Risk Intelligence - BIMCO Bulletin

Risk Intelligence

SECURITY | GLOBAL TRENDS November 2018 Two global trends affecting shipping going into 2019 Risk Intelligence By Mette Kronholm Frnde, Communications Manager and Editor at BIMCO R isk Intelligence, a security advisory company, pointed to two global trends when asked by the Bulletin what could negatively affect security in the shipping industry going forward: fragile states and power rivalries. There are other trends, but these two in particular, combined, could potentially reduce the demand for global shipping and transport, as well as result in specific security threats to the industry. So how can global trends trickle down to affect the intentions and capabilities of a local criminal group? The US, a long-time guarantor of the multilateral system, has now abdicated this role to focus on its own goals When rising protectionism reduces trade, for example, fewer vessels might call at a port, resulting in budget cuts and layoffs. Skilled workers might then be recruited by a criminal group to use their skills for maritime crime. That situation could be further complicated by more budget cuts, affecting lawenforcement capabilities, says Risk Intelligences Head of Intelligence Analysis, Dr Guy Wilson-Roberts. State fragility more scrutiny on borders going forward Despite the proliferation of international actors governments, companies, NGOs, and terrorist and criminal groups states remain the primary drivers of global developments. This is because they have the biggest power to influence the deployment of human and financial resources. Risk Intelligence identifies some overlapping factors that contribute to the fragility of states, and which could have negative effects on global trade and, therefore, on global shipping. Weak economic growth affects government budgets, rising nationalist ideas and identities put more focus on borders and controlling movements, and climate change and already fragile states contribute to refugee flows. Governments are facing increased security challenges and other problems while their available resources are decreasing. An example of this is the Nigerian government, which is faced with a number of security challenges, and which might reduce naval deployments just when it has managed to make some improvements in tackling hijackings off the Niger Delta, says Dr Wilson-Roberts. Elsewhere, the trade in drugs primarily from Afghanistan is affecting East African countries, and the increasing wealth and power of criminal groups is allowing them to occupy spaces vacated by governments. As a result, criminal economies are disrupting the functioning of the legitimate economy. In combination with refugee flows, which are often facilitated by criminal economies, this is likely to lead to more scrutiny on borders going forward. Side effects might include the disruption of otherwise highly efficient maritime trade and supply chain operations, says Dr Wilson-Roberts. Power rivalries potential for disrupting vital maritime choke points In combination with the disruption of functional legitimate economies, the multilateral system of states cooperating in various international organisations is weakened by global and regional power rivalries. This also has the potential to hurt economies and world trade. Currently, such rivalries include the rise of China as a global power, and regional powers such as Russia, Iran, Saudi Arabia, India and others, according to Risk Intelligence. The US, a long-time guarantor of the multilateral system, has now abdicated this role to focus on its own goals, says Dr Wilson-Roberts. There is certainly the potential for specific disruptions, such as closing vital maritime choke points like the Strait of Hormuz or the Bab elMandeb For this reason, Risk Intelligence expects a diminishing role for international norms and institutions, and a reduced ability by the global community to deal with global problems. Regional rivalries, notably in the Middle East and the Horn of Africa but also around the Korean Peninsula and the South China Sea increase the likelihood of disruptive and ongoing small wars and other threats. There is certainly the potential for specific disruptions, such as closing vital maritime choke points like the Strait of Hormuz or the Bab el-Mandeb. If security becomes dominated by political rivalries, the ability to reach consensus on global challenges diminishes, says Dr Wilson-Roberts, and continues: Photo (top): Barry Wheeler / Royal Navy (UK) About Risk Intelligence: Risk Intelligence is a Copenhagen-based organisation that provides security threat and risk advisory services to private and government clients. That will increase costs to governments and restrict economic growth as resources are directed to conflict management. Increased scrutiny on borders and trade flows are therefore likely results and issues to watch out for as we go into 2019. About Dr Guy wilson-Roberts: Dr Wilson-Roberts is responsible for managing the assessment and analysis components of Risk Intelligence products. Before joining Risk Intelligence in 2010, he worked on energy security in the private sector, and was a policy adviser for the New Zealand Police and the Ministry of Defence. He has a PhD in political science from the University of Auckland. Connect with BIMCO Facebook Twitter Linkedin YouTube