Leading in The New Reality: What matters to CEOs in Viet Nam?

26th Annual Global CEO Survey - Asia Pacific


The confidence of Asia Pacific CEOs for an economic rebound last year took a hit in 2023. Facing a complex set of challenges, such as geopolitical conflicts, inflation, supply chain disruptions, workforce changes, and growing pressure for ESG action, growth opportunities have become more limited. 

Our 26th Annual Global CEO Survey, which collected insights from almost 4,500 CEOs worldwide, including 1,634 in Asia Pacific, highlights the need for businesses to strike a balance between short-term profitability and long-term transformation. We refer to this as the dual imperative.

Leadership has never been more critical, as it can shape both a CEO's legacy and the relevance of their business. The results of our survey make it clear that it's time for Vietnamese CEOs to step up and navigate this new reality.


Dinh Thi Quynh Van

Chairwoman, PwC Viet Nam

Asia Pacific CEOs are facing a dual imperative: to overcome near-term obstacles while reinventing business for the future

In the new reality, Asia Pacific CEOs:

… have reversed their prior optimistic sentiment: 69% believe global economic growth will decline compared to last year when 76% felt growth would improve.

… prioritise short-term profitability: Nearly 50% will focus on reducing operating costs, diversifying portfolio and raising prices in the short term.

… need to transform their business to remain viable: 53% believe their current business models will not survive within the next decade (14% more than global).

… see challenges in their people experience and culture: 41% believe current employee behaviours are mostly aligned to company values and direction.

… place a premium on broad collaborations to drive business value: 6% more likely to forge partnerships outside established stakeholder groups, compared to global CEOs.

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What matters to CEOs in Viet Nam?

CEOs in Vietnam are facing a unique set of challenges, just like their counterparts in the Asia Pacific region. They must navigate the current economic landscape while also preparing their businesses for the future. Balancing these two priorities, referred to as the dual imperative, is crucial for success in today's business world.

Amid the turbulence of macroeconomic volatility and geopolitical strife worldwide, what insights can CEOs in Viet Nam draw from their regional peers and take action to ensure their companies' longevity?

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Despite the tumultuous economic and political climate globally, the Asia Pacific region remains a major player in trade and economic activity, with Viet Nam shining as a bright spot for growth. As with their counterparts in the region, Vietnamese CEOs are facing growing societal pressures. 

To lead effectively in this challenging environment, they need a comprehensive understanding of both the challenges and opportunities at hand. This presents a unique opportunity for these leaders to establish trusted, resilient, and profitable businesses for the future through visionary leadership.


Mai Viet Hung Tran

General Director, PwC Viet Nam

Five actions on the dual imperative to lead in the new reality

- Comprehensively understand forces in the new reality

- Mobilise and empower executive leadership to take action that supports the business' long-term strategic goals

- Take a disciplined approach focused on capabilities to balance profitability, transformation and growth

- Adapt leadership approach to address the concerns and aspirations of employees

- Embrace a collaborative mindset and seek out alliances to achieve sustained outcomes

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Get in touch

Mai Viet Hung Tran

General Director, PwC Vietnam

Tel: +84 28 3823 0796

Nguyen Phi Lan

Partner, Assurance Services Leader, PwC Vietnam

Tel: +84 24 3946 2246

Nguyen Thanh Trung

Partner, Tax Services Leader, PwC Vietnam

Tel: +84 28 3823 0796

Johnathan Ooi Siew Loke

Partner, Deals and Consulting Services Leader, PwC Vietnam

Tel: +84 28 3823 0796