Insurer: Hong Kong, Japan and Singapore are Asia’s most resilient countries and territories

Hong Kong, Japan and Singapore are in the top 30 of the most resilient countries and territories, due to robust supply chains, high quality infrastructure and productivity, according to the 2018 FM Global Resilience Index.

Switzerland again holds the top spot in overall resilience in the index, followed by Luxembourg and Sweden—all the same as last year. Haiti is the bottom-ranked country followed by Venezuela and Nepal—also the same order as last year.

The index created by commercial and industrial property insurer FM Global is an annual ranking of 130 countries and territories by the resilience of their business environments.

The index reflects data related to economics, natural hazards and supply chains, and addresses deep concerns about business risks such as cyber attacks, political upheaval, fire and windstorms, the firm said, adding that resilience—the flipside of risk—means resisting business disruption and rebounding quickly if it occurs.

“The Resilience Index provides business executives global intelligence to aid their strategic decisions when it comes to siting facilities, selecting partners and determining the most effective ways to manage risk,” said David Johnson, vice president, regional manager, Asia operations at FM Global.

Civil liberties affect cyber risk

For global business leaders, cyber attacks raise the specter of stalled operations, disrupted supply chains, class-action lawsuits and permanent brand damage, Johnson observed.

In the cyber resilience dimension of the index, Taiwan soared 57 places, from 107th to 50th, the biggest rise this year due in large part to an increase in its civil liberties. Hong Kong improved 34 spots, from 103rd to 69th place due to improved civil liberties and a small increase in internet penetration while the Philippines dropped from 32nd to 66th reflecting an increase in potential risk.

The combination of civil liberties and internet penetration constitute a proxy for cyber resilience in the index, said FM Global.

The rationale is that open societies tend to foster thriving cyber security industries, and more internet users make a richer target, the firm explained.

Natural hazards a wild card

While natural hazards are another concern for business executives, companies with key facilities in regions exposed to such devastation must build resilience through targeted investment in prevention and recovery programs, Johnston advised.

Geographies in the index with significant natural hazard exposure include China’s coastal region (ranked 69th), the Philippines (88th), Japan (24th), Mexico (62nd) and US Central Region (ranked 10th).