World to be a riskier place in 2018: WEF survey

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

Referring to contentious issues between various nations, the World Economic Forum (WEF) said in its annual Global Risks Report that China’s determination to press territorial and maritime claims and its extension of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) have triggered responses among neighbouring powers, with Japan and India exploring more structured forms of strategic cooperation in both economic and military affairs.

 

“This initiative could become more significant if additional partners — such as Australia, the US, or even European states — were to take part. However, most of these countries are currently cautious and would be wary of allowing such a hedging policy to cause tensions with China,” it said.

However, the biggest risks in South Asia overall would be in areas like employment, governance and infrastructure, as per the survey that would be discussed in detail next week at Geneva-based WEF’s annual summit, to be attended by 70 heads of states/governments including Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US President Donald Trump.
Globally, the environment-related risks top the charts, as per the survey of around 1,000 global leaders described by the WEF as members of its “multi-stakeholder communities”.

The WEF, which describes itself as an international organisation for public-private cooperation and hosts over 3,000 world leaders from politics, business and civil society every year in Swiss ski resort town Davos for an annual talkfest, said structural and interconnected nature of risks in 2018 threaten the very system on which societies, economies and international relations are based.

The report, which found environmental risks to be dominating the Global Risk Perception Survey for the second year running, said a deteriorating geopolitical landscape is partly to blame for the pessimistic outlook in 2018.

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