Asia Pacific Business Forum raises critical sustainability risks

Managing environmental risk is now a critical component of doing business in the Pacific Rim, with rising sea levels, global warming and more frequent natural disasters.  “We must double down on efforts against climate change as well as develop mitigation and adaptation strategies”, said Chair of the 15thAsia Pacific Business Forum, David Morris, who also warned about the dangers of protectionism.

The Chair of the 15thUN Asia Pacific Business Forum, David Morris, is a political risk consultant and is Senior Expert, Asia Pacific, with L&M Prisk.

The Chair of the 15thUN Asia Pacific Business Forum, David Morris, is a political risk consultant and is Senior Expert, Asia Pacific, with L&M Prisk.

“Climate change is for many nations the biggest challenge in the Asia Pacific”, said Mr Morris, a former Trade Commissioner to China representing sixteen small Pacific Island Countries, and former Australian diplomat. “Much of our population lives in coastal cities or islands that will face the early impacts from global warming. We need governments to address climate change but also business needs green finance and innovation to develop industries of the future that will have less environmental impact as old non-renewable business models face redundancy.  

“The uncertain definition of ‘sustainability’ means that the market does not yet understand how to price risk.  Businesses across all sectors need strategies for climate and disaster resilience.  At a time of global disruption and structural change, it is more important than ever to consider grey rhino risks like environmental factors”, Mr Morris said. Grey rhinos are considered to be highly probable and high impact but neglected risks.

The current global retreat from globalisation was another risk for business in the Asia Pacific.  “We have many strong development models in our region, demonstrating the benefits of political stability, investing in education and infrastructure and openness to the world for trade and investment.  A return to the discredited policies of protectionism and trade wars constitutes another grave risk for businesses benefiting from global supply chains in the Asia Pacific”, he said.

These and other themes were discussed at the 15thUnited Nations (UN) Asia Pacific Business Forum, the annual business forum of the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), which was held this year in Port Moresby, capital of Papua New Guinea.

ESCAP estimates the Asia Pacific region, experiencing rapid economic growth, requires an additional $1.5 trillion in investments by governments and business to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals by 2030. This is believed to be within the capacity of the region’s public and private sectors, if adequately prioritised. The challenge will be to ensure such investment is sustainable.

Speakers at the Forum addressed the opportunities and risks for small and medium sized businesses entering and surviving in global supply chains.  Large regional businesses and organisations presented on the digital economy revolution, the transformation of service industries and infrastructure and connectivity investment and gaps.

The APEC Haus in Port Moresby

The APEC Haus in Port Moresby

The 15thAsia Pacific Business Forum was the first time that this prestigious regional business event has been brought to the Oceania region and its first time to Papua New Guinea, which had hosted the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Leaders Meeting the year before.  The custom-built APEC Haus was the venue for the UN Forum and it was attended by 300 local and international business leaders.

Papua New Guinea is a rapidly developing, resource-rich nation with ambitious plans for new infrastructure and industry development. With a pristine natural environment and rich cultural diversity including 850 languages, it is an investment destination with complex political risks and prospective investors are advised to seek expert advice.

Hannes Meißner
Political risks in Uzbekistan remain on a high level despite of political reforms.

Although Uzbekistan has been carrying out a successful reform process, political risks remain on a high level, in particular in regards to long-term projects with high investments. This is due to the fact that the open door policy under president Mirsijojew has not yet led to sufficient legal and institutional reforms. As a consequence thereof, legal certainty and the guarantee of property rights are still on a low level. However, in regards to short- and mid-term business projects, there is definitely a window of opportunity.

Fore more information, please follow the link to our newspaper contribution, summarising political risks and business opportunities for multionational enterprises in Uzbekistan or contact the team of L&M Political Risk and Strategy Advisory directly.

Hannes Meißner
Our latest analysis on corruption as political risk in Ukraine has recently been published by E Elgar.

The “Handbook on the Geographics of Corruption” gives a very comprehensive insight into the different manifestations of corruption in different countries. Johannes Leitner and Hannes Meissner shed light on corruption in Ukraine in their contribution.

The book can be purchased directly from the publisher or via Amazon. Here you can take an online look at the book “Handbook on the Geographies of Corruption”!

Hannes Meißner
Our edited volume on "State Capture, Political Risks and International Business" has now been published by Routledge.


In the OECD-area states provide security business to be conducted through a legal-institutional framework where state institutions, working in a legal-rational, predictable and effective manner, are often taken for granted. Worldwide, however the situation is very different. Private actors seize public institutions and processes accumulating ever more power and private wealth by systematically abusing, side-stepping, ignoring and tailoring formal institutions to fit their interests. Such forms of ‘state capture’ are associated with specific political risks international businesses are confronted with when operating in these countries, such as institutional ambiguity, systematic favouritism and systemic corruption.

This edited volume covers state capture, political risks and international business from the perspectives of Political Science and International Business Studies. Uniting theoretical approaches and empirical insights, it examines Azerbaijan, Armenia, Georgia, Ukraine, Moldova, Romania, Bulgaria and Turkey. Each chapter deals with country specific forms of state capture and the associated political risks bridging the gap between political analysis and business related Impacts.



Hannes Meißner