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24th Annual Global CEO Survey
Key findings for Romania

Ever since 2008, PwC has been analysing the optimism of CEOs worldwide to gauge the direction and scale of developments in global gross domestic product (GDP), with accurate prognoses returned every year. The general trend noticed in the 2021 issue of the survey indicates that chief executives, after a year of uncertainty and difficulties during which they had to rethink their work, are very confident about the global economy prospects.

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About PwC Global CEO Survey 

In the last 24 years, PwC’s survey of CEOs has provided unique insights into the thinking and strategic direction of business leaders around the world.  

For this 24th edition of the study, PwC surveyed 5,050 CEOs in 100 countries and territories (including Romania) in January and February of 2021. The global and regional figures in this report are based on a sub-sample of 1,779 CEOs, proportionate to country nominal GDP to ensure that CEOs’ views are representative across all major regions. The industry- and country-level figures are based on the full sample of 5,050 CEOs.

This tenth edition of the survey covering the main results for Romania is based on the opinions of the 174 chief executives in our country filled in the online questionnaire.

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Key findings for Romania

CEO Survey, 24th Edition

The health crisis has also triggered the tapping of huge resources of creativity and impressive concerted efforts, with political and business leaders around the world jointly looking for lasting solutions to this challenge, which is bound to reshape the future of the world.

Ionuț SimionCountry Managing Partner, PwC Romania

CEO confidence in growth

One year after the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, CEOs worldwide report record high optimism about global economic recovery. Although the health crisis is still the centre of attention for the entire  world, the share of those anticipating an improvement in global GDP over the next 12 months stands at 76%, which is a record high in the last decade and almost 20 percentage points more than the previous record figure (57%) in the 2018 issue of the survey. 

Lingering anxiety

Despite the CEOs’ growing confidence in the global economy’s rebound capabilities and their own companies’ growth prospects, they are more concerned about the majority of the threats listed in the survey than they were last year. The balance between optimism and concern is fragile for now, because the markets remain highly volatile. As running businesses against a backdrop of pervasive tension is a constant challenge for organisation leaders, many are taking a moment to consider the recovery potential of the local and global markets.

CEOs are extremely aware of the external threats to their growth prospects. New strains of the coronavirus keep popping up across the world and vaccination efforts are uneven in various areas of the planet. Governments in many emerging countries are struggling to procure sufficient supplies of vaccine doses.


Investments in digital transformation and transparency

Around half of the CEOs globally, in CEE and Romania are planning two-digit growth in their digital transformation investments. Almost one third (31%) of the global organisation leaders also say that their investments in cybersecurity will also go up by 10% or more. The share of their counterparts in Romania expressing that view is even higher (35%), but the figure is lower in CEE (27%).

Last year gave a substantial impetus to digital transformation, but it is crucial that this endeavour continue in order to improve the quality of products and services, to foster employment and implicitly boost GDP.

Dinu BumbăceaAdvisory Services Leader, PwC Romania

Human capital and the competitiveness of organisations

Caring for people has always been the hallmark of good management. But for the society as a whole to thrive, this attitude should expand beyond corporations to the wider communities in which they operate.

CEOs remain overall optimistic about increasing their headcounts over the next 12 months. Of the CEOs in Romania, 46% believe that their headcount will grow over the next 12 months. That is slightly higher than the global and regional figures, but it is lower than in the period 2018–2020 (53%).


of CEOs in Romania are focusing on productivity through automation and technology


of CEOs in Romania are prioritising the improvement of skills and adaptability for their people


of CEOs in Romania are focusing on workplace culture and behaviours

Governments and businesses – alliance for growth

Romania’s CEOs believe that the order of the top three priorities for the Government should be as it was in the 2015 and 2016 issues of the survey:

  • An effective tax system, according to 71% of the respondents;
  • An adequate physical and digital infrastructure, according to 68% of the respondents;
  • A skilled, educated and adaptable workforce – according to 61% of the respondents.

Businesses in Romania are planning to help the Government to meet its goals in the priority areas: creating an effective tax system, an adequate physical and digital infrastructure, and a skilled, educated and adaptable workforce. Therefore, the top priorities that organisation leaders in Romania would like included on the Government’s agenda are largely the same as the areas in which corporations would like to get involved and contribute.

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Ionuț Simion

Ionuț Simion

Partner, Tax Services, PwC Romania

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