Most CEOs of large companies in the UAE are upbeat about the local economy and many are looking at mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures and strategic alliances to drive their businesses forward, according to a new KPMG survey. 

About nine in ten (92 percent) of the CEOs polled for the survey said they are confident about the UAE’s growth prospects, compared with 82 percent of their peers around the world, the KPMG 2021 CEO Outlook, released on Monday, said. 

The survey, part of KPMG’s outlook series, provides a three-year outlook from CEOs on enterprise and economic growth. 

The CEOs’ high confidence levels are a result of the UAE leadership’s successful management of the pandemic through deployment of smart technology and resources, as well as by encouraging the private sector “with a raft of enabling measures”, according to Nader Haffar, Chairman, KPMG Middle East and South Asia and Chairman/CEO of KPMG Lower Gulf. 

The survey also found that 88 percent of CEOs in the country are confident about their own company’s growth prospects, while 76 percent are looking to make an acquisition in the next three years. 

More than half of the CEOs also plan to invest more than 10 percent of their revenues to become more sustainable. 

Last September, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said it expects the UAE’s non-oil GDP to exceed 3 percent in 2021, higher than the 2.1 percent growth estimates by the UAE Central Bank. The IMF also said that non-oil GDP growth is expected to improve further in the medium term. 

(Reporting by Cleofe Maceda; editing by Seban Scaria)

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