Hong Kong – Asia Pacific CEOs remain more upbeat than their global counterparts about short term growth prospects, amidst the looming world economic slowdown. According to PricewaterhouseCoopers 12th annual Global CEO Survey, 31 percent of Asia Pacific CEOs were very confident of growing revenues during the next 12 months compared to the global average of 21 percent in 2008. Underpinning the sentiment of slowing growth, three quarters (71 per cent) of Asia Pacific CEOs expect that most growth initiatives will be financed through internally generated cash flows. Nearly all Asia Pacific CEOs believed that attracting and retaining key talent was critical to sustaining long-term growth. CEOs also cited high quality customer service offerings (98 per cent) and brand strength and reputation (95 per cent) as vital components to maintaining competitive advantage and long-term growth. Fifty percent of CEOs in the Asia Pacific believe that joint ventures (JVs) and strategic alliances will play a greater role in business growth than cross-border M&A over the next three years. In a sign of tighter liquidity and falling business confidence, overall M&A activity has decreased. Only 19 per cent of the Asia Pacific CEOs had completed a cross-border M&A during the past 12 months. The PricewaterhouseCoopers 12th annual Global CEO Survey was conducted during the last quarter of 2008.