After a year marked by tariffs and more retaliatory tariffs between China and the U.S., Chinese CEOs are looking elsewhere to fulfill their company’s growth goals. The PwC Global CEO survey
released just in time for the start of the World Economic Forum in Davos found that Chinese CEOs were turning their eyes away from the United States and instead towards Australia
With 21 percent of Chinese CEOs saying they wanted to grow their business in the country in 2019, Australia topped the list of Chinese business prospects. The U.S., which was top of the list in the previous years, came in second with 17 percent saying the country would be a growth market for them. Just as many Chinese CEOs said they didn’t want to grow abroad, a number up from zero in the previous year.
CEOs from China were also more likely to report supply chain, sourcing and production location adjustments than other CEOs who also said they were “extremely concerned” about trade conflicts. 58 percent of concerned Chinese CEOs said that they were also shifting their growth strategy to other countries compared to 25 percent of all concerned CEOs.
Generally, more CEOS said they were uncertain about where to grow their business. 15 percent of global CEOs said they didn’t know where to expand to, up from 8 percent in the previous year.