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âRevert to lockdown heightens global risksâ
The Philippines, for one, reverted to the strictest quarantine status toward the end of March in efforts to address a sharp rise in new cases. The country is just gradually opening up as restrictions remain in place.
Boy Santos, File

‘Revert to lockdown heightens global risks’

Louise Maureen Simeon (The Philippine Star) - June 14, 2021 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The reimposition of lockdowns in the first quarter across many countries, including the Philippines, has led to an uptick in global risks that affect business sentiment, a global analystics firm said.

GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company in the UK, said the latest global risk index marginally increased to 43.53 out of 100 in the January to March period from 43.42 in the last quarter of 2020.

This was a result of countries going back into stricter restrictions amid rising COVID-19 cases.

The Philippines, for one, reverted to the strictest quarantine status toward the end of March in efforts to address a sharp rise in new cases. The country is just gradually opening up as restrictions remain in place.

Based on GlobalData’s risk index, the Middle East and Africa had the highest risk at 51.5, followed by the Americas at 47.64.

Asia Pacific came in third at 42.25 while Europe recorded the lowest at 34.05.

“The first quarter risk index remains much higher than the pre-pandemic level of 41.07. High risk score indicates higher risk facing the economies, which may deter investors,” GlobalData economic research analyst Gargi Rao said.

The risk index aims to help companies prepare their global business strategies and analyze risk parameters pertaining to the political, economic, social, technological, legal and environmental factors across regions in the world.

In Asia-Pacific, GlobalData said geopolitical and economic tensions among countries are expected to have a deeper impact.

“This includes the slowdown in the Indian economy, political unrest in Myanmar, ongoing South China Sea conflicts, and delay in vaccine rollouts,” Rao said.

“Growing Chinese influence on political and economic administration of Taiwan and Hong Kong posed high political risk to other countries in the region,” she said.

In the Philippines, President Duterte continues to fail in defending the country’s sovereignty in the West Philippine Sea as he insists on a friendly stance with China.

Meanwhile, GlobalData said risks remain in the rest of the world amid rise in public protests in France, Germany and Italy, as well as growing anti-Europe sentiments.

There is also an increase in poverty and social instability in the Americas while continuing communal unrest in the Middle East and Africa has raised the risk of uneven vaccination programs and volatile food prices.

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