Asia-Pacific CEOs confident of growth; Singapore among top investment destinations: PwC report

Confidence among CEOs in Asia Pacific continues to get stronger, a new report by PwC out on Saturday said. -- PHOTO: ST FILE
Confidence among CEOs in Asia Pacific continues to get stronger, a new report by PwC out on Saturday said. -- PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - Confidence among CEOs in Asia Pacific continues to get stronger, a new report by PwC out on Saturday said.

Some 46 per cent of executives in the region say they are confident of growth in the next 12 months, up 10 points from 2012 and four points from last year, despite slowing growth in China.

PwC surveyed more than 600 business leaders about prospects for business in the region. It was released at a meeting of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) in Beijing.

The survey found that 67 per cent of executives plan to increase investment in the Apec region over the next 12 months. Their plans are spread over each of the 21 Apec member economies, with China, the US, Indonesia, Hong Kong-China and Singapore the most popular destinations for investment.

The report also noted that 57 per cent of respondents said they are either building or expanding facilities in Apec economies in the next three to give years.

Hiring is also among their plans. Over a third - 38 per cent of respondents - expect headcount in the organisations globally to expand by at least 5 per cent a year over the next three to five years.

PwC Singapore executive chairman Yeoh Oon Jin said: "Asia Pacific today stands at a turning point as advancing technologies move beyond national boundaries and create new demands and even new industries. CEOs see the need to be bold in breaking down the barriers to growth. They want to finalise the Trans-Pacific Partnership, address intellectual property issues and encourage regulatory harmony in the region."

"Businesses are investing in a different Asia Pacific with rising numbers of urban middle-income consumers demanding new, technologically advanced products and services from business and governments. In its 25th year, Apec has an ongoing and important role to play in helping to meet these demands and advancing growth throughout the region."