Most of GCC marked 'low' political risk for 2017

Report warns of increasingly complex global business landscape this year

All of the GCC countries except Saudi Arabia have been labelled as “low risk” this year in a global analysis by consultancy Control Risks.

The kingdom was described as “medium” risk, according to Control Risks’ 2017 Risk Map highlighting the factors affecting political, economic and business security across the world.

The map showed Qatar, Kuwait, the UAE, Oman and Bahrain as having low levels of risk facing businesses operating within their borders.

The report warned of an increasingly complex global business landscape. Geopolitics, cybercrime and increasing privatisation of state-owned companies are among the top drivers of overall risk in the Middle East in 2017, Control Risks said.

Regulatory issues brought about by fiscal consolidation, the weakening of Islamic State (ISIL) and a push for greater foreign direct investment (FDI), increasing the need for due diligence, are also likely to drive risk in the region.

The “black swan” of 2017 for the Middle East region will be the potential unravelling of the nuclear deal with Iran as a result of changes in US foreign policy under President Donald Trump.

The report said: “While we consider that to remain unlikely, this would have significant security and business implications for the region by pushing Iran back into...Read more...