A definitive ranking of countries most resilient to the pressures of the 21st century

  • 22 May 2017

Switzerland, Luxembourg and Sweden are the three countries most resilient to the pressures of the 21st century according to the  2017 FM Global Resilience Index, with Nepal, Venezuela and Haiti making up the bottom three on their list. The study, which ranks 130 countries and territories by their enterprise resilience to disruptive events, also highlighted that the most pressing risks to business performance are cyber attack, natural hazards and supply chain failure.

For organizations concerned by the increasing incidence of cyber attack, oil-rich Saudi Arabia has emerged as a country with above-average inherent cyber risk. Its high internet penetration, combined with a limited cyber security industry, make it a more vulnerable target. Developing India, by contrast, with its growing information technology industry, emerges as a country with below-average inherent cyber risk.

For organizations aware of the heavy toll of natural disasters, Sweden has above-average resilience due, in part, to its lower-than-average exposure to hazards such as windstorms, flood and earthquakes. On the other hand, flood-prone Bangladesh, a major manufacturing hub for apparel and textiles, ranks toward the bottom of the index.

For organizations with global supply chains, Germany, a major exporter and importer, ranks near the top in resilience, driven in part by its strong ability to demonstrate where parts, components or products are in transit. Russia ranks below average in this respect.

The index also ranked countries in terms of overall enterprise resilience with wealthy Switzerland occupying the number-one spot. This reflects high scores for its infrastructure, local supplier quality, political stability, control of corruption and economic productivity. Hurricane-ravaged Haiti ranks at the bottom of the index due in part to its high natural hazard exposure and poor economic conditions.

Many of the insights originate from three new resilience drivers added to the index this year. Inherent cyber risk reflects a country’s vulnerability to a cyber attack and its ability to recover; urbanization rate serves as a proxy for stress (on water supplies, power grids and other infrastructure) that would be exacerbated by natural disasters such as windstorms, flood and earthquakes; and supply chain visibility – reflects the ability to track and trace consignments across a country’s supply chain.

Other drivers of resilience that form the index include: productivity, political risk, oil intensity, exposure to natural hazard, natural hazard risk quality, fire risk quality, control of corruption, quality of infrastructure and quality of local suppliers.

Our clients have found the index valuable when making important decisions about their properties, business strategies and supply chains,” said Bret Ahnell, executive vice president at FM Global. “We upgraded the index this year to reflect escalating threats that can make a lasting impact on business performance. FM Global will continue to improve the index and make the data publicly available to any business, client or not.

More on