KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 20 — Malaysian chief executive officers (CEOs) are among those who are the most optimistic over 2022’s global economic outlook compared to their Asia Pacific peers, according to the latest finding by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC).

PwC’s 25th Annual Global CEO Survey — Asia Pacific, which polled 4,446 global CEOs between October - November 2021, found that optimism is on the rise in most Asia Pacific countries, with 76 per cent of respondents expecting stronger economic growth in the coming year.

It also revealed that about 92 per cent of Malaysian CEOs are feeling optimistic that the global economic growth will change in the next 12 months, which augurs well for the country.

Malaysia came in close after India (94 per cent), with Singapore just behind Malaysia (91 per cent).

However, CEOs in China are feeling less optimistic than they were a year ago, down nine points to 62 per cent.

“There is nothing “normal” about the world we are working in, but we are getting used to it.

“We are seeing differences in confidence among countries, and there is no shortage of challenges to navigate, but it is encouraging that CEOs we spoke with on the whole feel positive about 2022,” said PwC global chairman Bob Moritz in a statement today.

While 50 per cent are ‘very confident’ or ‘extremely confident’ about their revenue growth prospects over the next 12 months, the CEOs are also well aware of potential threats that could impact their companies.

Among Malaysian CEOs, macroeconomic volatility concerns topped the list of threats at 76 per cent amidst the growing risks around heightened financial market volatility and adjustments in monetary policy in major economies, followed by health risks (69 per cent) and cyber risks (67 per cent).

Meanwhile, Asia Pacific CEOs are ahead of their global peers in terms of net-zero and carbon-neutral commitments, as 60 to 69 per cent of them have made or are progressing a net-zero and/or carbon-neutral commitment.

Additionally, 77 per cent of Asia Pacific CEOs have had their approach independently assessed and validated.

A higher proportion of Asia Pacific CEOs (43 per cent versus 37 per cent of global CEOs) have also embedded emissions targets into their strategy.

“Malaysian CEOs are making encouraging progress with nearly 50 per cent working to reinforce their net zero commitments, even though only 18 per cent have made such a commitment (versus 26 per cent of Asia Pacific CEOs).

“There are merits to doing so, and businesses should take the opportunity to collaborate with the government and civil society organisations to advance action on environmental, social and corporate governance goals following recent milestone initiatives like the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26)," added PwC Malaysia managing partner Soo Hoo Khoon Yean. — Bernama