16th Annual Middle East CEO Survey

Matching confidence with Competitiveness 

Middle East CEOs in our 16th Annual Global CEO Survey are more confident about growth prospects compared with their counterparts in the rest of the world. This relative optimism is expressed both in terms of confidence about their own companies’ growth and the outlook for wider economic growth.

They are more likely to see opportunities for organic growth in their home markets than CEOs elsewhere in the world but they are also significantly more likely to launch new ‘go abroad’ strategies. This optimism in part reflects the strengths that arise from the region’s natural resource base, as well as the growing maturity of its regional infrastructure and the increasing diversity of its business and economic mix.

Such a growth outlook brings challenges. Middle East CEOs are putting a much stronger emphasis on strengthening their companies’ operational effectiveness, including the roll-out of new technology and addressing talent gaps, than their global CEO peers. In addition they are more likely, to be looking to embark new acquisitions, joint ventures and strategic alliances. Some of the findings do point to possible concerns about competitiveness. Middle East CEOs, for example, appear to be putting less emphasis on new product and service development than their global counterparts

Middle East CEO Agenda for 2013

Based on what we heard in the 16th Annual Global CEO Survey, these are some of the questions Middle East CEOs will be asking themselves and their management teams as they pursue growth in the year ahead:


Are we focusing enough on innovation and competitiveness as we enter new markets and competition gets fiercer in home markets? 

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‘Go abroad’ strategies

How can we best take advantage of ‘south-south’ opportunities? 

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Deals and strategic alliances

Do we have the target identification and valuation strategies to strike the right deals and develop the best alliances? 

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Do we have good business continuity strategies in place to manage existing and newly emergent risks? 

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Operational effectiveness

What are the most important transformations in operations that our company needs? 

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Customer focus

How can we more effectively put customers at the heart of our growth initiatives?

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Workforce and skills

How can we increase local talent capacity without adding to costs and eroding competitiveness? 

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Wider social engagement

In an era of change and transparency how can we best step up our social engagement strategies? 

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How can we minimise the threat of cyberattacks? 

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