PwC CEO Survey 2020

Press Release



June 2020

Contact person:

Marina Karpova or Viktoriya Gorlanova

Tel.: +7 (727) 330 32 00


Play a hunch


PwC Kazakhstan presents the results of the Kazakhstan edition of the 23rd annual survey conducted among the CEOs ofthe world's largest companies.


●             85% of respondents in Kazakhstan expect a slowdown and stagnation in the global economy.

●             Availability of key skills ranks first among business threats.

●             The Republic of Uzbekistan became the second among the most important countries for business development inKazakhstan.

●             Representatives from Kazakhstan and the global business community are concerned about regulations in specific areas, as well as data privacy and cybersecurity.


"The world's changing faster than we could have expected. Despite the current uncertainty, it becomes clearthat the way of life will no longer be the same. There is a complete revision of the economic system of the world and each country in particular. The recovery process after the COVID-19 pandemic will take a long time, require in-depth study and innovative solutions to overcome the crisis and stabilize the business. The current situation emphasizes the need for enhanced global collaboration, and is likely to focus on obvious common issues such as disease tracking and treatment. The governments of all countries are already trying to balance between public security and restarting the economy", - Dana Inkarbekova, Managing Partner of PwC Kazakhstan, noted.


Pessimistic attitude regarding the prospects of the global economy

In Kazakhstan, 57% of executives expect a slowdown in the global economy, and 26%of leaders expect stagnation. Many companies are still in the early stages of crisis management, and they have yet to make decisions on how to proceed withfurther development. It is evident, in some cases, that they have to play a hunch.


For the fourth consecutive year,an availability of key skills ranks first among business threats according to executives in Kazakhstan. This year, this threat reached a maximum - 93%. This trend is dominant not only in Kazakhstan; it is experienced throughout the world. Businessmen agree that training, retraining and motivation are the best way to eliminate the shortage of key skills.


This year, there was a marked decrease in the number of Kazakhstan respondents who noted Russia, the USA and China as the most important countries for business development. For the first time in all 8 years of survey, Uzbekistan ranked second (37%), as the closest and one of the largest developing countries in the Central Asian region. Azerbaijan and Turkey have also entered the top countries, and Kyrgyzstan has gone down to 7% from 11% last year.


In view of the rapid growth of technological changes such as the Internet of Things, Big Data, Robotics, almost half of respondents express concern about regulation regarding personal privacy and cybersecurity, 54% globally and 49% in Kazakhstan.


Traditionally, the CEO's opinion on the cooperation with the government is of particular importance in the survey. The main development priorities in Kazakhstan remain the fight against corruption and bribery (60%),supremacy of law in all spheres of state activity (49%) and the need to improve the investment attractiveness of the country (46%). Respondents noted the efficiency of government in relation to the tax system (42%) and digital infrastructure (38%). Businessmen are interested in cooperating with the government in the development of highly qualified staff (53%) and improving the investment attractiveness of the country (53%).


In the current difficult situation for business, there are still real opportunities for further development. Over the past 10 years, many CEOs have begun to implement adaptive strategies, introduce new technologies, improve IT infrastructure and generate an effective team within the company. This will allow to survive the economic recession and ensure the further development of the business.

Mikhail Lomtadze,, became the best private sector CEO and leader in the use of advanced technologies in Kazakhstan.

Link to the full survey:  


Note to editors:


The survey has involved 1649 private business executives from 83 countries including 68 CEOs from Kazakhstan from various sectors of the economy. More than half of the leaders surveyed have provided us with detailed, in-depth interviews. Interviews in Kazakhstan were conducted from October 2019 to May 2020. All quotes expressed by Kazakhstan CEOs and provided in this study have been previously agreed with the respondents. All personal interviews and electronically completed questionnaires where quantitative indicators are provided have been carried out on the basis of confidentiality. Note: not all figures given in the research totally amount to 100% as a result of rounding off the percentages and excluding the following answers: “I can’t say definitely”, “I don’t know”, “refuse to answer”.


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