EGS Biweekly Global Business Newsletter Issue 62, Tuesday, August 9, 2022

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

As someone who travels to many countries as part of my job, I am encouraged by the level of increased global business travel. Not so much by the lack of staff in airports! On the other hand, an increasing percentage of professionals around the world have chosen not to return to central city offices. And who knew that half of the world’s population live in just seven countries?

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First, A Few Words of Wisdom From Others

“Being positive is a sign of intelligence.”, Maxime Lagacé

“You can, you should, and if you’re brave enough to start, you will.”, Stephen King

“A problem is a chance for you to do your best.”, Duke Ellington

Highlights in issue #62:

  • Brand Global News Section: Anytime Fitness®, California Pizza Kitchen®, McDonald’s®

NOTE: Bolded headlines in this newsletter are live links where the article is freely available

Interesting Data and Studies

World Food Prices Post Biggest Decline Since 2008 in July – Drop offers some relief amid deepening cost-of-living crisis. Ukraine restarted some grain shipments after deal with Russia. Global food prices fell the most since 2008 after concerns over supplies of grains and vegetable oils eased as Ukraine moved toward restarting exports. A United Nations index of world food costs plunged almost 9% in July. The index fell to the lowest since January, before Russia’s blockade of ports in Ukraine — a major food exporter — pushed up food costs to a record.”, Bloomberg, August 5, 2022

Global population projected to exceed 8 billion in 2022; half live in just seven countries –  As recently as 2015, half the world’s population was concentrated in just six countries – the same as above, with the exception of Nigeria, which was then the seventh most populous country and has since passed Brazil to move into sixth place. Recent population growth, however, has been faster in the rest of the world than in these nations, meaning that the top six now hold slightly less than half (49%) of the world’s people.”, Pew Research, July 21, 2022

Global Supply Chain, Energy, Commodities, Inflation & Trade Issues

“European gas prices soar after Russia deepens supply cuts – Futures contracts hit five-month high after Gazprom announces drop in flows. Russian state-backed energy group Gazprom on Monday said flows on the Nord Stream 1 (NS1) pipeline would plummet to 33mn cubic metres from Wednesday because of turbine maintenance issues. That would amount to a fifth of the pipeline’s capacity and half of current levels.”, The Financial Times, July 26, 2022. (NOTE: USA price per megawatt hour was US$54 on July 26, 2022.

The World’s Largest Container Shipping Companies – Did you know that 80% of the global goods trade is transported over sea? Given the scale of human consumption, this requires an enormous number of shipping containers, as well as ships to carry them. At an industry level, container shipping is dominated by several very large firms. Companies are ranked by two metrics. First is the number of ships they own, and second is their total shipping capacity measured in twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs). A TEU is based on the volume of a twenty-foot long shipping container.”, Visual Capitalist, July 26, 2022

Which Countries Produce the Most Wheat? While more than 80 different countries produce wheat around the world, the majority of global wheat production comes from just a handful of countries, according to data from The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). China, the world’s largest wheat producer, has yielded more than 2.4 billion tonnes of wheat over the last two decades, making up roughly 17% of total production from 2000-2020.  The second-largest wheat-producing country is India. Over the last two decades, India has produced 12.5% of the world’s wheat.”, Visual Capitalist and FAOSTAT, July 31, 2022

Global & Regional Travel Updates

International Passenger Demand Triples in June – The International Air Transportation Association (IATA) has released the passenger data for June showing an unsurprising rise in passenger demand. Using the industry metric of Revenue Passenger Kilometres (RPKs) to indicate total passenger traffic IATA’s figures indicate a 76.2% increase over 2021. As a comparison passenger traffic was at approximately 71% of pre-pandemic levels.”, Air Geeks, August 5, 2022

Qantas Airways Ltd. needs executives from head office to leave their jobs for three months and haul luggage full-time to address a stubborn labor shortage that’s disrupting flights. The airline is looking for at least 100 volunteers to carry out shift work at Sydney and Melbourne airports, Chief Operating Officer Colin Hughes wrote in a note to managers that was shared by Qantas Monday. Tasks include loading and unloading luggage, as well as driving the vehicles that take bags to planes and between terminals. Applicants must be able to move suitcases weighing as much as 32 kilograms (70 pounds), according to the memo.”, Bloomberg, August 7, 2022

