Business View Caribbean | April 2021

3 BUSINESS VIEW CARIBBEAN APRIL 2021 O p e n i n g L i n e s A P R I L 2 0 2 1 Cyber risk seen as top threat to growth in Caribbean region O ne year after COVID-19 was declared a pandemic, CEOs are voicing record levels of optimism in the global economic recovery, with 76% of business leaders predicting that economic growth will improve in 2021. The number is lower for Caribbean region CEOs, with 69% saying they believe global economic growth will improve. PwC’s 24th Annual Global CEO Survey polled 5,050 CEOs in 100 countries and territories over January and February 2021. The percentage of CEOs expressing confidence in growth is up from 22% in 2020 and 42% in 2019, representing the highest level of optimism since the survey started asking this question in 2012. Arthur Wightman, PwC Bermuda leader, comments: “After a period of human tragedy and profound disruption, it’s encouraging to see that CEO confidence is up, boosted by the rollout of vaccines in many parts of the world, including here in Bermuda. The details of that recovery aren’t yet clear. However, it’s certain that we will not return THREE QUARTERS OF CEOS PREDICT A RETURN TO GROWTH IN 202 PWC’S 24TH GLOBAL CEO SURVEY to the way things were. CEOs will need to develop a different mind-set and consider and take action on a far broader range of issues – that will affect company value over time, setting a course that builds trust and delivers sustained outcomes. “This includes the heightened focus on sustainability, social inclusion and other environmental, social and governance opportunities. It’s vital that businesses meet these expectations if they are to build and sustain consumer trust. The organizations that rise to these challenges will emerge stronger, more resilient and able to steer successfully through this period of momentous change.” Top threats: Pandemics/health, cyber risk, tax policies and misinformation Not surprisingly, pandemics and health crises top the list of threats to growth prospects, overtaking the fear of over-regulation, which has been the perennial number one concern for CEOs globally since 2014. Cyber has fast become a major source of anxiety. Rising digitisation is increasing the risks posed by cyber threats. This, coupled with the significant increase in cybersecurity incidents in 2020 including ransomware attacks, has resulted in cyber threats