A2 Global Risk's 2019 forecast has outlined the key global political, security and economic risks that businesses face this year.
The two biggest economies in Latin America - Mexico and Brazil - have had polarising elections that have brought in radical agendas with big implications for business.
Meanwhile, in Venezuela, there appears to be no end in sight for the country’s economic, humanitarian and migration crisis as President Nicolás Maduro entrenches his power.
Argentina and Canada will turn their attention to upcoming general elections, set for the autumn.
In the US, pressure will build on President Donald Trump as a special counsel investigation into Russian electoral interference reveals damaging information on the 2016 campaign and Trump’s businesses.
Expect trade tensions between China and the United States to intensify, while the Taiwan Strait and South China Sea will remain strategic flashpoints. Pivotal elections include those in Australia, Indonesia, Hong Kong, Philippines, Thailand, Sri Lanka and India.
Meanwhile, federal elections in Australia may see the country with a fifth prime minister in seven years.
Hong Kong will hold council elections in 2019, likely to cause friction between the pro-democracy and pro-Beijing camps.
Europe and Russia
Voters across the EU will vote for their representatives in the European Parliament against a backdrop of crises, ranging from the influx of migrants, to Brexit where uncertainty is set to remain a prime business risk.
The 2019 elections are seen as crucial, as they will follow a series both internal and external problems, ranging from the large influx of migrants into the continent, to the decision by voters in the UK to leave the EU in the June 2016 referendum.
MENA and Central Asia
The growing socio-economic pressures across most of the MENA region are unlikely to ease in 2019, elevating the risk of further protests and unrest.
This risk is exacerbated by the upcoming anniversaries of the 2011 uprising across the region and attempts to emulate the success – and the violence – of ‘yellow vest’ protests in Egypt, Israel, Tunisia and Turkey.
Meanwhile, Israeli-Palestinian tensions and weekly violence at the Gaza border show no signs of ending.
The region will see political transitions undermine security and increase travel risks in the two largest economies – Nigeria and South Africa - as well as in the frontier markets of Côte d’Ivoire and Senegal.
Meanwhile, unfinished or long-delayed political transitions in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Ethiopia will present stability risks for governments, while also raising the risk of conflicts escalating in their surrounding neighbourhoods.
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