bolded article titles are live links if the article is 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™ 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.

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Interesting Data and Studies

Global Innovation Index 2021 – Tracking Innovation through the COVID-19 Crisis.”, 14th edition, World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO)

“Increase in restaurant delivery users during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in selected European countries in 2020 – As the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic caused restaurants all over Europe to close their dine-in operations, there was a noticeable increase in the number of users of food delivery services. For example, France saw a 24 percent increase of restaurant delivery users compared to pre-pandemic times. Meanwhile, more than half of the respondents from Spain intended to continue using food delivery services after the pandemic is over.”, Statista, September 23, 2021

Britain’s annual inflation rate jumped to 4.2% in October, the highest level in a decade and up from 3.1% in September. This was mostly because of higher energy costs and supply-chain shortages, but a tightening labour market has added to inflationary pressures. The number of people in employment rose sharply in October, allaying fears that many of the 1m still on the government’s furlough scheme, which ended in September, would lose their jobs. Record job-vacancy rates persist, which often leads to higher wages to attract staff.

From the ‘Economist’ issue on November 20, 2021

Global Supply Chain & Trade Update

Everything You Need to Know About the Global Supply Chain Crisis – The kinks in the U.S. may be getting worked out, but it’s a worldwide crisis and there are still plenty of threats, from Covid and energy shortages to an aged shipping fleet.”,  Bloomberg, November 26, 2021

California ports report supply chain progress, delay fines for lingering cargo containers – The executive directors of the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach said in a joint statement on Monday that since the October announcement of the new fee, the ports have seen a decline of 33% in aging cargo on the docks.”, CNBC, November 22, 2021

Digital advances are accelerating across all the world’s main cargo markets as the pandemic drags on, but the technological strides in air freight are emerging as perhaps the most remarkable. According to the TAC Index, rates to move goods in planes from Hong Kong to either North America or Europe rose to fresh records this week, as importers nervous about depleting holiday stockpiles decided to fly over bottlenecks on the ground.”, Bloomberg, November 18, 2021

Global, Regional & Local Travel Updates

Airlines Scramble to Navigate Fast-Degrading Travel Outlook – Airlines, passengers and businesses scrambled to respond to a deluge of travel restrictions announced over the weekend to slow the spread of the omicron coronavirus variant. Leisure travel will also see an impact, while friends and relatives visiting loved ones after long absences are more likely to go through with a trip, said Alex Irving, an analyst at Bernstein in London.”, Bloomberg, November 28, 2021

Global COVID & Vaccine Update

54.1% of the world population has received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. 7.9 billion doses have been administered globally, and 27 million are now administered each day. Only 5.7% of people in low-income countries have received at least one dose. Our World In Data, November 28, 2021

“Stocks Rise as Investors Weigh Omicron Variant – Oil recovers, Moderna jumps as vaccine maker says it is working on Omicron booster. The S&P 500 gained 1% in midday trading Monday. The index suffered its worst one-day percentage decline in nine months on Friday after South Africa identified a fast-spreading strain of the coronavirus, which the World Health Organization has named Omicron. The technology-focused Nasdaq Composite Index advanced 1.5%, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average added just over 100 points, or 0.3%.”, The Wall Street Journal, November 29, 2021

Omicron Variant Is Reported in More Countries as Officials Grapple With How to Respond – Nearly two years after the first confirmed outbreaks of Covid-19 in China, the rapid spread of a new variant in southern Africa shows how the coronavirus can still thwart the best efforts of policy makers world-wide to return to a post-pandemic normal. Further analysis of the Omicron variant will determine whether governments will react by reimposing unpopular and economically damaging restrictions on their populations.”, The Wall Street Journal, November 28, 2021

Coronavirus World Map: Tracking the Global Outbreak – New York Times, November 28, 2021

Apple delays return to in-person work to February, will allow up to four weeks of remote work per year – Apple is officially planning to begin its “hybrid work pilot” on February 1, according to a new memo sent to employees by Tim Cook today and obtained by The Information. In the memo, Cook says that employees will first work from Apple offices one or two days each week.”,, November 18, 2021

Vietnam on verge of 100 million Covid-19 vaccine doses milestone – Releasing this information, the Health Ministry also said both Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City have both fully covered more than 80 percent of their adult populations.”, VN Express International, November 16, 2021. Compliments of Sean Ngo, CEO, VF Franchise Consulting, Ho Chi Minh City

Country & Regional Updates


Australian Retail Sales Surge as Economy’s Recovery Builds – Australian retailers recorded their best month of sales in nearly a year as consumers splashed out on everything from dining out to clothing, taking advantage of the easing of protracted lockdowns and building momentum in the economy for the final quarter.”, Bloomberg, November 25, 2021

The regional towns where small business transactions are up 260% since the pandemic – Small businesses in regional towns are riding stronger growth compared to their metro counterparts, after people flocked to the country throughout the pandemic to avoid city-wide lockdowns.”,, November 19, 2021. Compliments of Jason Gehrke, Publisher & Editor, ‘Franchise News’, Brisbane


