The Risk Landscape for 2011: iJET's Take

Intelligence firm issues recommendations for protecting travelers, operations and supply chains

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Annapolis, MD — January 24, 2011 — The risk landscape for businesses continues to evolve, as volatility in many regions of the world create new challenges for businesses operating in the turbulent global market, according to a new report from iJET Intelligent Risk Systems.

iJET, a provider of global intelligence and business resiliency services, recently outlined the major risks and trends that it anticipates will most significantly affect business travel, risk management and resiliency planning in 2011.

iJET's analysts predict that many of the issues faced by businesses in 2010 will continue to remain a concern in the coming year. These include economic volatility in Europe, Latin America and Africa, drug-related violence in Mexico and neighboring Latin American countries, and the ongoing challenges surrounding airline passenger security.

The firm also warns organizations to watch for a number of developing risks that could threaten business operations and travel around the globe. Specifically, a regional breakdown of the forecasted areas of concern for 2011 include:

  • The Americas: 2011 will be a critical year for Guatemala as it combats a surge in drug cartel-related violence spilling over from Mexico. Increased government instability could materialize in Nicaragua and Honduras resulting in civil unrest, while important elections in Argentina, Peru, Ecuador and Bolivia could perpetuate political instability and violent protests.
  • Europe: Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin is expected to announce early in 2011 whether he will run for president in elections slated for 2012. There are fears that civil unrest would grow more common if Putin makes a run for the office he previously held for the maximum allowable term limit. He undoubtedly enjoys more de jure power as prime minister, but many suspect he won't be able to help himself, and that he will attempt to replace incumbent Dmitry Medvedev, who many view as a "placeholder" until Putin returns.
  • Middle East/ North Africa: Presidential elections taking place November 2011 in Egypt have the potential to spur civil unrest before, during and after voting, especially in light of the overthrow of Tunisia's regime, which many unfavorably compare to Hosni Mubarak's decades-old autocratic regime. Continued violence can be expected in Yemen, further exacerbated by the release of diplomatic cables by WikiLeaks in late 2010. In addition, Saudi Arabia may face issues with succession that could bring uncertainty and instability. Lebanon awaits on tenterhooks the verdict in the death of Rafik Hariri, and the controversy will keep regional politics — already perennially unstable — particularly unsettled.
  • Africa: The ongoing battle for the presidency of Cote d'Ivoire will strongly influence a number of key political referendums and elections that will take place throughout Africa in 2011, including: Zimbabwe, Southern Sudan, Nigeria, Liberia and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. If Cote d'Ivoire's incumbent president refuses to resign, leaders in other African nations could follow suit and threaten the positive governance trends across the continent. The outcome of the coming divorce between Sudan and South Sudan will also resonate strongly across Africa and beyond and could embolden less worthy separatist movements elsewhere.
  • Asia: Succession issues could arise in Thailand leading to another wave of violent protests and riots, and uncertainty and animosity between the two Koreas will keep the region unsettled. Pakistan and Afghanistan will continue to pose grave challenges for the region and the world.

In addition to regional threats, recent events such as Haiti's category 7.0 earthquake and the Eyjafjallajokull ash cloud crisis reveal that other unforeseeable events such as natural disasters and terrorist incidents continue to remain a threat to business operations in 2011.

Finally, with outbreaks of H1N1 on the decline, pandemic-sized health threats are not expected for 2011. However, iJET cautions organizations to monitor seasonal influenzas and other health risks — such as the recent Cholera outbreak in Haiti — closely as epidemics are also unpredictable.

Tips for mitigating risks and additional resources can be found on the iJet site here.

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