: A survey by global audit firm, KPMG, revealed that 94 per cent of ASEAN chief executive officers (CEOs) are confident of their companies' prospects over the next 12 months.
In a statement today, KPMG said, this was higher than the global average, where only 83 per cent of CEOs were confident with their companies over the same period of time.
"This confidence is again reflected in the sizeable proportion of CEOs in ASEAN (75 per cent) who expect to increase their headcount by up to five per cent in the next 12 months while globally, only 39 per cent of global business leaders are planning to do the same," it said.
The KPMG 2017 Global CEO Outlook survey report also suggested that businesses were increasingly looking to hire more specialised talents, such as cognitive technology experts or those with greater insight into geopolitical issues.
The survey also found that 92 per cent of ASEAN CEOs expected to invest in Blockchain and data analytic tools, 83 per cent in cognitive technologies, including artificial intelligence and machine learning, and 79 per cent in Internet of Things (IoT) over the next three years.
KPMG Malaysia Managing Partner, Datuk Johan Idris, said greater digital investments would offer companies more opportunities to secure competitive advantage.
On challenges, he said, cyber-attack threats continued to be one of the risks for companies as they moved into the digital age, giving, as an example, the recent WannaCry ransomware outbreak in May which affected more than 530,000 computers in 150 countries.
"In fact, ransomware attacks are nothing new, and this incident reinforces the need for business leaders to remain vigilant and avoid complacency when it comes to governance in cyberspace.
"We operate in a digital world today, where breaches can happen anytime. Complacency will only increase the risks across the business, from operations to reputations, with lasting impacts," he said.