Sibylline Annual Forecast 2022

Offering a forecast for the year ahead and identifying key risk trends, indicators, and implications to business. This micro-site summarizes the key areas within our report. If you would like the full report only with our regional flashpoints, please request a copy below

Welcome to the Sibylline 2022 Forecast

Well, if we thought 2020 was quite a year, it’s fair to say that 2021 hasn’t been without its surprises. Supply chain disruption, extremism, vaccine resistance, occasional coups, mass migration, and natural events have caused a lumpy global recovery from the initial impacts of the pandemic, with effects set to be felt until the middle of the decade.

These themes will continue in the year ahead, with firms adjusting to new workforce dynamics, complex hybrid threats, geopolitical risks, continued uncertainty over global travel, and a real and genuine focus on environmental, social and governance – ESG – factors. Although COP26 made some progress, there will clearly be intense scrutiny of corporate behaviours in the coming years. The frictions accompanying recovery will lead to civil unrest in developed nations, coupled with rapid policy and taxation pressures, while the developing world will face potentially more violent shifts. Nationalism has been somewhat kept in check this year, but sentiment will remain and this will also make for a volatile domestic and international political environment.

Meanwhile, the rapid fall of Afghanistan has provided a boost to jihadist sentiments. While we are less concerned about serious plots emanating from that region in 2022, lone actors are feeling galvanised as societies emerge from lockdowns. Extremists of all stripes have had time to regroup, recruit, and organise via the internet and radicalisation will be a significant concern. In turn, this will bring further pressure on already beleaguered tech and social media companies, which will face increasing scrutiny and possible regulation. Add in signs of global economic weakness, particularly related to China; global pressures over the Games in Beijing; tensions on Russia’s periphery; energy politics; and a fragile recovery, and we can see that 2022 won’t be an easy ride!

J.Crump

This is not a cheerful background, but it’s important also to reflect on what has brought us here. The world has recovered remarkably well from the impacts of an unprecedented pandemic, mitigating the worst impacts and allowing what should become a successful transition to Covid as an endemic but eminently survivable issue. The disease was itself a consequence of the advances we have made; people are staying alive longer than ever in human history, due to almost incredible scientific advances, and poverty is markedly reduced globally from where we started this millennium. Add to this an astonishing level of global mobility, and we can see how the pandemic spread so easily. Still, we should not let this detract from the fact that we are fundamentally living through an impressive and peaceful period of human history – even if some (carbon monoxide and methane) clouds are gathering.

Further disruption is inevitable and we are very vulnerable to global shocks at this stage. That said, resilient businesses will still thrive. While global success has presented us with our current problems, business has underpinned this growth – and is increasingly being viewed as the mechanism to bring the world forward yet again in the face of climate fears. This offers key opportunities for those with the intelligence to grasp them.

We are therefore particularly proud to present our assessment of the year ahead, to help you and your organisations successfully navigate these choppy waters. As the work of a global team of over 160 people, it hopefully has something for every leader interested in business integrity, whether you are from the security, communications, legal, or ethical worlds. As ever, we are most happy to answer any and all questions arising and help you truly make sense of your own individual circumstances – so don’t hesitate to reach out as we see what the world has to offer in the coming year.

CEO Sibylline - Justin Crump

10 GLOBAL THEMES

The global themes form our strategic overview of the world and provide a forecast of the major drivers of geopolitical, security, governance and criminal trends for the coming year.

IMPLICATIONS FOR BUSINESS

Breaking down our global themes and what it means for business

Corporations providing infrastructure services to governments in the developing world are likely to face significant challenges competing in official tender processes. These challenges will not be limited to energy projects, where competition from countries seeking geopolitical influence will increasingly dominate, but across the board. These countries will seek to maximise their advantage, potentially offering benefits to officials and governments that might not withstand the scrutiny of Western regulators in the context of e.g., FCPA and other anti-bribery legislation.

Western companies seeking to participate in energy development programmes may also be restricted by their host governments and institutional investors, who will increasingly look to punish countries that fail to make visible efforts to decarbonise their economies.

Corporations with manufacturing or supply chain links to some developing economies will find it harder to certify their products for import to major trade blocs such as the EU and USMCA. Developing countries who turn to non-Western aligned countries to develop their energy and other infrastructure, such as Russia and China, could find it difficult to renew trading arrangements if even modest commitments to decarbonise their economies are judged to be non-compliant. By the same token, issues such as labour standards may not improve and could even worsen as developing economies come under less pressure from non-Western partners.

Overall levels of regulatory oversight and governance are likely to deteriorate under pressure from comparatively unscrupulous partners who are content to rely on government relationships, rather than the rule of law, to enforce contract terms. These conditions will create challenges for a wide range of sectors from legal and financial services, to hospitality and manufacturing. While there may be narrow gains over time in terms of the development of energy infrastructure, the inherent absence of integrity in the process of securing economic growth may have an unequal impact on populations, sustaining income equality or even worsening it. These conditions could lead to increasing levels of domestic unrest and violent crime in many areas.