Restaurant owners say they have the answer to the current labour shortage: Better pay, benefits and balance – Employment in the food services and accommodation sector is still down more than 200,000 jobs from what it was before the pandemic, according to Statistics Canada. But the low employment is not only a function of businesses struggling under lockdown, it’s also because workers haven’t returned to jobs they held before the pandemic. The number of job vacancies – positions that businesses have advertised but can’t fill – climbed to nearly 160,000 in August.”, The Glove and Mail, November 22, 2021

Restaurants just might come out of the pandemic better than before. Here’s why: The food industry has always been volatile, writes Corey Mintz in “The Next Supper.” Making it better depends on you.”, The Toronto Star, November 18, 2021


People in Beijing open up about China’s zero-Covid approach and reveal where they dream of visiting once borders reopen. Residents of China’s capital generally support the authorities’ handling of the coronavirus pandemic while harbouring dreams of overseas travel. A teaching assistant wants to see penguins in Antarctica, a housewife hopes to resume trips in Asia, an entrepreneur dreams of a Greek holiday with his partner.”, South China Morning Post, November 28, 2021

Supermarket companies are enthusiastically discussing how to survive the cold winter the president of China Chain Store and Franchise Association proposed lean management. Zheng Luoxin, a reporter from Economic Observation Network,  ‘At present, the domestic supermarket industry is facing unprecedented difficulties and there is great uncertainty in the future. But one thing is certain. Now is a very difficult transition period for supermarkets for more than 20 years.’ On November 18, at the 2021 Supermarket Development Strategy Summit Forum, Pei Liang, President of the China Chain Store & Franchise Association, said in his speech that the current basic consensus for the transformation and development of supermarket enterprises is to shift from extensional expansion to intensive development, and the core of intensive development It is “lean”.

In Pei Liang’s view, lean is manifested in many aspects, such as refined product selection, more grounded meals and life proposals, more intimate services, more attractive and super cost-effective products, etc. These are all companies. After lean management, a kind of attraction to customers is formed, and it is also the core competitiveness of supermarkets to allow customers to return to offline.” ,, November 18, 2021. Translation and article compliments of Paul Jones, Jones & Co., Toronto

China’s economic growth slows in 3Q21 as ‘energy dual controls’ and power shortages take a toll. Growth in retail sales softens in 3Q21. Chinese government takes steps to ensure energy supplies.”, Fung Business Intelligence, November 22, 2021


Italy ski slopes finally reopen after 2020 closure with France and Austria to follow suit – Italian skiers finally returned to the slopes after nearly two years on Saturday since the first pandemic lockdown in March 2020. As if on cue, snow fell overnight, blanketing the slopes of Plan de Corones in South Tyrolean town of San Vigilio di Marebbe, giving a fresh covering to the man-made base just in time for opening day. Skiers came from as far away as Croatia and the Italian capital Rome, as well as from neighbouring valleys where slopes have yet to open.”, Euronews, November 28, 202

South Korea

South Korean Exports Extend Double-Digit Gains in Early Data – The value of Korea’s overseas shipments advanced 27.6% during the first 20 days of this month, the customs office reported Monday, following a 24% increase for the whole of October. Imports surged 41.9% during the period, led by a jump in the purchase costs of crude oil, gas and related products.”, Bloomberg, November 21, 2021

7-Eleven introduces autonomous delivery robot in Seoul – Convenience store chain 7-Eleven said Monday that it will begin test driving ‘Neubie’, an autonomous, short-range delivery robot, at a store in Seoul’s Seocho district. The robot, equipped with a camera-based autonomous driving system, demonstrates outstanding performance in maneuvering in urban areas and is capable of delivery under various weather conditions, the company said.”, Inside FMCG, November 24, 2021. Compliments of Jason Gehrke, Publisher & Editor, ‘Franchise News’, Brisbane


A month after reopening, Thailand sees gradual tourism recovery – Thailand was among the first countries in Asia to reopen for foreign arrivals, and it is seeing a slow recovery, including new hotels touting longer stays for individual travellers.”, Reuters, November 25, 2021

United Kingdom

British economic growth ‘set to overtake China’ – The predictions, which were first reported by The Telegraph, would mark the first time since the era of Mao Zedong that Britain would grow more rapidly than China.”, The Times of London, November 26, 2021

UK to require charge points for electric vehicles in new buildings – Charging points for electric vehicles will be required to be installed in new buildings in Britain from next year under new legislation to be announced by Prime Minister Boris Johnson, his office said in a statement on Sunday. It said the regulations would lead to up to 145,000 extra charge points being installed in England each year in the run-up to 2030, when the sale of new petrol and diesel cars will end in Britain.”, Reuters, November 21, 2021

United States

Keys to Surviving and Thriving in Post ‐COVID‐19 and Beyond: Self-sufficiency; Analytics; Exponential Thinking; Automation; Assets and Liquidity; Virtualization and Decentralization.”, The Connor’s Report, November 2021

U.S. new jobless claims hit 52-year low – U.S. government data out Wednesday showed the lowest number of new weekly jobless claims since 1969.”, Reuters, November 27, 2021