Europe’s airport staff continue to strike over low pay and working conditions – Across Europe, airport and airline staff have been striking, causing severe disruption to summer travel. Employees including ground staff, baggage handlers, cabin crew and pilots have been walking out in countries like Spain, Italy and the UK. With traveller numbers almost back to pre-pandemic levels, the industrial action has caused chaos at airports around Europe.”, Euro News, August 8, 2022

Hong Kong Cuts Hotel Quarantine to Three Days to Revive Travel – Quarantine will be followed by four days of health monitoring Strict rules had deterred travelers to Asian financial hub.”, Bloomberg, August 7, 2022

Country & Regional Updates


In a post-pandemic world, 30 per cent of work will be at home – About 30 per cent of all working days will be done from home in the post-pandemic “new normal” – up to 50 per cent among those who can easily work remotely – according to a respected survey of American workers to be presented to a Sydney audience this week. The research also suggests employers could use working from home to limit wage growth and that employees would sacrifice a portion of their income to preserve their right to work from home.”, Brisbane Times, July 27, 2022. Compliments of Compliments of Jason  Gehrke, The Franchise Advisory Centre, Brisbane


Canada sheds jobs again, but unemployment rate holds at record lowThe economy shed 31,000 positions last month, after a decline of 43,000 in June, Statistics Canada said in a report on Friday. Financial analysts on Bay Street were expecting a stronger return of 15,000 jobs added. Despite the decline, the unemployment rate remained at 4.9 per cent – the lowest in nearly five decades of data.”, The Globe And Mail, August 5, 2022


Beijing Reopens Its Doors to International Flights – Previously, as part of the efforts to reduce the possibility of Covid-19 spreading in the nation’s capital, China rerouted all international flights bound to Beijing to alternative destinations for passengers to complete quarantine first. To reduce the effort of inspection and quarantine, all Beijing-bound international flights, and regional flights from Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan will arrive at Beijing’s Capital International Airport. Beijing’s Daxing International Airport is still only open to domestic flights.”, Airline Geeks, July 28, 2022

China’s IPO Queue Gets Longer as Covid Curbs Ease – The number of companies waiting in line to go public on the Chinese mainland’s stock markets has reached around 1,000, as the economy began to pick up steam after Covid restrictions in some of its largest cities were eased. Many Chinese companies rush to launch IPOs not just for the money that they can raise, but also because they want the gloss that comes with a listed firm, a brokerage source told Caixin. Some local governments also see increasing the number of listed companies based in their area as one of their development goals, the source said.”, Caixing Global, August 8, 2022


Apple Postpones Opening of First Physical Store in India to 2023, Report Says – Apple’s flagship store in India was reportedly scheduled to open in 2021 before it was hit with pandemic-related delays. Apple is seeking to open a 22,000-square-foot store at an upscale shopping mall in the teeming financial capital of Mumbai.”, CNET, July 28, 2022


McDonald’s writes off $1.2 billion due to withdrawal from Russia – In March, McDonald’s suspended operations in Russia in response to the start of Russia’s military operation in Ukraine. On May 16, the company officially announced the sale of its business in Russia. In June, the new owners of McDonald`s Russian assets opened some of the restaurants.”,, July 26, 2022. Compliments of Paul Jones, Jones & Co., Toronto


Think U.S. car prices are bad? In Singapore you have to spend $82,000 just for the right to buy a car, on top of the car itself – In a bid to manage a large population squeezed onto a tiny island, and in an effort to cut down on traffic and pollution, the tiny island nation has made it prohibitively expensive to own a car.  The country requires citizens to bid on—and win—a state-issued “certificate of entitlement” (COE) before they’re legally entitled to purchase, operate and own a car for a 10-year period. After the 10-year mark, residents must buy another COE if they want to maintain their car ownership. If they fail to do so, they must scrap or sell their vehicle or export it to another country.”, Fortune magazine, July 25, 2022

South Korea

South Korea Accelerates LNG Purchases to Avoid Winter Shortage Nation seeking to purchase additional cargoes to ensure supply Inventories have been depleted as heat boosted summer demand. South Korea is looking to buy more liquefied natural gas to replenish stockpiles before winter.  The world’s third-biggest importer of the chilled fuel is seeking additional cargoes to meet forecasts for increased domestic demand and is targeting to lift inventories to about 90% full by November, from about 34% currently, the Energy Ministry said Monday.”, Bloomberg, August 8, 2022


