Methodology and Acknowledgements
The findings presented in this report are based on data from the World Economic Forum’s Executive Opinion Survey. This is the survey that feeds into the Forum’s annual Global Competitiveness Report. Each year, it canvasses the views of business leaders from around the world on the state of the business environment where they are based. The Executive Opinion Survey was conducted in 2019 between January and April, and the survey’s risk-related question received 12,879 responses. The respondents were presented with our core list of 30 global risks (see table below) and asked to select “the five global risks that you believe to be of most concern for doing business in your country within the next ten years”.
To obtain the regional rankings, we weighed economy-level responses by GDP and population. First, we calculated the share of each economy’s GDP and population with respect to their region’s aggregates. When obtaining these aggregates, we considered only those economies for which 2019 survey data was available. Then, we calculated the ratio between these GDP and population shares and the share of each economy’s sample size relative to its corresponding regional sample size. We averaged these ratios to obtain a single weight per economy. Finally, the regional rankings are a simple count of the number of total weighed responses for each risk from the economies comprising each region. The global rankings are a simple average of these regional rankings.
In order to maintain cross-year comparability, we recalibrated the rankings from the 2018 edition of the Regional Risks for Doing Business based on the new methodology. For this reason, the global and regional rankings published in 2018 might differ from the references made to such rankings throughout this year’s edition of the report.
East Asia and the Pacific: Australia; Brunei Darussalam; Cambodia; China; Hong Kong SAR; Indonesia; Japan; Republic of Korea; Lao PDR; Malaysia; Mongolia; New Zealand; Philippines; Singapore; Taiwan, China; Thailand; Viet Nam.
Eurasia: Armenia; Azerbaijan; Georgia; Kazakhstan; Kyrgyzstan; Moldova; Russian Federation; Tajikistan; Ukraine.
Europe: Albania; Austria; Belgium; Bosnia and Herzegovina; Bulgaria; Croatia; Cyprus; Czech Republic; Denmark; Estonia; Finland; France; Germany; Greece; Hungary; Iceland; Ireland; Italy; Latvia; Lithuania; Luxembourg; Malta; Montenegro; Netherlands; North Macedonia; Norway; Poland; Portugal; Romania; Serbia; Slovakia; Slovenia; Spain; Sweden; Switzerland; Turkey; United Kingdom.
Latin America and the Caribbean: Argentina; Barbados; Bolivia; Brazil; Chile; Colombia; Costa Rica; Dominican Republic; Ecuador; El Salvador; Guatemala; Haiti; Honduras; Jamaica; Mexico; Nicaragua; Panama; Paraguay; Peru; Trinidad and Tobago; Uruguay; Venezuela.
Middle East and North Africa: Algeria; Bahrain; Egypt; Iran; Israel; Jordan; Kuwait; Lebanon; Morocco; Oman; Qatar; Saudi Arabia; Tunisia; United Arab Emirates; Yemen.
North America: Canada; United States.
South Asia: Bangladesh; India; Nepal; Pakistan; Sri Lanka.
Sub-Saharan Africa: Angola; Benin; Botswana; Burkina Faso; Burundi; Cameroon; Cape Verde; Chad; Congo, DR; Côte d’Ivoire; Eswatini; Ethiopia; Gabon; Gambia, The; Ghana; Guinea; Kenya; Lesotho; Madagascar; Malawi; Mali; Mauritania; Mauritius; Mozambique; Namibia; Nigeria; Rwanda; Senegal; Seychelles; South Africa; Tanzania; Uganda; Zambia; Zimbabwe.
The following table contains the 30 global risks that respondents were asked to choose from:
Energy price shock
Failure of regional and global governance
Large-scale involuntary migration
State collapse or crisis
Biodiversity loss and ecosystem collapse
Extreme weather events
Failure of urban planning
Manmade environmental catastrophes
Critical information infrastructure breakdown
Failure of climate-change adaptation
Misuse of technologies
Unemployment or underemployment
Failure of critical infrastructure
Data fraud or theft
Failure of financial mechanism or institution
Profound social instability
Failure of national governance
Spread of infectious diseases
Weapons of mass destruction
The lead author of Regional Risks for Doing Business is Emilio Granados Franco, who heads the World Economic Forum’s Global Risks and Geopolitics team, and who worked on the report alongside colleagues Ariel Kastner, Melinda Kuritzky and Richard Lukacs.
The report has been produced under the auspices of the Forum’s Centre for Geopolitical and Regional Affairs, under the leadership of Børge Brende (President of the World Economic Forum) and his deputy, Mirek Dušek. The report has largely benefited from the insights contributed by the Forum’s regional directors and their teams, with particular thanks to: Diego Bustamante, Andrew Caruana Galizia, Aytuğ Goksu, Sriram Gutta, Tanjeb Sheikh Islam, Oliver Jabbour, Anastasia Kalinina, Chido Munyati and Miriam Schive.
Special appreciation is owed to the Forum’s Centre for the New Economy and Society, which conducts the Executive Opinion Survey (EOS) and which, for many years, has been an integral part of the Forum’s work on global risks. The data analysis and the updated methodology for this report were performed by the Global Risks team based on EOS data. Support came from Roberto Crotti and Jean-François Trinh Tan.
The second edition of this report is part of long-standing relationships that underpin the flagship Global Risks Report. We would like to thank Marsh & McLennan Companies (MMC) and Zurich Insurance Group, with whom we have collaborated on the Global Risks Report for many years. We are particularly grateful to Hilary Pereira, Viet Hoang Phan, Richard Smith-Bingham and Stephen Szaraz from MMC, as well as Laura Castellano, Gregory Renand and John Scott from Zurich, for their help in drafting and disseminating this report.
Further thanks to all of those who worked on the production and publication of this report: Oliver Cann, Laurence Denmark, Aylin Elçi, Janet Hill, Floris Landi, Alison Moore, Jamie Thomson and Yann Zopf.
The cover illustration is by Patrik Svensson.