Asia-Pacific CEOs most confident of business growth in Philippines
Patricia Lourdes Viray (philstar.com) - November 15, 2015 - 8:56pm

MANILA, Philippines - Business leaders from the Asia Pacific region are very confident of business growth in the Philippines, according to the latest Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Chief Executive Officer (APEC CEO) Survey.

The survey showed that 51 percent of CEOs are most confident in the revenue growth prospects in the Philippines next year. This is higher than the rating of United States (34 percent) and China (20 percent).

However, overall confidence of Asia Pacific CEOs is at its lowest this year since 2012 with 28 percent, a significant drop from the previous year's 46 percent.

The survey cited cyber security, exposure to natural disaster risks and regional geopolitical tensions as the leading threats to business investment and growth.

Only 15 percent of mid-sized companies. were very confident of revenue growth in the next year, according to the CEO survey.

Despite the business leaders' dwindling confidence in revenue growth, 53 percent of CEOs still plan to increase investments over the next 12 months, with 68 percent planning to invest in the APEC region.

Around half of the CEOs plan to raise investments in the Philippines, Vietnam and Singapore. China, Indonesia and the US remain the main draws of business investments.

"After a year of historically high foreign direct investment into developing Asian economies, APEC CEOs have become very sensitive to financial market signals and the likely impact on revenue growth," PricewaterhouseCoopers International Ltd. chairman Dennis Nally said.

APEC CEOs remain optimistic on free trade as regional integration proceeds on several fronts. Most of them believe that free trade in the region could be a reality by 2020.

"Free trade doesn't automatically mean inclusive growth. A sizeable proportion of CEOs think free trade could significantly harm small- and medium-sized enterprises," Nally said.

According to CEOs, access to high-quality education at all levels and improved transport systems are the key for people to participate in free trade.

They also believe that by 2020, modernization through technology will be widespread in the Asia Pacific region.

"For instance, 66 percent think it's likely advances- such as robotics, Internet of Things or 3D printing - will transform manufacturing by 2020, and 63 percent expect a new wave of business spending to modernize operations," the survey said.

The APEC CEO survey was conducted between June 23 and August 21 among 800 CEOs and industry leaders across 52 nations with operations in APEC economies.

RELATED: LIVE: APEC 2015 meetings in Manila

APEC ASIA PACIFIC ASIA-PACIFIC ECONOMIC COOPERATION CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER CEOS DENNIS NALLY GROWTH INTERNATIONAL LTD INTERNET OF THINGS PERCENT QUOT UNITED STATES
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