"The lagged impact of past monetary tightening could lead to an even more pronounced slowing in growth, and geopolitical risks remain very heightened, while the busy political calendar adds a sizeable extra degree of uncertainty and potential volatility," says Ashworth.
In ACCA's recent and inaugural global economic outlook annual prospects report, William Tan Kwang Hwee, a member of the ACCA Singapore Network Panel and CFO of Tiong Woon Corporation, a Singapore headquartered and listed heavy lift specialist and service provider, says it is imperative that theycontinue to leverage technology, to provide better solutions to customers, safely, efficiently and profitably.
In 2024, Kwang Hwee believes the world is experiencing an extraordinary confluence of challenges, as he sees the global economy in 2024 being characterised by “higher-for-longer” interest rates, sluggish growth, and heightened volatility and uncertainty.
"Despite this rather sombre global picture, I see ASEAN as a relative outperformer, continuing its positive trajectory over recent decades, and benefitting from the “China+1” strategies of various companies," Kwang Hwee says. "ASEAN is not homogeneous though, given country-specific idiosyncrasies. Singapore should be a stand-out performer in the bloc."
Kwang Hwee also believes that they should remain vigilant and mindful of risks, particularly in respect of contract, credit, foreign exchange, geopolitical and other risks.
In terms of sustainability, Tiong Woon Corp's CFO says they continue to make efforts to minimise their carbon footprint.
"One of our yards has turned “carbon-negative”, and we have acquired electric pallet trucks and forklifts," he says. "We also adopted GRI 2021 standards, and TCFD recommendations in terms of governance, strategy, risk management, metrics and targets, in our recently released 2023 Sustainability Report, where we set out our ESG targets, as well as climate risks and opportunities. With respect to sustainability reporting, we are watching the rapidly evolving space closely."
Meanwhile, Jason Wang, CFO & COO of Hong Kong-based health and nutrition company H&H Group, thinks that the number one risk is demographics amid declining birth rates, followed by the supply chain risk as they operate in all these continents and have a very complex global supply chain.
"Another challenge we have just encountered was due to global warming, the El Nino effect, which has significantly reduced fish stocks and the global fish oil supply," Wang says. "We have encountered double-digit cost increases for the fish oil we source."
In addition, Wang says an important future trend in the nutrition and wellness industry is expected to be ‘Personalisation’, given different diets and DNAs.
"Technologies including AI will help us develop personalised nutrition solutions," Wang says.