Saudi CEOs Exude Confidence in Economic Growth: PwC Study Highlights Positive Outlook

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Saudi Arabian CEOs have showcased high confidence in the country’s economic growth, in comparison to global and regional counterparts, according to PwC’s 27th Annual CEO Survey. The study reveals that an impressive 89 percent of surveyed Saudi CEOs express optimism about the nation’s economic growth, in stark contrast to the global average of 44 percent, 73 percent in the Middle East, and 81 percent in the GCC.

This is largely attributed to the ambitious goals set by Saudi Arabia Vision 2030. Since the launch of the economic reform plan in 2016, Saudi Arabia has ascended to the 17th largest global economy by GDP size in 2022.

In addition, 74 percent of CEOs intending to increase their workforce. The ongoing large-scale projects and favorable economic reforms in Saudi Arabia contribute to this positive outlook.

Riyadh Al Najjar, PwC Middle East Chairman of the Board & KSA Country Senior Partner, commented, “CEOs in Saudi Arabia have confidence in Vision 2030, leading to strong economic growth. Moving ahead, we expect business leaders to continue reinventing their businesses to remain agile and sustainable in the long-term.”

However, the study highlights and emphasized the need for adaptation and innovation.

Looking ahead, CEOs foresee technological change (60 percent) and customer preferences (69 percent) driving significant changes in their business models over the next three years. However, they express concerns about cyber risks, with 40 percent foreseeing moderate exposure and 20 percent expecting high or extreme exposure in the coming year.

The study also sheds light on the impact of Generative AI, with 54 percent of CEOs believing it will improve their companies’ products and services. In terms of climate concerns, 29 percent of Saudi CEOs express the highest levels of concern compared to their regional (15 percent) and global (12 percent) counterparts. Sixty percent are keen to improve the energy efficiency of their businesses, and over half are innovating climate-friendly products, services, or technologies.

Stephen Anderson, Middle East Strategy Leader at PwC Middle East, noted, “CEOs in Saudi Arabia understand the need to evolve. Strategic partnerships, adoption of technologies, such as GenAI, and a definitive drive to incorporate climate resilience practices in their business models, are all contributing to strengthening their ability to keep pace with rapid transformation.”

Source: Arabian Business

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