SINGAPORE: A recent report quotes business leaders saying political risk is the current top threat to their firms.

This year’s Beazley’s Geopolitical Risk Snapshot notes that “2024 will shape global politics for the remainder of the decade,” with more than 60 countries holding national elections this year and over two billion people heading to the polls.

Beazley’s Geopolitical Risk Snapshot 2024 commissioned a survey of more than 3,500 business leaders and insurance buyers of businesses with international operations in the UK, US, Canada, Singapore, France, Germany, and Spain earlier this year, publishing the survey’s results on April 25.

The respondents were polled regarding insurers and insurance, as well as on four categories of risk: Cyber & Technology, Geopolitical, Business, and Environmental.

“In a time of heightened global tension and arguably, one of the most volatile political landscapes in decades, the threat of political risk and violence is high on the risk radars of global business leaders,” the report reads.

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The report cited tensions in the Middle East, the war in Ukraine, and potential government changes in Western democracies as among the political risks business leaders are concerned about.

A majority of the global business leaders who participated in the survey—70 per cent—said they are concerned about the results of 2024’s elections and how these would affect their global operations and ability to trade.

Among the respondents from Singapore, over two in five (44 per cent) believed their current business environment is high-risk.

Significantly, one in three business leaders said the political risk is the greatest threat to their business this year. This figure is similar to the number of business leaders in the US and the UK who had the same response.

Moreover, 16 per cent of the Singapore respondents said they feel unprepared against this risk.

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The average number of business leaders who have cited political risks as the greatest threat to their business is 30 per cent, a three-point increase from 2023’s survey.

“More and more, Singapore business executives are considering the political risk landscape and how international affairs impact their ability to operate. Will relations between China and Taiwan improve? 

How will elections across Asia impact stability in the region? These are the big questions right now,” the report quotes Mr Jack Suk, Underwriter – Political Risks & Trade Credit, Asia Pacific, as saying. /TISG

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