These are the top risks for doing business around the world

 

Unemployment and underemployment represent the biggest risk for doing business around the world. That is the view of more than 12,000 business people across 140 economies, according to findings that we publish today in the first edition of a new Regional Risks for Doing Business report.

The second biggest risk is “failure of national governance”. These findings should ring alarm bells. At a time when the world is often distracted by the latest twists and turns of accelerating news cycles, they provide cautionary evidence of weaknesses in the foundations of our political and economic systems.

The regional impact of global risks

The World Economic Forum has been analysing risks at the global level since 2006 in its annual Global Risks Report, highlighting the vulnerability of our increasingly networked and interconnected world to volatility and disruption.

But even the most global of risks crystallise locally and are experienced differently. If global risks demand our attention, it is ultimately because they entail harm to the lives and livelihoods of particular people in particular places. These particularities cut across several dimensions, from wealth and nationality to gender and profession. In our new report, we are seeking to shed some light on one of these dimensions: the regional.

Our starting point is the data from our Executive Opinion Survey, which each year gauges sentiment about the business environment in individual economies. As part of the survey, respondents are presented with a list of 30 risks and asked to select up to five that they view as a concern in terms of doing business.

This framing is important—we are capturing perceptions about operational impacts rather than the more holistic risk perspective that we can focus on in the Global Risks Report. This probably explains some of the big differences between the two reports, such as the fact that environmental risks predominate in the Global Risks Report, but rise to prominence only in a small number of countries in Regional Risks for Doing Business.

Cyber-attacks are a growing concern

As the table below indicates, there are marked differences in the profile of the risks highlighted by businesses in different regions. On an aggregate global basis, cyber-attacks jumped in the rankings, from eighth position according to last year’s data to fifth position this year. But it was the number one risk in three of our eight regions.

Unsurprisingly, cyber-attacks tended to be flagged as a concern in the world’s more advanced economies. Of the 19 countries that ranked it number one, 14 were from Europe and North America (the others were India, Indonesia, Japan, Singapore and the United Arab Emirates).

To read more visit World Economic Forum website at www.weforum.org/agenda/2018/11/these-are-the-top-risks-for-doing-business-around-the-world/