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 Energy price shock and regional conflict are the top risks highlighted by the region’s business community as part of the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) 2016 Global Risk Report that comes out next month.

Speaking to Emirates 24|7 at the ongoing Arab Strategy Forum, Margareta Drzeniek, Head of Global Competitiveness and Risks, WEF further stated 29 risks have been shortlisted for the greater Mena region, with water scarcity still retaining its top spot from 2015.

“For the GCC, we only have data from the business community for which cites the top risks for doing business here, which is significantly different from the North Africa.

“In the GCC, energy price shock is the biggest concern causing instability. A further drop in energy prices could be very detrimental to the economies, while in North Africa, the highest risk for doing business is unemployment and under employment that could lead to social instability, social issues, followed by fiscal crisis,” she said.

Regional conflict and large scale terrorist attacks is the second risk put forth by the GCC business community, in a WEF survey.

“Meanwhile, the 2016 report has highlighted 29 risks affecting the Mena region, with water scarcity being the top risk once again, followed by state collapse and natural catastrophes, both in second place,” she stated.

This WEF report was based on survey of stakeholders and world leaders, Drzeniek revealed.

She continued: “At the same time, we see two risks have changed in the Mena region, namely environmental risks have taken a more important role in terms of preparedness. This is striking.

“Even man made catastrophes have moved up significantly. They were not on the list last year. Now it is at number three.”

She added that in Mena the top five risks are linked by a large predominance of geopolitical and societal risk, saying further: “Those are highly inter related and have spillover effects in the region.”

The Global Risk Report will be launched on January 14.