Towards resilience and growth: Asia Pacific business in transition

- APEC 2013

Top 10 findings:

1. Most CEOs (68%) are increasing investments in APEC economies over the next year. In the longer term, China, Indonesia and the US ranked as top three destinations for increases over the next 3-5 years.

2. Looking past slowing middle-income economies: CEO confidence is up More CEOs (42%) are ‘very confident’ in revenue growth for their companies than they were at this time last year (36%). Urbanisation; rising middle class; infrastructure needs are sources of potential growth.

3. The APEC growth strategy: innovation, expanding services top CEOs’ to-do lists 87% of CEOs say middle-income consumers influence their growth strategies. Close to half of investment increases centre around new product development, services and distribution capabilities. Around 25% of CEOs plan ‘significant’ change to product mixes, distribution, brand and customer service strategies.

4. More believe Indonesia will surprise with greater business opportunities than expected CEOs shared their ‘dark horse’ picks for upside surprises. Indonesia was followed by Myanmar, China, The Philippines and Viet Nam. Expanding middle classes and ample natural resources were often cited as attractive qualities. CEOs also noted increasing transparency, infrastructure plans and political stability.

5. HR and R&D among least prepared as CEOs focus on domestic growth Around one in five CEOs sees R&D, HR as ‘unprepared’ to capitalise on the middle-income trend.

6. Developing tech grids and urban transport will lead to economic growth Above all, more CEOs believe changes to regulatory and legal barriers (32%), and trade infrastructures (31%) can create ‘significant’ business growth opportunities.

7. Direct investment into infrastructure is needed to overcome fiscal constraints Close to half of CEOs believe the private-public infrastructure models in Asia Pacific are important for their business growth over the next 3-5 years.

8. One in five Asia Pacific CEOs is pursuing mobile products and / or services Mobile-enabled sales and transactions are where most business leaders see opportunities today. As more seek to share and put their data to use, outdated policies for connectivity seen as an impediment.

9. Regulatory consistency around IP and services could unleash more investment As services become more intensive, the more coherent and transparent regulations need to be. CEOs are ‘highly likely’ to invest more if regulations in IP (22%); corp. governance (22%) and services (20%) are harmonised.

10. Asia Pacific’s many trade talks welcomed, but some see rising complexity and costs 69% agree multiple trade negotiations in Asia Pacific create more opportunities for their companies while 22% also see more uncertainty or administrative costs as a result.