Dennis M. Nally is the Chairman of PwC International Ltd which is the entity to which the firms that collectively form the PwC network belong. He has extensive experience serving large multinational clients in a variety of industries principally focusing on the technology market, including computers and life sciences. He is also a frequent speaker and guest lecturer on issues affecting the accounting profession and the global capital markets.
Going to Davos I expected the mood to be more positive compared to a year ago. But the results from our survey of 1,300 CEOs across the world suggest the opposite. Confidence levels amongst business leaders for example were down compared last year. However, the good news was that there are fewer CEOs who felt that there would be a further deterioration in the global economy than a year ago.
Given the current uncertain environment, CEOs are focusing on how they can make their operations more efficient, particularly by looking at their supply chains and monitoring the liquidity of their businesses. They are dedicating more resources to understanding the needs and wants of their customer base and are adapting their products and services on offer. They are also making more targeted investments decisions to fuel their growth, irrespective of where these opportunities might be located. However, to do so, they need to tap into the appropriate talent, at the right place and the right time, which can sometimes be difficult.
As the great economic rebalancing from West to East continues, companies are already looking at opportunities beyond the traditional BRIC economies in the next wave of emerging countries. There are a whole host of countries that have vast natural resource bases and solid demographics, particularly with growing middle classes, all of which gives them a huge potential to grow. For example, our analysis shows that Nigeria could grow to be one of the top 20 economies in the world in the next 40 years. Indonesia is another country where we see good growth potential.
We expect that we will be seeing annual global growth of around 2-2.5% for the foreseeable future. Our CEO Survey shows that most business leaders think that the economy will stay reasonably stable for this year. However in the longer-term I think the outlook is very, very positive. Our studies (like the World in 2050 report) show that when you look at the next 20-25 years, you will see the global economy double in size. And when businesses think about the longer-term, after they get past the next 3-5 years, I think they have a positive view of the opportunities that are out there.
Aside from presenting the results of our CEO Survey I find Davos a great way to start the new year and an excellent opportunity to connect with the business community to share thoughts and ideas about what is coming ahead.