Spain edges closer to pre-pandemic tourism levels with 7.5 mln visitors in June – More than twice as many tourists visited Spain in June than in the same month last year and they spent almost three times as much during their stay, National Statistics Institute data showed on Tuesday…….Before the pandemic put a halt to travel in 2020, Spain received a total of 38.2 million tourists in 2019, with 8.8 million visiting in June.”, Reuters, August 2, 2022

United Kingdom

How ready is Britain for a gas crisis this winter? It is true that we get very little energy from Russia, but the country is still heavily exposed. As Russia tightens the screw on gas supplies to Europe and amid growing fears of winter shortages, the government has stayed resolute in its insistence that the country’s energy is secure. “Unlike Europe, Britain isn’t dependent on Russian gas,” it has said. ‘The UK’s secure and diverse energy supplies will ensure households, businesses and industry can be confident they can get the electricity and gas they need.’”, The Times of London, August 8, 2022

United States

U.S. trade deficit narrows sharply; exports at record high – The Commerce Department said on Thursday that the trade deficit decreased 6.2% to $79.6 billion. Exports of goods and services shot up 1.7% to an all-time high of $260.8 billion, while imports slipped 0.3% to $340.4 billion.”, Reuters, August 4, 2022

Hiring Gets Easier for Some Employers Despite Hot Job Market – Verizon, Uber, Marriott and others hardest hit by the pandemic say recruiting is up or turnover down. Some big U.S. companies say hiring is getting easier, at least by a little. Employers in hospitality, retail, healthcare and other industries hardest hit by worker shortages over the past two years say they are seeing emerging signs that recruiting workers—and getting them to accept jobs when offered—is becoming less of a challenge, even as the overall job market remains tight.”, The Wall Street Journal, August 8, 2022

Brand News

Largest Anytime Fitness Franchisee Sold to PE Firm – Bandon Holdings, the largest Anytime Fitness franchisee, has been acquired by Sentinel Capital  Partners. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. The Austin-based multi-unit franchisee operates 213 Anytime Fitness clubs and has more than 140,000 members in 24 states.”,, August 4, 2022

California Pizza Kitchen Re-Enters India with New Store Opening – The new franchise is owned and operated by Sanjay Mahtani, co-founder and operator of JSM Corporation Pvt. Ltd., an India-based international restaurant group established in 2005. JSM is the master franchisee in India for California Pizza Kitchen as well as the U.S.-based Hard Rock Cafe, in addition to operating its own restaurant brands.”,, July 28, 2022

Domino’s (Australia) fails to deliver for investors – Investors have soured on Domino’s Pizza Enterprises after the US company that owns the brand warned of rising costs including a 30 per cent jump in mozzarella prices. Shares in the ASX listed $6.1 billion Domino’s are down 43 per cent for the year and 6 per cent since Thursday, when the separately owned American company blamed soaring costs for missing quarterly profits.”, Australia Financial Review, July 25, 2022. Compliments of Jason  Gehrke, The Franchise Advisory Centre, Brisbane

Articles & Studies For Today And Tomorrow

These are the top 10 best and worst places to live in the world—and you won’t find the U.S. on either list – This week, the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) released their Global Liveability Index ranking of the top 10 best and 10 worst places to live in the world in 2022. The index scored 172 cities in five categories: culture, health care, education, infrastructure, and entertainment. Cities in Scandinavia dominate the list of Most Liveable Cities thanks to the stability and good infrastructure in the region.”, CNBC, August 7, 2022

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Our Mission, Information Sources & Who We Are

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™ covering 43 countries provides us with updates about what is happening in their specific countries. 

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William (Bill) Edwards has a four-decade career successfully accelerating the international growth of more than 40 brands. He has directed projects on-site in Alaska, Asia, Europe and the Middle and Near East and has lived in China, the Czech Republic, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Iran and Turkey. 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. EGS has twice received the U.S. President’s Award for Export Excellence. For advice on doing business successfully across 40+ countries, contact Bill Edwards at or +1 949 224 3896.

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