Some of Asia’s most influential business leaders recently agreed to adopt Business Continuity Management (BCM) as a first step towards safeguarding their businesses against disasters.
Some 30 CEOs and top managers based in the Philippines and Asia who gathered in Manila in the Philippines also established the first regional Asian Private Sector Partnership on Risk Reduction.
The experience of the AXA insurance group, PricewaterhouseCoopers and many other corporations in the region set the tone for discussions and decisions, as did the reality that businesses are at increasing risk of disasters in Asia. Last year floods, typhoons and earthquakes caused more than 274 billion US$ of economic losses in Asia alone.
Disasters are having tremendous economic and human impacts on corporations, private or public and even more on small businesses. In 2011, in Thailand alone, floods shut down 1,000 factories and forced more than 700,000 people out of work. In Japan more than 337 companies went bankrupt after the Great East Japan earthquake and tsunami in March 2011.
While most of the companies present at the forum said they had a business continuity plan in place, many also recognized that more needed to be done to increase the collaboration between companies to maintain the global supply chains in the event of a disaster.