Asian cities among world’s most exposed

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Cities in Asia have the highest economic exposure to risks, according to Lloyd’s latest City Risk Index.

There are five Asian cities in the global top 10 — Tokyo (ranked 1st), Manila (3rd), Taipei (4th), Osaka (6th) and Shanghai (8th) — with US$241.3 billion of economic output at risk, or 44% of the global total.

While natural catastrophes remain the region’s biggest source of risk, man-made threats such as market crashes, interstate conflict and cyber-crime now threaten close to half of Asian cities’ economic output, according to the Lloyd’s index.

“The growth we are witnessing in Asia Pacific brings with it an increasingly complex risk landscape,” said Iain Ferguson, Lloyd’s Asia-Pacific interim chief executive. “Almost half of the measured global economic output at risk comes from the region, yet resilience is lacking. This is particularly evident in fast-growing emerging economies.”

Improving resilience could have a dramatic effect. If all Asia-Pacific cities included in the index were to achieve the highest resilience rating of very strong, then the economic output at risk in the region would decrease by US$34 billion.

Globally, a financial market crash is ranked as the biggest risk, followed by interstate conflict, reflecting the rising level of geopolitical instability around the world and tensions in the Korean peninsula and South China Sea.

The index measures risks from 22 separate threats in 279 cities across the world and was developed in collaboration with the Cambridge Centre for Risk Studies.

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