The enthusiasm of the Romanian executives about the global economy is in line with that shown by their global counterparts. 57 percent of them say the global economic growth will improve in the next 12 months, the eight edition of PwC’s CEO Survey for Romania and Central and Eastern Europe reads. Trust of the Romanian executives in the global economy is 11 points higher, compared to last year.
Things are a bit different when we are looking at how local executives see the growth perspectives of the companies they, for the next 12 months. 38 percent of them say they are “very confident” on how their companies will perform this year, while 50 percent say they are “somewhat confident”.
On the medium term, 44 percent of the Romanian executives are very confident about the development prospects of their companies, while 43 percent say are “somewhat confident”.
Romanian CEOs are significantly more confident, compared to their regional counterparts, on the medium term, with only 32 percent of CEE CEOs saying they are confident about growth perspectives for the next three years.
Optimism about the growth perspectives is moderated by the perceived threats to development perspectives of the Romanian economy.
Inadequate infrastructure (63 percent) is the main threat, followed by the changing workforce demographics (54 percent) and increasing tax burden (51 percent). The last two threats of the top five are about “availability of key skills” (47 percent) and “over-regulation” (43 percent).
Infrastructure is a continuous necessity and an omnipresent topic on the public agenda and as well on the expectation lists of Romanian business leaders. Companies are lately facing difficulties in recruiting qualified staff in the areas where they have their production facilities – “brain drain” is one of the elements creating this shortage of talents. Last, but not least, legal changes and fiscal instability that happened over the past few months have heightened the discontent of the Romanian executives.
When looking at the regional level, availability of key skills is mentioned as the main threat (51 percent), followed by over-regulation (48 percent). The last three threats (geopolitical uncertainty – 42 percent, terrorism – 39 percent and populism – 39 percent) identified by the regional executives are tied by the way politics influence the society, both on a local level and as well as regional basis. 86 percent of the current edition’s respondents say they are extremely” or “somewhat” concerned about the availability of key skills.
”Bringing back the 3 million of Romanians that live and work outside of the national borders is one of the keys for Romania’s development and it should be the national assumed project for the next decade”, said Ionut Simion, Country Managing Partner, PwC Romania.
Three quarters of the CEOs in Romania and CEE say their organisations contribute to the development of the workforce through internships and apprenticeships. However, half of the Romanian executives say they understand how robotics and artificial intelligence can improve customer experience.
As for globalization, three out of five executives worldwide say that in the future several economic models will rise, while in Romania and CEE business leaders believe in economical unions and unified economical models. When talking about investments, 1 percent of global and US CEOs mention Romania as a country they look at. At the same time, Romania is mentioned by 4 percent of Central and Eastern Europe CEOs as a key investment destination this year, down from 8 percent in 2017 and 11 percent of 2016.