New report finds $4.6 trillion of global GDP is at risk in next decade


Taipei, Taiwan, has topped an unenviable list of cities with the greatest amount of gross domestic product (GDP) at risk from disaster.

According to a new report by Lloyd’s, about $4.6 trillion of global GDP is at risk in cities from disasters in the next 10 years, with Southeast Asia’s top 15 largest cities contributing $300bn to that figure.

The report broke out the amount of GDP at risk in major cities from perils including cyber attack, drought, earthquake and flood.

Taipei, Taiwan, topped the list with $181.20bn in GDP at collective risk.

Tokyo, Japan, came in second at $153.28bn; Seoul, South Korea, third at $103.50bn; and Manila, Philippines, fourth at $101.09bn, according to the Lloyd’s figures.

The greatest threats to the economies of the 15 Southeast Asian cities analysed are from wind storm ($68.29bn), followed by market crash ($60.8bn), human pandemic ($30.74bn), earthquake ($30.06bn), and flood ($22.48bn).

The report also found three emerging trends in global risk:

  1. Emerging economies will shoulder two-thirds of risk related financial losses as a result of their accelerating economic growth, with their cities often highly exposed to single natural catastrophes.
  2. Manmade risks such as market crash, power outages and nuclear accidents are becoming increasingly significant, associated with almost half the total GDP at risk. A market crash is the greatest economic vulnerability – representing nearly one-quarter of all cities’ potential losses.
  3. New or emerging risks, such as cyber attack, are also increasingly significant. Together, they account for more than one-third of the total GDP at risk with just four – cyber attack, human pandemic, plant epidemic and solar storm – representing more than one-fifth of the total GDP at risk.

The insurance market called on governments and businesses to work together to build more resilient infrastructure and institutions.

Lloyd’s noted that how quickly a city recovers after a catastrophe is a key component of the total risk.

It also said that the impact of disasters is cut by quick access to capital to help restore the economy.

Lloyd’s chief executive Inga Beale said: “Governments and businesses, together with insurers, must work together to ensure that this exposure – and the potential for losses – is reduced.

“Insurers, governments, businesses and communities need to think about how they can improve the resilience of infrastructure and institutions. Insurance is part of the solution.”

The report analyses the GDP at risk in 301 cities from 18 manmade and natural threats over a 10-year period.

The Lloyd’s index is based on research by the Cambridge Centre for Risk Studies at the University of Cambridge Judge Business School.