BY Fraser Tennant
Senior business executives’ views on the opportunities for growth and business investment in the Asia Pacific region over the next 10 years form the basis of PwC’s 2014 APEC CEO Survey.
The Survey – ‘New vision for Asia Pacific: Connectivity creating new platforms for growth’ – shows that business leaders believe that a more connected, more balanced APEC region is the way forward.
The 600 senior executives surveyed as to their perspectives on investment, trade and connectivity, were unanimous on what they believed the region had to do to drive investment over the next decade – 'be bold and break down barriers to growth'.
The Survey also reveals that the senior executives see the momentum swinging toward free trade across the APEC region and goes on to speculate as to where businesses are likely to be building their platforms for growth.
Key findings in the report include: (i) investments are set to rise across the region; (ii) confidence in revenue growth continues to improve; (iii) process barriers to trade can be as material as tariffs; (iv) executives aspire to do more with business partnerships; and (v) confidence lags on returns from social network investments.
Dennis Nally, PwC’s global chairman, said “As more of the world’s economic activity shifts to the APEC region, confidence and revenue growth continues to improve. Our survey revealed that 46 percent of executives are very confident as to near-term revenue growth over the next 12 months.
“Businesses are acting on opportunities across the APEC region and a majority of CEOs plan to increase investment over the next year. Supporting much of this confidence is a vision of a more connected Asia Pacific region.
“As the world becomes more inter-connected, there is no choice for businesses to not only adapt, but to innovate.”
While the survey makes clear that many barriers to business growth in the Asia Pacific region have receded, others remain firmly in place. What business leaders say they are looking for is greater clarity and transparency around regulations and other 'soft barriers'.
Whether they get their wish remains to be seen.