P&A Grant Thornton Local News

PH execs optimistic

Optimism among Filipino executives has hit a two-year high buoyed by prospects of increased Asean economic cooperation, upgrading local infrastructure and automation of simple business processes.

These were cited as the three top opportunities in the country over the next five years by the Filipino executives surveyed for Grant Thornton’s new Asia Pacific report. 

The Philippines registered a net optimism score of 84 percent.

Marivic Españo, P&A Grant Thornton chairperson and chief executive officer, said Philippine businesses are increasingly optimistic about the national economy. 

Local firms plan to hire additional staff based upon an improving trade picture and increasing revenue expectations. 

But Españo said businesses will need to continue to invest in research and development and plant and machinery to capitalize on the region’s continued prosperity.

Increased Asean economic cooperation was named not only as the country’s top opportunity, but also of the region’s. 

The survey said 33 percent of business leaders across the Asia Pacific named economic integration as the biggest growth opportunity.

China, and Japan, are particularly buoyant about this trend, indicating that the Asean Economic Community is delivering tangible benefits inside and outside Southeast Asia.

Automation of simple business processes is cited the country’s and the region’s third-largest growth opportunity. Automation involves freeing up workers for higher value-added tasks. 

As firms invest in technology-led solutions for lower-skilled roles, there is confidence that this should allow for great efficiencies. 

However, the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Index warned that many economies are ill-prepared for automation.

Grant Thornton’s new Asia Pacific report shows levels of business optimism across Asia Pacific hit net 41 percent in the third quarter of 2017 – the highest since the second quarter of 2015. 

In China, optimism is up to 52 percent, a three-year high, while in Japan it has increased 23-percentage pooings. compared to a year ago. The positivity across the region is having a positive effect on employment; 40 percent of Asia Pacific  businesses expect to hire more people over the next 12 months.

As published on Malaya Business Insight dated 20 December 2017.