What are the top risks facing businesses in the Asia-Pacific region?


The top five risks identified as facing businesses operating in East Asia and the Pacific today are outlined below (as compared with the top risks identified last year):

Globally, WEF’s survey found that unemployment is the upmost concern among business executives. Infectious diseases is the second most recurring risk, appearing on the top 10 list in all regions except South Asia. Meanwhile, fiscal crises, which featured as last year’s top concern globally, registered at third place this year.

The top five risks across all regions are as follows:

“The employment disruptions caused by the pandemic, rising automation and the transition to greener economies are fundamentally changing labour markets,” said WEF managing director Saadia Zahidi. “As we emerge from the crisis, leaders have a remarkable opportunity to create new jobs, support living wages, and reimagine social safety nets to adequately meet the challenges in the labour markets of tomorrow.”

Zurich Insurance group chief risk officer Peter Giger highlighted that the pandemic is distracting businesses from the long-term risks that will remain once the current crisis is resolved. The pandemic is, however, having the positive effect of leading many to reassess priorities, he said, which he hopes will ensure that businesses advance their risk resilience strategies, and result in decisive and impactful action to combat existential risks like climate change.

“The COVID-19 crisis has shone a spotlight on organisational resilience. As firms look to the future, they are matching their risk and resilience arrangements with a threat landscape marked by significant customer ands workforce behavioural shifts,” commented Marsh president and CEO John Doyle. “To optimise recovery, organisations will need to build greater preparedness into their business models in order to be more resilient in the face of future disruptions.”

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