Conflict among world powers a growing concern, experts say

These Are the Biggest Risks for Businesses in 2018, According to the World Economic Forum

These Are the Biggest Risks for Businesses in 2018, According to the World Economic Forum

The World Economic Forum's (WEF) flagship annual report surveyed nearly 1,000 experts to identify the most significant global concerns facing humanity, finding that environmental concerns and fear of weapons of mass destruction came out on top.

The world will see risks related to environment, economy and global relations intensify this year with a majority of stakeholders expecting political or economic confrontations between major powers to worsen, a new survey showed today.

WEF stated this in its Global Risks Report 2018, that was released wednesday.

Its Global Risks Report released Wednesday includes a survey of almost 1,000 experts and decision-makers about 30 global risks over a 10-year span.

Overall, 59% of the respondents expect risks to intensify, compared to only 7% who believe that risks will decline.

A deteriorating geo-political landscape was partly blamed for the pessimistic outlook in 2018, with 93 per cent of respondents saying they expected political or economic confrontations between major powers to worsen and almost 80 per cent expecting an increase in risks associated with war involving major powers. The most significant risks for the coming year, according to the report, stem from the environment and include things like: extreme weather; biodiversity loss and ecosystem collapse; major natural disasters; man-made environmental disasters; and failure of climate-change mitigation and adaptation. Extreme weather events and climate change are raising the risks of natural disasters.

"The expanding economic recovery gives us an opportunity that we cannot afford to waste", said Klaus Schwab, founder of the World Economic Forum. Climate change is creating more frequent heatwaves, which will strain agricultural systems and raise the risk of breakdowns in the food supply, it added.

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Vandeweghe was leading in her first set before the rain delay on Hisense Arena, but sickness and irritation caught up with her. But the Swiss was not to be denied and put the pressure back on the Williams serve and levelled on her third break point.

"Together we have the resources and the new scientific and technological knowledge to prevent this. Above all, the challenge is to find the will and momentum to work together for a shared future", said Professor Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman, World Economic Forum.

Specifically, the report labeled cyberattacks as their third-largest global threat that is most likely to happen in the next five years.

The risk of cyber attacks also climbed in the rankings, something likely to cross over with geopolitical risks in the form of state-sponsored attacks, experts said. Unfortunately, these technology advancements also bring major concerns concerning cyber dependency, cyber risks, and threats.

"While cyber risk management is improving, business and government need to invest far more in resilience efforts if we are to prevent the same bulging "protection" gap between economic and insured losses that we see for natural catastrophes", he opined.

Each year the forum ranks these perceived dangers by impact and likelihood.

Aside from suffering disruptions, organisations have also suffered huge losses as a result of persistent cyber attacks. On the other hand, weapons of mass destruction would have a catastrophic effect if deployed, but that scenario is thought to be relatively unlikely to take place. "Environmental risks, together with a growing vulnerability to other risks, are now seriously threatening the foundation of most of our commons", said Alison Martin, group chief risk officer at Zurich Insurance Group. However, she believes we're now seeing a "too little, too late" response by governments and business to solving problems such as climate change. "We need to act with a stronger sense of urgency in order to avoid potential system collapse".

While more than half of the countries included in the report have seen an increase in income equality over the past 30 years, inequality still remains a source of "chronic economic problems", the report says.

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