“CYBER-attacks” have emerged the biggest risk for thousands of business executives in three regions of the world: Europe, North America, and East Asia & the Pacific.
In Latin America and the Caribbean and South Asia regions, their top risk is “failure of national governance.”
“Energy price shock” is the main risk in Middle East and North Africa and Eurasia.
On the other hand, “unemployment or underemployment is number one risk in the Sub-Saharan Africa region.
The Top 5 risks of doing business by region. (Image: World Economic Forum)
You can find these risks, ranked from Risk #1 to Risk #5 in the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) report titled “Regional Risks for Doing Business” conducted in 2018 with over 12,000 executives as respondents in 140 economies.
The WEF will launch the report which is under its yearly Executive Opinion Survey on January 16.
“Over 12,000 executives highlighted concerns ranging from economic to political, societal and technological. Unemployment, failure of national governance and energy price shocks were among the top worries of executives across various regions,” the WEF said in a statement.
Concerns about risks from technology rising
In the 2016 survey only one region (North America) placed cyber-attacks as its biggest worry; in 2017 there were two regions (East Asia and the Pacific and North America); in 2018 there were three regions (East Asia and the Pacific, North America, and Europe), the WEF observed.
“This points to growing concerns about technological risks,” it added.
It noted that failure of national governance in two regions highlighted “the costs of political strains that have been evident in much of the world in recent years.”
Mirek Dusek, deputy head of Geopolitical and Regional Agendas and member of the WEF Executive Committee, cited the vital need for global cooperation.
“Given the current geopolitical uncertainty globally, cooperation within and among regions is of critical importance. Understanding the evolving risks in different regions is therefore top of mind for business leaders,” he said.
On the other hand, Aengus Collins, head of Global Risks and the Geopolitical Agenda at the WEF, noted the role of the survey in measuring the evolution of risk sentiments globally.
“By drilling down to regional and country-level data, this new Regional Risks for Doing Business report allows us to gauge how risk sentiment is evolving around the world. Cyber-attacks are increasing in prominence, but it is striking how many business leaders point to unemployment and national governance as the most pressing risks for doing business in their countries,” he said.
Lori Bailey, global head of Cyber Risk, Zurich Insurance Group, and member of the WEF’s Global Future Council on Cybersecurity, pointed out that cyber-attacks are considered top risk in doing business in markets accounting for 50 percent of global Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
“This strong suggests that governments and businesses need to strengthen cybersecurity and resilience in order to maintain confidence in a highly connected digital economy,” Bailey said.
The WEF conducted the survey from January to June 2018, asking business leaders to choose up to five risks from a list of 30.
In the list of risks for doing business included terrorist attacks, extreme weather events, and state collapse or crisis.
A total of 12,548 responded to the survey that asked them to choose “the five global risks that you believe to be of most concern for doing business in your country within the next 10 years. (EKU)