LIMA, Nov. 17 (Xinhua) -- An APEC CEO survey has showed that China remains the powerhouse for APEC businesses and that a majority of respondents are confident in APEC economies.
The PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) survey shows that a majority of APEC CEOs plan to increase investment, find new partners, explore untapped markets and boost their brand image in China.
According to the survey, 59 percent of respondents said they were planning to increase investment in China though they had mixed views on the outlook of China's GDP growth. Almost half of APEC CEOs believed that China's GDP will grow on average around 6 percent a year in the next three years.
Under China's new normal, business leaders tried to adapt to the shift from the previous high-speed growth to a medium-to-high speed growth, where they want to build up partnerships with local partners, build their brand in China or develop new products and services in their existing market, and carry out geographic expansion.
PwC China Chairman Raymund Chao said: "It's significant that APEC business leaders look beyond a slowdown to the long term. China is a prime example. Its scale and skills mean concerns about its slower economic growth are not enough to put business leaders off investment and expansion. China remains a powerhouse of potential for APEC businesses for new products and partnerships."
Increased competition in China is a major feature of this year's survey, as domestic companies compete with international rivals and inland smaller cities become coveted markets. This recognition of internal competition reflects the rising importance of Chinese companies.
Technology is enabling new rivals to make inroads in established industries. Companies such as Haier and Huawei from China are competing to become global leaders in industries dominated by multinationals from advanced economies. Huawei is the third-largest smartphone manufacturer and leads the charge for a slew of competitors.
Their foothold abroad has grown in proportion to their dominance at home, leading to a necessary reassessment by foreign companies, reliant on China for their profit growth.
The report also highlighted the increased competition Chinese banks are bringing to the global financial sector.
Samuel Tsien, Group CEO of Singapore's OCBC Bank reportedly said that Chinese banks have become major competitors amid the reduced growth for banking services in the Asia-Pacific. The pie has not grown that much, but the competitors going for this pie have increased significantly, he said.
CONFIDENCE IN APEC ECONOMIES
Confidence appeared to be particularly high in APEC economies, which account for 57 percent of the global GDP and 49 percent of global trade. More than two-thirds of investment by APEC members is set to stay within the APEC area, with China, the United States, Singapore and Indonesia setting to attract the most investment, according to the survey.
With over 1,100 business leaders surveyed across the 21 APEC members, 53 percent of respondents said they were planning to increase investment over the next 12 months.
Despite these bullish investment plans, only 28 percent of APEC business leaders said they were very confident about revenue growth over the next 12 months. Some 19 percent admitted that they were not very confident.
Presenting the survey results at the 2016 APEC CEO Summit in Lima, Peru, Orlando Marchesi, country senior partner at PwC Peru, said that a subdued level of confidence in the business outlook is hardly surprising given geopolitical events this year. What's critical for the region is that business leaders hold their nerve on investment and innovation, he said.
Furthermore, this year, while more CEOs saw significant progress toward a free trade area in the Asia-Pacific, the majority of 53 percent continue to see progress as slow.
"For the foreseeable future, APEC business leaders will have to balance the short-term economic outlook with investing for the long term. The wider regulatory and tax environment is critical factors in business confidence and investment. Standing still on regulatory conditions is not the way to be competitive in a paradoxically cash-rich but slow-growth world," Marchesi said.