Jack Ma, founder of Alibaba, smiles during the company’s IPO at the New York Stock Exchange in New York. Pic: AP

Asian business leaders ranked most confident in the world, according to YPO survey

BUSINESS leaders in the Asian regions have been smashing stereotypes, reporting the most positive economic outlook of any region in the world in a survey by YPO Global Pulse.

YPO (Young Presidents’ Organization), a CEO economic sentiment indicator, announced last week that economic confidence in Asian CEOs has climbed significantly in the second quarter of 2016, in a spike of 2.9 points to 62.9 in Asia.

India, the region’s second largest economy after China, received the biggest boost, going 1.6 points up to 68.0, which follows a remarkable GDP growth last year and projections for a similar performance in 2016 and 2017.

In fact, “confidence in India surpassed all of the other leading economies in the world”, as the International Monetary Fund predicted that if India maintains its current growth rate at 7.5 percent for 2016 and 2017, it will cement its position as the fastest growing economy in the world.

Pic: YPO Global Pulse

Pic: YPO Global Pulse

China, on the other hand, slipped 1.8 points to 62.2 – although its prospects still remain optimistic.

YPO’s SEA regional communications officer, Shiyin Cai, said: “Despite ongoing concerns about the short-term stability of global economy, confidence within Asia’s two most important economies, China and India, remains strong.

“Business leaders across Asia will be looking to take advantage of favorable economic conditions the rest of this year, while keeping a close eye on key economic indicators around the world.”

Overall, the survey predicts that Asian business leaders will be looking to expand their workforces, with 72 percent expected to increase sales, and 38 percent expected to hire more people.

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Notably, confidence in Southeast Asia jumped, impounded by the weakened dollar and signs that the Chinese economy is stabilizing after a slow period.

The ASEAN countries – Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Brunei, Burma, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam – saw a rise of 3.6 points on the YPO Global Pulse Index and now rank at 60.5, the highest level since Quarter 1 of 2015.