Tuesday, 28 October 2008

India tops political and social risk table in 09

India, Malaysia and Thailand face the highest political and social risk among Asia-Pacific countries in 2009, mainly because of internal
instability, a political risk consultancy said.

India's highest risk score of 6.87 on a scale of 10 also reflected fears over Pakistan, the Hong Kong-based Political & Economic Risk Consultancy (PERC) said in a report, warning of social unrest and insecurity if things worsened in the neighbouring nation.

The consultancy assessed 16 countries on factors such as the risk of disruptive political change, the threat posed by social activism and vulnerability to policy changes by other governments.

A score of zero represented the best socio-political situation and 10 the highest risk.

Contributing to India's high score was uncertainty over the outcome of general elections next year, rising communal violence and increased militant attacks, PERC said in the report released on Monday.

"India, Thailand and Malaysia are not so much vulnerable to negative fallout from the global financial crisis as they are to factors that are mainly internal," Robert Broadfoot, managing director of PERC, told Reuters.

"For these countries, the coming global economic storm is only going to make a bad situation worse," he said.

"India's underlying attractions to foreign investors should remain no matter who wins the next election," the report said.

Thailand is the the second riskiest country in Asia for 2009 with a score of 6.28, as the current political turmoil threatens to drag into 2009 and is eroding the country's key institutions.

The consultancy projected Thailand's worst case scenario to be if the King of Thailand dies before the turmoil is resolved.

As for Malaysia, the third riskiest in the region, the report said the struggle for political power was aggravating racial and religious tensions.

"The status quo is changing in ways that will see a stronger political opposition than in the past," said the report.

Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore and Australia were ranked most stable and low in political risk for 2009 even though their economies are likely to be hurt by the global financial crisis, PERC said.

Source: EconomicTimes

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