O'Neill arrives in Vietnam for APEC Summit 2017

O'Neill arrives in Vietnam for APEC Summit 2017”

The study showed that 37 percent of 1,412 chief executive officers, who are doing business in the APEC region, are "very confident" about generating more revenue in the next 12 months, up by 9 percentage points from a year earlier.

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

"I don't think I can predict with any accuracy what may happen from Trump's visit here, but let's look at the positives - the fact that the APEC community has come together, and the United States is here in full force, and Trump will be here with [Russian] President [Vladimir] Putin, [Chinese] President Xi [Jinping] and others is actually a good sign". 89% of Malaysian CEOs and 86% of Viet Nam CEOs expect to expand globally.

The Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) is organising an exhibition in the central city of Da Nang to introduce typical products of all 63 cities and provinces across Vietnam to delegates from 21 APEC member economies. Ministers from Apec economies also began their meeting to discuss deepening economic integration and trade across the region. "31% of CEOs in the USA say progress on free trade in Asia Pacific has stalled or reversed, compared to 18% across the region".

A more restrictive worldwide trade environment, whether in terms of higher barriers to employing foreign labor or in moving goods across borders, worries the CEOs in the coming year.

In the near term, 30% expect labour restrictions to increase, and a quarter expect an increase in barriers on moving goods to increase in the next 12 months.

They are expected to exchange views on global and regional trade and investment, while sharing experience and designing measures to strengthen cooperation between businesses of the APEC economies and rest of the world. Combined they now overtake competition from traditional developed economy multinationals.

One in five business leaders (19 per cent) believe their biggest competitor in the next three to five years will be a multinational firm from an emerging economy, or regional companies in Apec economies (22 per cent). Nearly a third (32%) believe developed nation multinationals are their biggest rival, down from 41% in 2014.

Businesses are also making greater use of technology in their operations, with 58 per cent of them already automating certain functions, and 40 per cent investing in machine learning and emerging technologies.

Bob Moritz, PwC Global Chairman comments: "APEC economies could be a test bed for the integration of automation with the workforce of tomorrow".

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