Gulf companies are targeting higher growth in turnover during the next two years than companies in almost all other parts of the world, an international business survey shows.
A total of 84 per cent of Gulf businesses surveyed plan to increase turnover as access to finance improves, according to the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) Global Enterprise Survey Report, released yesterday.
"The dangers that we have been talking about in some parts of the world about the potential for a double-dip recession are receding," said Michael Izza, the chief executive of ICAEW.
"As various areas of the world become stable, that will have a beneficial impact on the Gulf, as they are trading partners."
Those Gulf companies planning expansion are targeting average growth of 15 per cent a year, according to the regional section of the report.
Only companies surveyed within Africa plan higher average annual growth.
Companies in the UK, EU, US, Asia-Pacific, Hong Kong, Singapore and Malaysia all plan annual growth of between 10.1 and 14.3 per cent.
ICAEW conducts the global survey each year, drawing on the expertise of its members in senior financial positions.
The survey is the latest indicator that the outlook for businesses in the UAE and the region is steadily improving.
The ICAEW survey was conducted between June and July, before recent bond sales and a Dubai World debt restructuring agreement helped to bolster business confidence further.
Businesses in the Gulf are more likely than those in other regions to say their competitiveness had been adversely affected by changes in access to finance.
Other recent research has also indicated an improvement in the UAE's economic prospects.
Growth in the private sector was at its highest level this year in September, according to the latest data from the HSBC Purchasing Managers' Index.
Last month the IMF upgraded its forecast for UAE growth to 2.4 per cent.