2017 APEC CEO Survey China Report

Chinese firms seek growth through trade.

More than 200 CEO’s in China and Hong Kong were interviewed on the theme of A World in Transition. Executives share with us their business confidence levels, their perception of trade trends, how businesses are organising themselves, their operational challenges, and their outlook and expectations of new trade orientations.

Key findings of the China report:

  • Survey revealed that 23% of executives in China think that significant progress has been made towards free trade across the Asia Pacific region in the last 12 months, up from 15% in 2016. Moreover, 33% of the executives surveyed in China believe that revenue opportunities will increase in the next 12 months due to new trade agreements, compared to 27% of APEC respondents.
  • China’s role in APEC is going to get more prominent as opportunities for exports and fixed asset investments emerge from the BRI initiatives. Given this outlook, not only do executives in China expect APEC to play a larger role in facilitating economic growth and cooperation for the region, accelerating economic integration of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) (33%) and facilitating labour mobility (26%) are priorities identified by executives in China.
    Survey found that 39% of the executives in China are “very confident” about their company’s prospects for revenue growth in the next 12 months compared to 24% who reported the same in 2016 .
  • In terms of digital transformation, survey shows that the percentage of executives in China “automating certain functions in their organisation” will increase from 64% today to 83% in three years.
  • In terms of emerging technology impacting the workforce, about 51% of executives in China reported that they expect to move to new structures of employment including more ‘gig’ talent and outsourced labour in three years compared to 31% of the executives today.


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Published by

Stefan Schmid

Stefan Schmid
Partner, Tax & Legal Services
Birchstrasse 160
Postfach, 8050 Zürich
Tel. +41 58 792 44 82

Stefan Schmid is a corporate tax partner assisting companies in international tax matters, with a special focus on US, Asian and Swiss quoted groups. He graduated at the University of St. Gallen in Business Administration (lic.oec. HSG).

He has over 20 years of experience in assisting multinational groups in their international tax affairs. He further gained extensive experience in assisting groups that operate centralised business models.