US-China trade disputes, increasing data regulations and the continuing surge of nationalist politics among top risks for businesses in 2019, says Control Risks

In 2019, countries in Asia Pacific will increasingly be forced to choose between China’s vision for Asia and that of the US. As the US-China trade war persists, companies will need to develop a new type of resilience to survive these deep-seated changes, says Control Risks, the specialist global risk consultancy.

“In 2019, what started as a trade war will ultimately harden into a more permanent stance. The confrontation on trade between the United States and China will become the defining geopolitical dynamic,” said Richard Fenning, CEO of Control Risks. “This antagonistic relationship will complicate life not only for businesses in China and the US. Companies in a wide orbit around this stand-off will feel the political and economic impact.”


The forecast comes in Control Risks’ annual RiskMap, a political and security risk forecast for business leaders and policymakers across the world, published today.

RiskMap 2019 explains a world that is in the heat of transition towards a new world order. Businesses will have to develop a new type of resilience to survive. Nearly all businesses with international operations and supply chains in 2019 will find themselves ring-side in the battle for the next world order.

“International businesses in 2019 will mourn the post-war liberal consensus because it was demonstrably good – for them,” said Steve Wilford, Senior Partner at Control Risks.

“Since the end of the Cold War, multinationals massively increased their share of the global economy and now dominate global trade. They often maintain traditional national associations but are predominantly foreign when it comes to assets and employees. Nationalist policies will see this model come under intense pressure in 2019,” added Wilford.