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Zurich urges businesses and policymakers in Asia to focus on environmental and health risks


Dalian/Zurich. - At the start of the World Economic Forum’s Annual Meeting of the New Champions in Dalian, Zurich Financial Services Group (Zurich) is warning that environmental and health risks set Asia apart from other continents. These risks should be on the forefront of businesses and policy makers in Asia.

The warning comes in Zurich’s Asia Risk Monitor, which analyzes the risks facing public and private sector organizations in the region. The report identifies resource scarcity and climate changes as key risks, while noting that each sub-region and each country face different problems in this area. In addition, health risks are a significant determinant of overall risk levels for a large number of Asian countries, with infectious diseases and pandemic risks being key factors.

The Asia Risk Monitor also finds that economic risks are inversely linked to the level of economic development. That is why risk mitigation requires institution building within a framework of sound corporate governance. In parts of Asia the private sector in particular needs to be mindful of gaps in corporate governance, risks related to the lack of the rule of law and incomplete institutions governing goods and capital markets.

Commenting on the report, Geoff Riddell, Chairman of Global Corporate and CEO of Asia-Pacific and Middle East at Zurich, said: “Individual Asian countries’ risk profiles are as diverse as their economies, and may not have as much common cause as simple geography implies. However, the financial crisis of 2008 has made everyone acutely aware of how interconnected global risks can proliferate quickly.”

Mr Riddell concluded, “understanding and tackling the risks related to the environment and health is not something an individual business, industry or country can do on their own, and Asian countries should look for natural coalition partners within and outside the region and for effective public-private partnerships in order to combat shared risks.”

The Asian Risk Monitor, written by Zurich’s Chief Economist Daniel Hofmann, uses Zurich’s proprietary quantitative analytical framework of the Global Risk Assessment Module (GLORAM). GLORAM allows for the analysis of more than 60 specific risks and their implications for 158 countries, with a particular emphasis on those risks that are relevant for corporations with global reach.


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