StrategicRISK publication examines the major challenges facing this tiny country with a predominantly services-oriented economy

While preparing the 2014 Singapore Risk Report, StrategicRISK talked to local risk practitioners and brokers who explained that intangible threats such as cyber and reputational risks were of prime concern to them.

This contrasts with many other countries in the region, which are more concerned with risks raised by natural catastrophes and political instability, for example.

An increasingly complex regulatory environment, strong regional competition and a variety of human capital risks also register strongly on Singapore’s risk radar.

Supply chain management is also a major concern for Singapore’s risk professionals, according to board member of the Risk & Insurance Management Association of Singapore and the Pan-Asia Risk & Insurance Management Association (PARIMA), and head of risk management office for a Singapore healthcare group, Roland Teo (pictured).

“There is great reliance on supply chain in Singapore,” Teo said.

“It is our lifeline; according to the World Bank 2012 Logistics Performance Index, Singapore is the number one logistics hub amongst 155 countries globally.

“According to a recent report from the Economic Development Board of Singapore, we are a prime location for major logistics firms.

“Twenty of the top 25 global logistics players conducting operations here, and most have set up regional or global headquarter functions in Singapore.”

Singapore is also the preferred logistics and supply chain management hub for leading manufacturers, Teo said.

“Currently supply chains are becoming ever more complex and it is easy to lose track of them,” he said.

“Many companies are suffering at least one disruption a year, and most of these disruptions occurred below their tier-one supplier.

“The frequency of disruption has also gone up, caused by unplanned technology and telecoms outages, major disasters, natural catastrophes, wars, political unrest, civil strikes and terrorism.”

In addition, Teo suggested, many companies in Singapore may not have a business continuity management or enterprise risk management programme in place – and it’s highly unlikely there will be one within their supply chain.

Head of Lockton Companies Singapore Peter Jackson told SR that even mid-sized businesses in Singapore now had complex international supply chains where they can import risk into the business without realising it.

“This not only requires vigilance regarding quality control of suppliers, but also crisis management and business interruption preparations when there is disruption,” he said.

For more on Singapore’s risk landscape, download StrategicRISK’s 2014 Singapore Risk Report, which is sponsored by Zurich and supported by the Pan-Asia Risk & Insurance Management Association (PARIMA).

All StrategicRISK’s Asia-Pacific country reports are available here.