CEOs say they are confident: PwC poll

Updated: 2011-11-08 07:53

By Hu Yuanyuan (China Daily)

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BEIJING - More than half the CEOs in the Asia-Pacific region are "very confident" of increased revenue for their companies over the next three to five years, despite the ongoing economic turbulence in Europe and the United States, according to a survey from the international accountants, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC).

The number is slightly higher than that registered a year earlier, said the survey that covered more than 320 CEOs across 26 countries, including the 21 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) economies. The poll was specifically conducted ahead of the APEC CEO Summit to be held this coming weekend in the US.

More than 40 percent of those surveyed say the single greatest opportunity for growth will stem from the rise in consumer spending power in Asia, particularly in China.

CEOs say they are confident: PwC poll

"Those investing in China are directed toward access to the consumer markets, while a new wave of investment is also flowing to expand footholds in China's evolving marketplace for services," said Frank Lyn, PwC's China Markets Leader.

The survey shows that close to one-third of investments will build a research and development, managerial or financial presence in China. And more than 40 percent of planned investment, both by domestic and non-Chinese companies, are targeted at the country.

Moreover, more than 40 percent of the region's CEOs expect to increase company staff numbers by more than 5 percent over the next three to five years.

Nearly one-third of CEOs, however, said the weak recovery in the US had affected their companies "to a great extent", while 17 percent said they had been strongly affected by conditions in Europe.

"The opportunities in the APEC economies for the remainder of this decade will be different from the past 10 years. Going forward, developing domestic Asian markets will replace low-cost manufacturing exports to mature economies as the main driver of growth in the region," said Dennis Nally, chairman of PwC International Ltd.

CEOs in the APEC region recognize that cooperation between business and government is critical to economic competitiveness and social well being in the region.

They cited financial sector stability as the best way to encourage companies to work more closely with government.