CEOs must know what future they are preparing for

Being on top of changing growth patterns will give them an advantage

KUALA LUMPUR, 3 March 2011 – PwC Malaysia today hosted a dialogue around the key findings of its 14th Annual Global CEO Survey. Themed ‘What future are you preparing for?’ the dialogue was moderated by PwC Malaysia Partner, Sridharan Nair. The two panellists for the dialogue were Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department and PEMANDU CEO, YB Senator Dato’ Sri Idris Jala and President of GE ASEAN, Stuart Dean.

The Survey, conducted in 69 countries around the world, highlighted some major trends surrounding issues such as growth, innovation, talent, and a shared agenda with government on priorities. The key findings include:

  • 54% of CEOs in Asia say they are “very confident" of growth in the next 12 months
  • Almost 90% of global CEOs expect their operations to grow in the Asian region this year, with China and India considered key markets for future growth
  • Innovation is high on the agenda in virtually all industries - including industrial sectors such as metals, chemicals and manufacturing. 78% of CEOs surveyed globally expect their development efforts to generate significant new revenue opportunities over the next three years
  • More than half (62%) of Asia Pacific CEOs expect to add jobs in the next 12 months, up from 49% in the last survey
  • Two thirds of CEOs globally believe they’re facing a limited supply of skilled candidates – especially in high growth markets such as China, India and parts of Latin America
  • CEOs want to work more closely with government in areas deemed critical for business growth such as infrastructure and talent. 72% of those surveyed agreed with actively supporting new government policies as long as they promote ‘good growth’ that is financially, socially and environmentally sustainable.

PwC Malaysia Managing Director Chin Kwai Fatt, who presented the findings at the start of the dialogue, said, “Confidence is back, almost to pre-crisis levels. CEOs globally generally see renewed opportunities for growth, especially in the emerging countries which are growing faster than the developed nations.  But realising growth aspirations won’t be easy – it demands different approaches and attitudes in areas such as facilities, people and innovation.”

Some of the global findings are reflective of what our own government has already anticipated and devised action plans for. These include the need to develop talent, the role of innovation in meeting consumer needs and the importance of a shared public and private agenda to drive economic growth.

Chin said that, “Hiring plans are the most upbeat across emerging Asia and Brazil. 85% of CEOs surveyed across ASEAN say they plan to hire new employees this year. For Malaysia, this means that we will be facing even fiercer competition from our neighbours for the same limited pool of talent.  This is an example of an area in which both business and the public sector can collaborate.”

“There are great opportunities for Malaysian companies which can take advantage of the changes ahead, and creatively search for and provide value," he added. A total of 11 Malaysian CEOs across a variety of industries were interviewed for this Survey.

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Notes to Editor:

  1. For PwC's 14th Annual Global CEO Survey, 1,201 interviews were conducted in 69 countries during the last quarter of 2010. By region, 420 interviews were conducted in Western Europe, 257 in Asia Pacific, 221 in Latin America, 148 in North America, 98 in Eastern Europe and 57 in the Middle East & Africa.
  2. Asia Pacific countries constitute Australia (40), China (39), Hong Kong (7), India (40), Indonesia (1), Japan (75), Korea (15), Malaysia (11), Singapore (4), Taiwan (10), Thailand (5), Vietnam (10)

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