Australia has ranked 17th in a global index assessing the resilience of business environments, with cyber exposure and infrastructure quality emerging as concerns.
The FM Global Resilience Index ranking is down two places from last year, well within the six-place move that would be viewed as significant.
But the country’s inherent cyber risk ranking has slipped to 75 from 66 among the 130 countries and territories indexed. Australia is considered a wealthy country that is a natural target as the global potential for attacks rises.
“With the increasing connectivity of devices in the developed world, there is greater capacity for cyber attacks,” FM Global Australia Operations Manager Lyndon Broad told insuranceNEWS.com.au.
The infrastructure quality ranking has fallen to 41 from 34 after issues such as SA blackouts, government pressure to keep open ageing power stations and price volatility.
Mr Broad says the Government has set up a cyber-resilience taskforce, while in other areas it has recognised insurance affordability issues for flood and storm-exposed properties.
Renewable energy is also receiving greater focus.
“There are definitely some areas where governments have recognised opportunities for improvement and we have started to make moves in the right direction,” he said.
The index shows the potential for businesses to take their own resilience measures to counter weaknesses in their wider environment.
On political risk, Australia has moved to 17 from 23 due to perceptions of a stable government and low levels of politically motivated violence and terrorism.
The country ranks 15th for natural hazard risk quality and ninth for fire risk quality, supported by strong building codes.
Switzerland and Luxembourg take the top two places in the index, while the US western region ranks 15th, the UK 18th and New Zealand 23rd.
In Asia, China ranks 46th on supply chain risk, while for natural hazard exposure Thailand ranks 54th and India 58th.
“Executives and managers need to understand the environment in each country in which the business has a current or proposed presence, and how it is critical to operational resilience and effective risk management,” Mr Broad said.