In the midst of prevailing global economic challenges and geopolitical uncertainties, PwC’s Middle East CEO Survey paints a picture of a region that stands out for its unwavering optimism regarding the future.
Unlike their international counterparts, businesses in the Middle East are not only weathering the current economic climate but are also actively accelerating their transformation efforts, according to the survey’s key findings.
The first significant revelation is that two-thirds of Middle East CEOs maintain confidence in regional growth. Stephen Anderson, Middle East Strategy & Markets Leader at PwC, attributes this optimism to the region’s favorable macroeconomic conditions, contrasting sharply with the hesitancy observed in other parts of the world.
Amid this positive sentiment, the second key finding highlights CEOs’ recognition of the imperative for transformation. Despite global turbulence, Middle East CEOs are committed to growing their businesses, diversifying products, and making sustained investments for long-term viability.
Surprisingly, four out of ten CEOs express doubts about the viability of their business model a decade from now, signaling a bold acknowledgment of the ongoing transformations in the region. Anderson notes the Middle East’s ongoing reimagining, encompassing digitization, decarbonization, privatization, localization, and modernization.
As part of their transformation strategies, CEOs are investing in initiatives ranging from diversification and salary increases to staff retention measures. Notably, 80% of CEOs plan to invest in upskilling, recognizing the importance of talent development in the evolving landscape.
The third key finding underscores the widespread commitment to digitalization, with 84% of CEOs planning investments in technology. Moreover, a significant two-thirds express readiness to embrace automation, the metaverse, and cloud technologies.
The final key finding reveals CEOs’ increasing focus on climate change, with 50% actively contemplating ways to make their products more sustainable. Anderson attributes this positive shift to heightened awareness and pressure following regional events like Egypt hosting COP 27 in 2022 and the UAE set to host COP 28 in 2023.
In the face of global economic uncertainty, Middle East CEOs are poised to maintain their optimism, intensify transformation efforts, accelerate digital initiatives, and prioritize climate action. The impact of these strategic moves will be unveiled in the forthcoming PwC CEO Survey.