Monday, June 17, 2024


Dhaka Tribune

More than 60% of CEOs fear a decline in economic growth in 2024

57% of these CEOs expressed doubts about their businesses' viability on their current trajectory, with 40% believing their businesses could remain viable for over a decade

Update : 01 Apr 2024, 10:48 AM

In a recent survey conducted by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC), found around 60% of CEOs in Bangladesh expect a decrease in the country's economic growth in 2024. Only 36% of Bangladeshi CEOs anticipate an improvement in the economic growth rate. This marks a shift from the previous year, where 69% of CEOs believed the economy would decline, indicating a more optimistic outlook compared to last year.

The survey, part of PWC's 27th Annual Global CEO Survey, involved 4,702 CEOs from 105 countries, including 52 from Bangladesh. Despite Bangladesh's impressive macroeconomic growth over the past five years, CEOs have had to navigate challenges such as inflation, low foreign currency reserves, and energy price fluctuations. To sustain profitable growth, Bangladeshi CEOs are focusing on short-term issues while also implementing initiatives to ensure their organizations remain relevant in the future.

Interestingly, 57% of these CEOs expressed doubts about their businesses' viability on their current trajectory, with 40% believing their businesses could remain viable for over a decade.

When it comes to revenue growth prospects, confidence among Bangladeshi CEOs has declined for both the next 12 months and the next three years. This decline, particularly significant over the next 12 months, has prompted a closer examination of key threats and pressures amplifying the impact of megatrends on CEOs' confidence.

Despite this uncertainty, Bangladesh's CEOs recognize the importance of their top trading partners. Around 43% of CEOs anticipate India playing a significant role in revenue growth, followed by 40% for the US, 29% for China, and 22% for the UK. Additionally, 10% each believe Germany and Singapore will be major trading partners.

To foster regional trade and reduce reliance on intermediary currencies, Bangladesh and India have introduced the taka-rupee dual currency debit card, aligning with prior initiatives aimed at promoting economic cooperation between the two countries. 

Moreover, discussions regarding a bilateral Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) between the two economies are also ongoing, the survey added.

Another clear indication of the growing necessity to re-invent is the significant rise in the pressure that CEOs expect to face in the next three years from factors influencing changes in the business model. 

53% of Bangladesh CEOs cited government regulations as one of the key factors that had a large or very large impact on their business model in the last five years. 

On the other hand, changing customer preferences has been identified as the key factor that will drive change in the next three years by 67% of the CEOs in Bangladesh. Moreover, 60% of CEOs cited technological changes, 45% of supply chain instabilities, and 31% of CEOs cited climate change as threats and pressures.

Arijit Chakroborti, director and office managing partner of PWC Bangladesh, said that they see a rising number of CEOs in Bangladesh who are impelled to critically assess their organization’s long-term relevance with respect to global megatrends such as climate change and technological advancements. 

This is indicated by the increasing number of CEOs estimating the relevance of their present business to be less than 10 years, he added.

Mamun Rashid, country clients and market leader of PWC Bangladesh, said that CEOs in Bangladesh continue to deal with the short-term challenges and long-term opportunities for their business. 

An increasing number of CEOs are leading the transformation of their organizations through technology adoption, driving impactful changes and delivering meaningful results for their stakeholders, he added.

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