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44. World Economic Forum: COVID-19 Risk Outlook 2020-05-20

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The World Economic Forum publishes a Global Risk Report each year that reflects the views of global leaders and policy makers. In the 2020 report published earlier this year, all of the top five perceived risks were related to environmental issues and climate change for the first time since the report's investigation began in 2007. On May 19, 2020, the team behind the annual Global Risks Report summarized the risks, challenges and opportunities of the pandemicto guide better decision making and discussions in a report entitled “COVID-19 Risk Outlook: A Preliminary Mapping and it’s Implications”.

The world's worst pandemic in 100 years, COVID-19 has swept the world at an unprecedented speed, resulting in an economic crisis with serious social impacts, which could cause 500 million people to fall into poverty. Longer-term economic, environmental, social, and technological challenges and opportunities will become apparent only when countries are heading toward recovery. In order for societies, governments and businesses to avoid missing long-term opportunities, it is essential to anticipate a crisis generated by repercussions from the pandemic. The report aims to provide an overview of the existing and emerging crises that have been amplified by this crisis, while acknowledging the need for further analysis.

This report summarizes the views of approximately 350 senior risk professionals who participated in the COVID-19 Risks Perception Survey. The experts assessed 31 risks in three dimensions: most likely for the world, most concerning for the world, and most worrisome for companies. The biggest concern for companies was the economic downturn caused by COVID-19. Two-thirds of respondents pointed to the prolonged global recession as the number one concern for businesses. Half of the respondents considered bankruptcy, industrial integration, failed industrial recovery and supply chain fragmentation as serious concerns. Companies also cited cyber attacks, data fraud, and IT infrastructure and network failures. They also expressed concern about geopolitical fragmentation for business, and 40% of respondents pointed out that movement restrictions on people and goods were one of the serious effects of COVID-19.

When the results were organized and interpreted, four important issues have emerged, namely,  economic shifts, sustainabilitysetbacks, social anxieties, and technology dependence. 

Details on these four key areas are available at: World Economic Forum. COVID-19 Risks Outlook. A Preliminary Mapping and Its Implications



World Economic Forum. COVID-19 Risks Outlook. A Preliminary Mapping and Its Implications. May 19, 2020.



World Economic Forum. Several crises in one: what effects will COVID-19 have on the global risk landscape?  May 19, 2020. 

Global Risk Report 2020 Summary 



Contributor: IIYAMA Miyuki (Research Strategy Office)