Across the GCC, leaders in financial services have expressed concerns about a wide range of scenarios. Scenarios leaders are concerned about include changes to global tax regimes, failure to tackle climate change and the scale of the Ukraine war, along with the risk of a large-scale cyber attack and a potential talent crisis.
CHANGES TO GLOBAL TAX REGIMES
Countries across the GCC have varying corporate tax policies. While industries working with hydrocarbons and other petroleum byproducts have a history of being levied higher tax rates, most industries pay corporate tax at rates ranging from 9% in the UAE (implemented only since 2022) to 46% for non-local business in KSA. With large scale lobbying underway for a uniform global corporate tax rate of 15%, a potential change in tax regimes could mean a significant hike in taxes paid by businesses in the GCC. 31% of leaders surveyed in the region cite this as a cause for concern in the coming year.
CONCERNS AROUND THE WAR IN UKRAINE
Whilst countries across the GCC have maintained a relatively neutral political stance about the Ukraine war and have continued to maintain their business relationships with Russia, the conflict has caused widespread disruption to operations. 30% of leaders in the region have cited concerns about the escalating conflict, particularly in relation to supply chain disruption, whilst 1 in 4 leaders in the region state that they are concerned about sanctions, export controls and tariff increase as a result of the war. Furthermore, a quarter of GCC leaders are also concerned about how global energy shortages resulting from the war will affect them.