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Doing business in Singapore is risky

Anuradha Shukla | March 15, 2016
Cyberattacks rank the most feared risk to doing business in the republic.

Cyberattacks rank the most feared risk to doing business in Singapore, according to Zurich Insurance's research and the World Economic Forum's Global Risks Report 2016 (of which Zurich is a strategic partner).

About half of Singapore's top 10 risks to doing business are economic threats, and 13 out of 19 APAC countries rank economic risks as their number one threat to doing business.

Singapore's top five risks to doing business include the risk of an asset bubble (46 percent), energy price shocks (35 percent), terrorist attacks (34 percent), and the spread of infectious diseases (27 percent).

The risk of state collapse or crisis (0.6 percent) was ranked the lowest, which reinforces confidence in Singapore's stability and governance.

"The prominence of cyberattacks in Singapore's risk landscape makes total sense, given its position at the forefront of technological innovations," said Jonathan Rake, Singapore Country CEO and CEO General Insurance, Zurich Insurance Group. "This risk is further exacerbated by the concentration of critical data given Singapore is a regional financial hub in Asia. Mitigating and preventing such attacks will be crucial."

Risk of highest concern

While APAC countries have named cyberattacks as the seventh biggest risk to doing business, Singapore, Japan and Malaysia have singled out cyberattack as the risk of highest concern.

Asset bubbles rank the second biggest risk to doing business in APAC with both developed and developing APAC nations - including Australia, Cambodia, China, Hong Kong, Myanmar and Thailand.

Only two of the top ten perceived risks to doing business in APAC are environmental: natural catastrophes (ranked fourth) and man-made environmental catastrophes (ranked ninth).

The report ranks energy price shocks as the number one risk to doing business in APAC, by predominantly developing countries including Bangladesh, Indonesia and Sri Lanka.

"As Asia Pacific develops, the concentration of people, assets, critical infrastructure and economic activities in cities will increase vulnerability to damage from natural catastrophes, especially when compounded by climate change impacts such as storm intensity and sea level rise," said Steve Wilson, chief risk officer, General Insurance, Zurich Insurance Group. "The Global Risks Report shows clearly that the impact of climate change is intrinsically bound to economic prosperity.  Asia Pacific's challenge is to respond to this combined threat and opportunity, with structured, collaborative and sustainable action."


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