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Uncertainty and threats for business

THE recent bombing in Jakarta has served to highlight the dangers individuals and businesses can face when operating in troubled regions.

However, while the threat of terrorism is not confined to any particular place, political issues, restrictive legislation and recent terrorist attacks are driving some businesses away from Indonesia – at least in the short term.

But Indonesia isn’t the only country of concern for business.

One Perth businessman is calling for some forward thinking among Australian business people with regards to what he terms the “inevitability of terrorism in Australia” and its potential economic impact.

Roy Weston CEO Geoff Baldwin, who is also a former SAS soldier, said the Australian business community had gravely underestimated the economic dimension of terrorism.

“Australia is the land of the untouched and we are very apathetic in terms of the possibility of terrorism,” he told WA Business News.

“It’s a cold reality that causing massive disruption and a loss of confidence in the business community is a key strategy of terrorists. This was underlined by the September 11 attacks in America, which helped drive the US economy into a recession.”

Mr Baldwin called for a united approach by Australian business communities to put strategies in place to deal with such an event, which could potentially affect Australia’s international trade.

But despite the threat of terrorism or other risks, it is business as usual for many Australian companies.

But terrorist, political, financial and legal risks can deter some companies from entering new markets.

A string of warnings has been issued by the Department of Foreign Affairs in the past 12 months concerning travel and business in parts of Asia and the Middle East.

While following this advice will ensure Australians stay away from perceived hot spots, terrorism and the political risks associated with international trade they may also mean that Australian business is missing out on lucrative markets or substantial projects.

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