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PwC: Executives in the region are confident in the growth prospects of 2023 | Gulf newspaper


61% are “very confident” of revenue growth over the next three years

January 26, 2023

15:24 pm

Dubai: «Gulf»
CEOs in the Middle East region expressed optimism about the prospects for economic growth in the region, as about two-thirds of business leaders expect an improvement in growth rates this year, according to the results of the Middle East region in the twenty-sixth survey of CEOs’ impressions from PwC Middle East Which included 4,400 CEOs in 64 countries.
The survey looks at Middle Eastern CEOs’ confidence in regional growth, their efforts to transform their businesses by adopting new technologies, investing, increasing cost and efficiency, driving transactional activity and taking active steps to mitigate climate change risks.
However, CEOs have a pessimistic view of the outlook for the global economy, with 73% of global CEOs and 82% of regional CEOs expecting a decline in global growth over the next 12 months. While only 21% of CEOs in North America and 18% of CEOs in Europe are confident of revenue growth in their markets.
This contrasts sharply with the picture in the Middle East where 63% of CEOs in the region are confident in their company’s revenue growth over the next 12 months, while 71% of CEOs are confident in their expectations for growth over the next three years.
Fluctuations and tensions
Commenting on the results of this year’s survey, Hani Ashkar, Managing Partner at PwC Middle East, said: “Our survey over the past year demonstrated the optimism of CEOs in the region about their near-term economic prospects. As for today, there is no doubt that macroeconomic fluctuations and geopolitical tensions will affect the confidence of global CEOs during the coming year. However, the opinions of Middle Eastern leaders in our 26th annual survey of CEOs paint an encouraging picture for 2023, as nearly 61% of CEOs in the Middle East expect improvement in regional economic growth in 2023.
Ashkar adds, “Our survey also shows key points on how CEOs in the region are moving forward to protect their organizations for the future and stay ahead of long-term challenges.”
Business transformation
CEOs in the Middle East are preparing for a more active and prosperous period ahead, with 58% of CEOs already transforming and enhancing their business. Unlike their global counterparts, business leaders in the region do not delay deals (76% vs. 60% globally), or back down on investments (58% vs. 40% globally). Business leaders in the Middle East also focus on building efficiencies and enhancing the flexibility and adaptability of supply chains, and cost efficiency, and more than 70% of them consider raising prices, and 84% of them seek to reduce operational costs.
Digitization and talent
As the Middle East continues its ambitious digital transformation agenda, this year’s survey found that two-thirds of CEOs in the region view the technology boom as a key issue that will affect their business revenues over the next decade, compared to less than half of global CEOs. This year’s survey also indicates that CEOs in the Middle East expect technology to be a prominent feature in their plans, as more than four out of five CEOs in the region expect to invest in automation processes and systems during 2023, and 66% expect the extension and use of technologies Cloud, artificial intelligence and other advanced technologies in operations. Attracting and retaining talent remains a key focus, with 74% of CEOs in the region expecting to invest in reshaping their workforce, and 84% of leaders in the region planning not to cut employee compensation.
Climate change risks
Over the past 12 months, the region has significantly reaffirmed its commitment to addressing the risks of climate change, with government and private sector pledges to stick to national targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Parties (COP28), which is expected to be held this year in the UAE.
This new direction for sustainability has resulted in nearly 50% of CEOs in the Middle East taking steps to mitigate climate change risks, or creating new products and processes to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Stephen Anderson, Managing Partner, Strategy & Markets, PwC Middle East, commented: “Our survey of CEOs in the Middle East this year shows that business leaders in the Middle East balance confidence in growth prospects with the challenges of transforming their businesses to ensure resilience. In the face of global fluctuations and concerns about continuing challenges in the long term. CEOs are also working to achieve digital transformation ambitions through more investment, and with the ESG agenda continuing to play an important and strategic role in reimagining a sustainable future for our region. As evidenced by our latest survey, the story has shifted from talk and reflection to action when it comes to the risks of climate change.”