Most CEOs expect Philippine economy to recover in over two years – survey

While a majority of CEOs of Philippine firms are upbeat about their operations in the next 12 months, most of them believe it will take more than two years for the country's economy to recover from the pandemic, according to a survey of the MAP and PwC Philippines.

While a majority of chief executive officers (CEOs) of Philippine firms are upbeat about their operations in the next 12 months, most of them believe it will take more than two years for the country's economy to recover from the pandemic, according to a survey of the Management Association of the Philippines (MAP) and PwC Philippines.

Results of the MAP-PwC 2022 CEO Survey showed that 87 percent of 119 CEO respondents said they were confident that their respective companies would post revenue growth in the next 12 months.

“Most CEOs saw renewed optimism of the country’s continued economic recovery and resilience,”said PWC managing partner for deals and corporate finance Mary Jade Roxas-Divinagracia.

However, she pointed out that the economy still has a long way to go before it could fully recover from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic due to the new challenges, such as a change in local leadership coupled with geopolitical issues.

Based on the survey results, 52 percent of respondents believe it will take the country more than two years to recover while 67 percent identified corruption as the top factor that would delay the country’s economic recovery.

Other factors seen to affect the economy’s recovery are lower domestic and foreign investments (38 percent), political uncertainty (30 percent), uncontrolled inflation (29 percent) and rising oil prices (28 percent).

In contrast, 62 percent of CEOs identified infrastructure development as a key growth area of the economy in the next 12 months. This was followed by domestic consumption at 59 percent and government spending at 46 percent.

With a new administration in office, respondents of the survey said accountability and transparency, the fight against corruption, and attracting more foreign investments should be the top priorities of the new government.

Meanwhile, 44 percent of the CEOs believe that global economic growth will decline in the next 12 months.

“Similar to last year’s results, the CEOs identified the US and China as the most important countries for their company’s growth. These countries were also the Philippines’ top trading partners in 2021, having exported products worth $11.8 billion and $11.6 billion to the US and China, respectively,” MAP-PwC said.

The survey was conducted in mid-July to August.

”The CEO survey results tell us the journey that we should take, as well as provide a mirror on where we are. The collective insights of leaders give everyone a level of confidence on how to plan their journey, where they are lagging as well as what could set them apart,” PwC Philippines chairman emeritus and ESG leader Alex Cabrera said.

“I also hope the government will take heed of these sentiments as the private sector is simply an invaluable and indispensable partner to achieving success in nation building and global competitiveness,” he said.

For his part, MAP president Rogelio Singson said the survey sparks dialogues and ideas among CEOs.

“This eighth of a series of annual MAP-PwC Philippine CEO Surveys are envisioned to benchmark the changes in how CEOs think, react and innovate. It has become a regular part of the MAP International CEO Conference, which continues to serve as a premier venue for bringing together business leaders from various fields to share insights and experiences, and imbue them with the know-how and passion to remain competitive in a highly globalized environment,”Singson said.

PwC Philippines chairman and senior partner Roderick Danao expressed gratitude to the 119 CEOs in the country who lent their time and thoughts to the survey.

“As the COVID crisis comes to a soft close, we congratulate them for remaining optimistic while keeping their eyes peeled for unexpected disruptions and opportunities. On behalf of the partners at PwC Philippines, we hope the CEOs and other readers will draw useful insights from the MAP-PwC 2022 Philippine CEO survey,” Danao said.

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