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24th Annual Global CEO Survey

Conducted in January and February of 2020, PwC’s 24th CEO Survey explores the views of 5,050 chief executives around the world, on how they are reinventing their companies to mitigate global disruptions, such as the impact of COVID-19, and ensuring sustainable growth.

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The world is changing fast...

One year after the outbreak of the pandemic, the unprecedented pace of the development of vaccines has created optimism for economic recovery. However, the pandemic has exposed weaknesses in business operating models and brought to light new challenges that cannot simply be ignored moving forward. The results of our 24th Annual Global CEO Survey, highlight the pandemic’s dual role as accelerator of transformation and amplifier of disruptive forces.

Greek CEOs are voicing record levels of optimism in the economic recovery

Most of the Greek CEOs responding to the survey are bullish, at a higher rate than the global trend, as to the comeback of the economy and are confident about their own company’s revenue prospects, which will be enabled by a continuation of pandemic-induced digital acceleration and workforce upskilling. Compared to their peers, their planned activities will focus more on the pursuit of organic growth, entering new markets and the formation of strategic alliances or joint ventures and to a lesser extent to operational efficiencies. It is interesting to note that the territories mentioned more by the Greek CEOs as important for future expansion are the US, Cyprus and Germany and to a lesser extent the UK and China.

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What worries Greek CEOs?

Despite the rebound in the Greek CEOs’ confidence, they are still anxious about the trajectory of the pandemic, the fragility of the economic growth and the uncertainty around geopolitical developments. They are less concerned than the global CEOs about the possibility of rising taxation to finance the cost of the pandemic, but they place more importance on the need for the government to improve the effectiveness of the tax system.

The positive outlook is strengthened by the ability of Greece to absorb funds from the EU Recovery & Resilience Facility, which will enable investments in the Green and Digital transformation of the public and private sector.

Confidence has rebounded

Compared to last year’s pessimistic outlook and one year after the World Health Organization formally declared COVID-19 a pandemic, 75% of the Greek CEOs believe that the global economy will rebound in 2021, which is nearly 50 p.p. greater than the all-time low of last year.

Greek leaders’ optimism extends to their own companies’ performance, as 39% report high confidence in their organizations’ prospects for revenue growth over the next year and 55% looking ahead three years.

The above suggest a clear belief among CEOs that the economy is recovering, with the worst of the pandemic in the rearview mirror.

Focusing on productivity and extraversion through technology investments and workforce upskilling

Greek CEOs target to fuel growth by formulating strategic alliances and entering new markets.

Following the “wave” of tech acceleration during COVID-19, Greek CEOs note that the biggest investment priority for them is digital transformation.

Furthermore, workforce upskilling and boost of headcount, indicates their belief that a skilled and engaged workforce is pivotal in order to transform successfully out of the crisis.

Will not be detrimental to longer term goals achievement

In line with the very positive sentiment for economic growth, CEOs in Greece appear to have a strong belief that the recovery plan will effectively balance short-term economic needs and contribute to a “greener” recovery in the long term.

Unlike their global peers, Greek CEOs seem to not expect that businesses will pay a higher share of taxes, despite the fact that governmental debts may accumulate. However, they set the effectiveness of the tax system as a top government priority.

A priority not high enough on the agenda

Displaying a marginal increase compared to the last year’s survey, 43% of the Greek leaders consider climate change as an extreme concern.

However, only 28% of them have factored climate into their strategic risk management activities.

Additionally, it’s worth noticing that just 16% of the CEOs in Greece plan to increase their investments in sustainability and ESG initiatives by double digits over the next three years.

“Most of the Greek CEOs responding to the survey are bullish, at a higher rate than the global trend, as to the comeback of the economy and are confident about their own company’s revenue prospects, which will be enabled by a continuation of pandemic-induced digital acceleration and workforce upskilling.”

Marios PsaltisCEO, PwC Greece

Contact us

Olympia Liami

Manager, Market Research, PwC Greece

Tel: +30 210 6874458

Kallia Mylonaki

Senior Manager, Marketing & Communications , PwC Greece

Tel: +30 210 8114386

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