Most local CEOs optimistic about business: survey

Public health uncertainty tops the list of concerns for CEOs in Taiwan, followed by geopolitical conflict and climate change, PwC said.

  • By Crystal Hsu / Staff Reporter

A record number of Taiwanese CEOs are optimistic about the global economy this year, which bodes well for their business, but they remain concerned about the COVID-19 pandemic and geopolitical conflicts, among other threats, a survey finds. published by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) Taiwan (資誠聯合會計師事務所) showed on Wednesday.

A total of 79% of local business leaders across all sectors expressed optimism that the global economy will continue to boom, an increase of 23 percentage points from last year, according to the annual survey.

The positive sentiment is most evident among companies focused on private consumption, technology, media and telecommunications, according to the survey.

Photo: Clare Cheng, Taipei Times

Taiwanese CEOs are slightly more optimistic than the global average of 77%, thanks to clear order visibility, sustained digital transformation and emerging technology applications.

The survey interviewed 4,446 global CEOs from 89 countries.

By contrast, CEO optimism in the United States and China fell 18 and 9 percentage points, respectively, from a year ago, weighed down by worries about inflation, housing bubbles, oil bottlenecks supply chain bottlenecks and labor shortages, he said.

CEO confidence levels in Japan and the UK have picked up, but still lag behind their Taiwanese counterparts, he said.

Public health uncertainty tops the list of Taiwanese CEOs’ concerns, followed by geopolitical conflicts, climate change and internet security, he said.

Although the state of the global economy is not among the top three concerns this time around, inflation, exchange rate volatility and soaring ocean freight costs will have a significant impact on business operations. , said PwC Taiwan.

Nearly 50% of global CEOs named cyber threats as the No. 1 headache, followed by public health crises, economic uncertainty, climate change and geopolitical friction, he said.

Overall, business leaders in Asia generally see the COVID-19 pandemic as the biggest risk, US CEOs are more concerned about internet security, while their European counterparts are increasingly concerned about regulations related to climate, technology and market changes, according to the survey.

China has grown in importance as a market and manufacturing base, as identified by 66% of Taiwanese CEOs, followed by the United States at 62%, Japan at 26%, Vietnam at 21%, Germany at 12% and Thailand at 8%.

By sector, local technology, media and telecommunications companies were the most dependent on China, he showed.

Automakers are placing more importance on the US market and a growing number of financial service providers see Vietnam as a valuable arena, according to the survey.

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