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Business confidence high in APEC region

Chen Jia
Updated: Nov 9,2017 10:07 AM     China Daily

Regional economic integration within the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation region is becoming more cohesive and revenue growth within the region is poised for a strong rebound despite an uncertain trade and foreign investment environment, a new survey said.

According to the survey released by global consultancy firm PwC on Nov 8, about 37 percent of the 1,412 chief executive officers doing business in the APEC region are “very confident” of earning more revenue in the next 12 months, up by 9 percentage points from a year earlier.

As most of them believe that the region’s economic growth will continue to outpace the global rate, 63 percent are keen to expand their global business during the next three years, said the PwC’s annual APEC CEO Survey, which was released at the APEC CEO Summit in the coastal city of Da Nang in Vietnam.

Nearly half of the APEC-based companies are increasing global investments, up from 43 percent last year, the survey said, and 71 percent of these CEOs are planning to increase investment in APEC economies.

Raymund Chao, PwC Asia-Pacific and Greater China chairman, told China Daily that China is playing an important role in the region, as the world’s second largest economy, especially to facilitate multilateral trade, infrastructure and to increase connectivity within the region.

“China’s stable economic growth will make it very influential for all the APEC economies, and the country will take more leadership role in the global trade and investment perspectives,” he said.

From the survey, a more restrictive international trade environment, however, becomes a trend that the CEOs are worried about in the coming year, in terms of higher barriers to employing foreign labor or in moving goods across borders.

To limit headwinds from the changing global trade environment, which is more because of the rising inward-looking policies, the CEOs showed their efforts on changing trade policy, especially on “increased business activity in economies with established bilateral ties or to conduct more value added activities domestically”.

In China, after the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, more policies are expected to create a more friendly and easier-to-enter business environment for foreign companies, which will boost free trade and cross-border capital investment, Chao said.