Embracing volatility

Embracing volatility

Watch CEOs share their outlook for the global economy
View extracts from our in-depth interviews with the CEOs of organisations including Rio Tinto, Ayala Corporation, and Deutsche Bahn AG.

The rise in investment and commerce to and from emerging economies – more pronounced than in any period over the past decade – is lending support to CEO confidence despite today's economic volatility. Half of CEOs in developed markets believe emerging economies are more important to their company’s future than the developed markets they're currently in, as do 68% of CEOs who are themselves based in emerging markets.
CEO confidence for revenue growth: 2007-2012


The strength of cross-border ties.
CEOs believe that the forces of global integration will stay on track: 45% believe the world will become more open to free international trade (with fewer than a third expecting a pullback) and 56% are convinced that cross-border capital flows will not come under new constraints.
Breakdown of CEO views on globalisation



Michael Thaman
Chairman of the Board and CEO, Owens Corning
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We live in an environment today where it’s easier to forecast three to five years from now than it is to forecast next year, because of the uncertainty.
F William McNabb III
Chairman, President and CEO, The Vanguard Group Inc
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The lack of a credible, long term fiscal plan in the US is probably our chief concern. The fact that there is not one actually contributes to the market volatility.
Erdal Karamercan
President and CEO, Eczacıbaşı Group A S
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We do not know how the Arab Spring will end or spread. We don’t know how the situation with Iran is going to develop. We are uncertain about the position that the US would like to take in the region – in North Africa and the Middle East. There are political uncertainties that make it hard to forecast, and these are of concern.
Brian Duperreault
President and CEO, Marsh & McLennan Companies Inc.
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The balance sheets of companies are very strong. The cash balances are extraordinarily high. Companies are incredibly efficient. Everyone’s poised for activity, and with a little less uncertainty, you’d see the whole world grow economically.
Francesco Starace
CEO, Enel Green Power SpA.
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We think government fiscal policies might become important criteria in choosing where companies invest and how they invest.
Pailin Chuchottaworn
President and CEO, PTT PLC
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In the case of the EU, it seems that all its members were anxious to benefit from the union but some didn’t want to uphold their responsibilities. The members of ASEAN must not fall into the same trap.
Dimitrios Papalexopoulos
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The emergence of a middle-class in India and in China is going be a huge stimulus for the global economy over the next 20 years. Additionally, emerging technological advances – whether in the digital domain, bio-technology, or any number of fields – still have a long way to go before their full positive effect on the economy is felt. So I am concerned about the next two or three years, but optimistic over the long-term.
Andy Green
CEO, Logica PLC
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Most clients are talking about reductions in spend. I think they will eventually move to do more outsourcing, which will be good, but that will take some time as they think through the consequences. What’s clear, though, is they can’t stop spending on technology because the way the world is changing.
Cheung Yan
Chairlady, Nine Dragons
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I believe the global economy will still be very volatile in 2012. In particular, the debt crisis in Europe will not be completely resolved in the near future.