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Vietnam Among Top APEC Economies For Foreign Investments APEC business leaders are also very well aware of the need to invest more in becoming digital

By Nidhi Singh

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Investors face a dilemma over deciding if a country is a worthy investment. It's the investment climate that matters for the location preferences of foreign investors. According to a recent survey done by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) on 21 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) economies, Vietnam emerges as a winner for foreign investment. In addition, across APEC, China, the US, Australia, Thailand and Australia have entered the list of top investment destinations.

APEC Leaders Foresee Revenue Growth

The survey found that 35 per cent business leaders were very confident of revenue growth, down slightly from 37 per cent a year ago, while a net 51 per cent plan to increase investments over the next year. PwC carried out the survey in the lead up to the APEC CEO Summit which takes place this week in Port Moresby, the capital of Papua New Guinea.

Business leaders in the United States and Thailand were among the most confident, with 57 per cent and 56 per cent "very confident' of revenue growth while respondents in China and Mexico - two of the largest trading partners with the US - showed below-average confidence.

Japan & Singapore: Fastest Unicorns

Following the imposition of further tariffs between the US and China in September, the second survey of 100 business leaders in the US showed a majority (69%) expect a positive impact on their revenues from tariffs and only 27 per cent expect a negative impact from tariffs on company costs.

In addition to being positive on revenue growth, a net 51 per cent of business leaders are planning to raise levels of investment, up from 43 per cent two years ago. Business leaders are also looking beyond the largest markets for future investment targets. When asked which APEC economy (beyond the US and China) has the right conditions to spark the next fast-growing "unicorn' startup, Singapore and Japan top the list.

"While business leaders do not like uncertainty in any aspect of the business, let alone flows of trade, they are learning to adapt to the new reality and finding ways to grow and thrive. While around a fifth of the business leaders we spoke to had experienced new barriers to trade this year the number of CEOs who are seeing new opportunities coming out of the new trade arrangements has doubled over last year. While there are winners and losers in any trade war, our research clearly shows that businesses are uncovering new paths to growth," said Raymund Chao, Chairman of PwC, China.

APEC business leaders are also very well aware of the need to invest more in becoming digital. With the internet economy projected to reach over US$200 billion in Southeast Asia alone by 2025, the top investment priority for business leaders is digital customer interactions closely followed by digital skills for their workforce.

Nidhi Singh

Former Correspondent, Entrepreneur Asia-Pacific

A self confessed Bollywood Lover, Travel junkie and Food Evangelist.I like travelling and I believe it is very important to take ones mind off the daily monotony .


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