Corporate Perception Indicator

Rapid growth at top of agenda for EM businesses

Emerging economies look to corporations to keep their economies expanding at their rapid rates, according to a survey.

One in three (34 percent) of the public and 30 percent of business leaders in emerging economies said helping to strengthen the economy was the most important responsibility for a company, according to the CNBC/Burson-Marsteller Corporate Perception Index.

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Job creation was the second most important responsibility for corporations.

Cristian Baitg | Getty Images

In developed markets however, the trend was flipped with job creation seen as the number one role of corporations, followed by helping the economy more generally.

Emerging market countries are known for their rapid economic growth, which has appealed to investors over recent years. China is obsessed with its growth rate and the government continues to push for a 7.5 percent target.

This focus on rapid growth is behind the results of the survey, according to economists.

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"Growth is key and it is all about growth," Benoit Anne, head of global emerging market strategy at Societe Generale, told CNBC by phone.

"In emerging markets unemployment seems to be less of a concern because the informal economy is large and premium is attached to growth considerations."

Thirty seven percent of the general public in developed countries, which includes Spain, France and the U.K., said creating jobs was the most important role for an organization, while 31 of business executives thought this was the case.

The euro zone economy has been struggling since the 2008 crisis and even Germany, the bloc's largest economy contracted in the second quarter. Unemployment in the 18 country zone stands at 11.5 percent, and in Spain at 24.5 percent. This, combined with increasing perception of income inequality, has driven the results of the survey, analysts said.

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"There is an innate suspicion of capitalism and the free market," international investment strategist at DeVere Group, told CNBC by phone.

"If you say the main role of a company is to make profits for shareholders, which it does by providing goods and then hiring people, then you would be met with such cynicism from countries like France."

For the C-suite in both emerging markets and developed countries, innovation was the third most important role of a company.