There are five economies that are more resilient than the others in Asia Pacific, according to the 2020 FM Global Resilience Index.
They are Hong Kong (ranked 19), Singapore (ranked 22), Japan (ranked 26), Taiwan (ranked 29) and South Korea (ranked 37), demonstrating they have the foundation in place for a robust rebound, said commercial property insurer FM Global.
“As we look ahead to post-COVID-19 recovery, resilience takes on new meaning for many businesses across Asia,” said Alex Tadmoury, senior vice president, division manager of FM Global’s Asia Pacific operations. “These remain obstacles for many economies across Asia, heightened by new challenges created by the pandemic. Those that endure most successfully will be those who invest in thorough risk-and-resilience analysis and timely loss prevention measures,” he added.
The annual index is a ranking of nearly 130 economies by the resilience of their business environments, said FM Global, adding that it provides companies with information about their economic, risk quality and supply chain resilience – factors that create a springboard for businesses working to recover from the pandemic.
Among the index’s 12 economic, risk and supply chain-related measures of resilience that underpin a country’s overall ranking, no Asian economy ranked inside the top 30 for their ‘natural hazard risk quality’ – a measure of the quality and enforcement of an economy’s building codes with respect to natural hazard-resistance combined with the level of risk improvement achieved, FM Global noted.
For natural hazard risk quality, Japan (ranked 32), Singapore (ranked 33), Taiwan (ranked 35) and Hong Kong (ranked 40) stand strongly in contrast to China Regions 1, 2 and 3 in different areas with disparate natural disasters (ranked 91), Cambodia, Sri Lanka, Laos, and Nepal (all tied at 97) and Vietnam (ranked last at 130).
Within the index, a number of Asian economies fell in 2020 when it comes to ‘inherent cyber risk’. These economies include Taiwan (from 45 to 93), Hong Kong (from 72 to 97) and Vietnam (from 103 to 116) reflecting the evolving cyber threat landscape that continues to be a board level concern and can challenge the resilience of many businesses across Asia as internet penetration increases, FM Global pointed out.
Taiwan: a major riser
Overall, many countries across Asia remained stable compared to previous years, according to FM Global.
Notably, a major riser in this year’s index is Taiwan, which climbed 14 places to 29th based on improvements in its urbanisation rate, natural hazard risk quality, and quality of its infrastructure, FM Global observed.
Taiwan’s urbanisation improved dramatically, moving it up 42 places for that metric (from 122 to 80), FM Global pointed out, adding that Taiwan also has demonstrated its resilience, seeing success in containment of COVID-19.