Kiwi CEOs more positive than Oz counterparts

JOSH MARTIN
Last updated 05:00 14/02/2014

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New Zealand bosses are upbeat about their business prospects in 2014 and the global economic outlook, even as they fear more regulation, a survey has found.

The PWC Annual Global CEO Survey shows Kiwi chief executives were more upbeat than their international counterparts.

Eighty-nine per cent of those surveyed said they felt confident about their company's outlook and 91 per cent believed technology would be the biggest transformation trend to have an impact on their business.

Nearly two-thirds said the global economy would improve this year.

That compared with only 60 per cent of international chief executives who were positive about increasing revenues this year and 44 per cent who felt the world economic outlook was improving.

Less than half of Australian chief executives shared their New Zealand counterparts' enthusiasm.

PWC New Zealand chief executive Bruce Hussall said New Zealand was "proving to be resilient" to the global economic issues and pointed to free trade agreements, high demand for commodities and the shift towards Asia as an economic powerhouse as factors behind the outlook.

"The growth in the number of trade deals, by successive governments, has turned out to be a masterstroke," he said.

The growing Asian middle class was regarded by 57 per cent of New Zealand executives as an opportunity to expand.

Hussall said the most surprising finding in the survey was the rate at which technology was "profoundly changing" business models.

Technology will be central to the 37 per cent of executives who said their business would grow on the back innovation in 2014.

The threat of over-regulation in their industry was a concern to three-quarters of respondents.

Regulation made it harder to do business, leading to increased uncertainty and risk, curtailing investment, Hussall said.

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- BusinessDay

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