Competitiveness: Thailand Beats Angola by One Place on Risk says Fortune 500

And the Amart still wants war

Blog Note: Most Thai media have not broke this story. We will have to see if this will be censored.

The following report is from Times on-line

India was the highest ranked country in terms of businesses’ concern about political and security risk over the course of the last year, according to a survey.

Mexico ranked second over the year, ahead of Pakistan, Thailand and Angola, which made up the rest of the top five in that order.

The survey was conducted among the clients of Control Risks, the risk consultancy, which represents three quarters of the Fortune 500 index of companies. The data is based on the number of hits against each country on the company’s Country Risk Forecast online risk analysis service.

India ended the year, as it began, as the highest-ranked country, due to interest from businesses seeking information about the security conditions for their staff and operations. The data highlights those countries where significant business activity is set against a backdrop of some uncertainty.

In November, the heightened risk surrounding festival and event season, coupled with the continued investor interest in India thanks to its robust growth, maintained the high-level of interest in the country.

Despite the absence of a high-profile terrorist attack in India in 2009, the country remains an area of concern to business, especially amid the heightened risk of terrorist attacks and communal (religious) violence associated with the Hindu and Muslim festival season that runs from August to October.

In addition, several travel advisory notices and security alerts were issued over the last few months ahead of prominent events, such as three state assembly elections in October and the first anniversary of the terrorist attacks in Mumbai in November.

Such alerts are a common occurrence in India and threats are often found to be false alarms or hoaxes but nonetheless they highlight the persistent, credible risk of terrorism across the country.

The country will remain on a heightened state of alert, especially around potential target areas, including major cities, transport infrastructure, tourist sites, religious monuments and shopping centres as various major anniversaries and festive events approach, including the anniversary of the demolition of the Babri Masjid mosque in Ayodhya in December and Republic Day celebrations in January.

Mexican swine flu has been a factor in its ranking this year but, as reported in The Times, Mexico topped the list in March before such fears came to light. At that stage a key driver was news of violence linked to the cross-border drugs trade.

Mexico ended the year ranked third, which again is likely to have been triggered by the continuing flow of news regarding crime and drug-related violence.

In particular, the murder of two US nationals in separate incidents on the northern border locations of Tijuana and Reynosa may have prompted business people to seek risk analysis for Mexico during the month.

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