Coffee prices surge to 7-year high as inflation hits Americans’ pocketbooks – The cost of everyday products and commodities such as coffee and gas has surged in recent months. Bloomberg noted the price surge could result in higher costs over time for U.S. firms such as Starbucks and Peet’s Coffee and Tea.”, Fox Business, November 12, 2021

The ship has sailed but many US shoppers won’t wait – As supply-chain woes persist, retailers are faced with waning customer loyalty this holiday season. Our recent COVID-19 US Consumer Pulse Survey unveiled that rather than wait for a replenishment of an out-of-stock item, 39 percent of respondents said they switched brands, while 32 percent went to another retailer.”, McKinsey, November 26, 2021


Vietnam’s resort island welcomes first tourists after nearly 2 yrs – Two hundred vaccinated foreign tourists arrived in Vietnam’s beach-fringed island of Phu Quoc on Saturday, the first wave of visitors to the country in nearly two years as it seeks to resurrect its pandemic-ravaged tourism economy.”, Reuters, November 21, 2021

Brand News

“(Denny’s®) MVP Dawn Lafreeda Did It Her Way: 2020 Single-Brand Leadership Award recipient – Today her company, Den-Tex Central, operates 81 Denny’s and employs more than 3,000 people in restaurants in 6 states. Each month, nearly 1.2 million customers dine at her restaurants, generating $100 million in sales each year.”,, November 21, 2021

Taiwanese Bubble Tea Brand Gong cha’s Playbook for Global Expansion – To grow the brand, Gong cha uses the common direct franchising model in our native fortress markets of Taiwan, South Korea, and Japan. Outside of our Asian-nation strongholds, Gong cha has found success employing a master franchising model, growing to nearly 1,700 locations worldwide including in Australia, New Zealand, England, Mexico, Canada, and the U.S.”,, November 19, 2021

FountainVest to Buy Papa John’s Pizza China Franchisee From EQT – FountainVest Partners has agreed to purchase China F&B Group, which runs Papa John’s Pizza and Dairy Queen outlets in the world’s most-populous country, people familiar with the matter said. The Hong Kong-based private equity firm will take over the restaurant chain from current owner EQT AB, a Swedish buyout firm, and other holders for about $160 million, the people said, asking not to be identified as the information is private.”, Bloomberg, November 18, 2021

Papa Johns expands into Kenya and Uganda – Papa Johns on Tuesday said that it has a deal with Kitchen Express LTD to open 60 locations in Kenya and Uganda in the coming years. The first four of these locations are set to open in 2022, starting in Nairobi.”, Restaurant Business, November 23, 2021

This One Popeyes Menu Item Caused Major Confusion at First U.K. Restaurant Opening – Popeyes opened its first U.K. restaurant last weekend, drawing in a crowd of hundreds eager for a taste of the chain’s famous chicken sandwich. The true talk of the town, however, turned out to be a far humbler menu item—a side dish, in fact.”, Eat This, Not That!, November 27, 2021

Sweetgreen Raises $364 Million in IPO That Prices Above Marketed Range – The initial public offering for Sweetgreen, the restaurant chain known for its salads and bowls, was priced at $28 a share, higher than the marketed range of $23 to $25.  The company raised $364 million in the sale of 13 million shares, higher than the marketed 12.5 million shares.”, Barron’s, November 18, 2021

Wendy’s plans 50 restaurants across UK in 2022 – The fast-food chain returned to the UK this year after a 22-year absence and has seen sales beat expectations. US burger chain Wendy’s has revealed a relaunch in the UK is proving so successful bosses plan to open a further 50 sites across the country next year.”, The London Independent, November 25, 2021

8 new virtual or ghost restaurant brands – From celebrity partnerships to existing chains expanding their reach, check out the latest in the virtual brand space. Restaurant-celebrity partnerships aren’t new, but it seems those in the public eye are getting more into putting their names on delivery-only restaurants concepts than ever before.”, Nation’s Restaurant News, November 10, 2021

Articles & Studies For Today And Tomorrow

Distribution of Global GDP by Region – Gross domestic product (GDP) measures the value of goods and services that an economy produces in a given year, but in a global context, it is typically shown using country-level data. In these cartograms, global GDP has been normalized to a base number of 1,000 in order to show a more regional breakdown of economic activity. Created by Reddit user /BerryBlue_Blueberry, the two maps show the distribution in different ways: by nominal GDP and by GDP adjusted for purchasing power parity (PPP).”, Visual Capitalist, October 12, 2021

The Post-Covid Evolution of Consumer Demographics – After a year of uncertainty, it’s no surprise that businesses are looking ahead to refresh and refine their digital advertising techniques and strategies to ensure a lucrative and successful future. With this in mind, businesses must consider how consumer perceptions have changed and reinvented themselves over the past year or so, and what can be done to appeal to these new priorities and behaviors.”,, November 2021

William (Bill) Edwards, CFEand CEO and Global Advisor, Edwards Global Services, Inc. (EGS) 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.

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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.

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 successfully grow your company around the world.