No Match Found
Our annual PwC survey of Azerbaijani CEOs a year ago uncovered a high degree of optimism about the prospects for 2022, both in Azerbaijan and globally, amid signs that the COVID-19 pandemic was finally subsiding: three out of four Azerbaijani CEOs back then said they expected the global economy to improve. What neither we nor they could foresee was how quickly the world would change. Far from being the year of resurgent growth, 2022 rapidly turned into a fraught time for companies, marked by a combination of macroeconomic volatility and geopolitical upheaval. Inflation and interest rates rose to their highest in decades, economic growth slowed, and energy security once again became a major global topic—even as some longer-term effects of the pandemic, such as supply chain disruption, lingered on.
In parallel to near-term threats, Azerbaijani CEOs recognise the need to reinvent their businesses to stay relevant amidst large-scale disruptions and to thrive in a climate-challenged world. This defines the dual imperative: to balance short-term profitability and long-term transformation.
Against this background, it’s no surprise to find that sentiment among Azerbaijani CEOs about the state of the global economy is more sombre.What is encouraging is that CEOs in Azerbaijan are outliers: while they are less optimistic about the broader worldwide economic situation than they were a year ago, they are far more confident about the improvement of economic growth in their country than their global and regional peers in theirs. The survey highlights how leaders in Azerbaijan are moving ahead to “future-proof” their companies by diversifying products and services, finding alternative suppliers and—above all—continuing to focus even more heavily than in previous years on digital transformation.
I see this cautious optimism and ongoing forward focus as important harbingers for the future. And I am encouraged this year to note that local business leaders are getting serious about climate change, with a new emphasis on reducing emissions. Of course, as a country that is strategically important for the world’s energy transition, Azerbaijan will need to adapt to a decarbonising world and is already taking steps in that direction. The growing awareness of the importance of doing so—and the opportunities that this may bring—is an important finding in this year’s survey.
In the coming months, I look forward to working with Azerbaijani CEOs to address the key topics of resilience, transformation and climate which stand out in this Annual Azerbaijan CEO survey. My thanks go to all the respondents in the country who participated.
Country Managing Partner
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Senior Marketing and Communications specialist, PwC Azerbaijan
Tel:  12 4972515