CEO Briefing: Corporate priorities for 2006

The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) recently came out with their survey/research findings identifying the management challenges that face the world's corporate leaders. The key findings:

  • Overseas markets will absorb more attention than domestic markets.
  • Local will be as important as global.
  • Global sourcing will improve productivity as well as margins.
  • Top–line growth is a strategic priority.

Globalisation is nothing new but its meaning is constantly evolving. Once associated with low–cost manufacturing overseas, then a wave of foreign direct investment by Western multinationals into unsophisticated emerging markets, it has most recently been exemplified by the offshoring of back–office processes to low–cost locations. To judge by the results of this year's CEO Briefing survey, the terms of globalisation are changing again.

Customers in emerging markets are becoming far more important and far more demanding; offshoring is no longer driven solely by cost; and competition from overseas and domestic rivals is increasing in every market. The distinctions between high–cost mature markets and low–cost developing ones remain acute, of course, but they are less clear–cut than they once were…

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