The evolving strategic rivalry between the world's top two economies will continue to have a wide-reaching impact on business and trade in 2022. With Washington committed to challenge Beijing's rising influence and increasingly assertive posture in pursuing its territorial claims, issues such as Hong Kong, Xinjiang, Taiwan and the South China Sea disputes will remain major geopolitical flashpoints next year.

Simmering tensions are most likely to escalate around politically sensitive events such as national days or elections, or as a result of military exercises, triggering fluctuations in the region's capital markets. Fishing and hydrocarbon operations in or near disputed waters will be most at risk of harassment and disruption by Chinese law enforcement, while international shipping and supply chains could be disrupted in the scenario of a naval stand-off between China and the US. The risk of such a stand-off remains low-to-moderate.

International businesses will also be exposed to risks associated with the ongoing row over China-US trade. The Biden administration is expected to maintain a restrictive regulatory regime on Chinese tech companies, or access to US technology. As precedent shows, this could prompt China to resort to other means, including cyber espionage or talent poaching, targeting foreign businesses and research institutions.

Meanwhile, the sticking point of Chinese state subsidies is likely to remain a notable barrier for many US businesses seeking to enter or expand in China. Indeed, as the regulatory clampdown on the private sector in 2020 illustrated, Beijing has been tightening its grip on commercial and economic affairs. Such close scrutiny of businesses (foreign and domestic) will continue for much of the 2022, as the ruling Communist Party prepares for its quinquennial National Congress – likely to be held in autumn 2022 – which is set to herald an unprecedented third term for President Xi Jinping.

While the resolution of Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou's extradition case and her house arrest in Canada will have helped to resolve a longstanding quarrel between the US and China, it is plausible that securing Meng's release has emboldened Beijing, encouraging the use of 'diplomatic hostages' in future disputes, underlining an enduring risk to China-based foreign businesses and individuals.

The digitised world has put information security among the top strategic concerns for organisations and their stakeholders. Executives will be increasingly reliant on security managers to articulate risks at board level in a language that non-experts can understand, while prospective investors and business partners will direct more intense scrutiny on cybersecurity frameworks and compliance. 

The coming year will see more organisations embracing a holistic approach to security management. The lifting of restrictions in some countries have allowed businesses to reduce the risk of cyber attacks by returning to the office; however, this option is not immediately available to all sectors. Many businesses will find that the need to modernise borderless security architectures, leverage innovative solutions and upskill staff will require costly investments. Zero-trust frameworks and role-based access controls (RBAC) are among the techniques that will be crucial for mitigating the impact of cyber attacks inside business perimeters in 2022. Accordingly, threat actors will redouble their efforts to draft company insiders into criminal schemes.

While the main risks from cyber intrusions are still financial loss and reputational damage, security managers will also have to consider physical harm. The risk of a hostile actor successfully weaponising operational technologies such as Internet of Things (IoT), smart cities and autonomous vehicles is increasing every year, with many businesses lacking viable options to set up training and response drills in these areas. Those operating in multiple jurisdictions will also increasingly feel the regulatory burden as new privacy laws similar to the EU’s GDPR force organisations to adjust how they collect and process personal data.

More many businesses, the trend of eroding democratic norms will increase the risk of governments and supranational organisations imposing arbitrary rules that economic actors must comply with. This can create unexpected financial costs, as well as operational challenges for businesses. It also creates considerable uncertainty, particularly in countries where there are differing national and local regulations in place.

Resistance by individuals to the imposition of autocratic measures not only increases the risk of disruptive and even violent public protests; it could also produce significant government instability if the unrest becomes deep-seated and widespread. There is also a threat of legal action being taken against firms seeking to comply with  controversial government directives. This may come from customers, employees, civil society organisations, and even the authorities in jurisdictions in which there are competing in-country regulations.

Regulatory uncertainty can also pose challenges for the implementation of corporate best practices, as the readiness of businesses to uphold these could also suffer. In countries with entrenched authoritarian governments, policy risks are even higher and businesses and their staff could face the imposition of restrictions to their operations and even harassment for purely political reasons. Their reputational and regulatory risks could also be heightened if authoritarian governments are subjected to international economic sanctions.

Enduring competition over territory and resources will see escalations in regional tensions posing direct risks to business resilience and operational continuity. Tensions emanating from contested spaces will continue to see businesses remain casualties of inter-state rivalries, with the selective harassment of businesses and their employees likely to endure, in particular for Western entities operating in Russia and China.

While the pandemic brought the vulnerabilities of the just-in-time supply chain to the fore, disputes in areas overlapping with key arteries of global commerce such as the South China Sea and the Gulf of Aedan will pose a significant challenge to global supply chain continuity over 2022. Competition over control of and access to resources will also drive instability for businesses, impacting market stability and undermining operational resiliency through increased prices and disruption to established supply chains.

Areas of central importance to global commodity supply such as the Gulf, West Africa and Southeast Asia will remain key risk watch areas in the year ahead. While the risk of inter-state conflict in flashpoints such as Kashmir and the Donbas remains moderate, escalations in violence and regional tensions in contested regions will undermine market stability and increase the scope for reputational and operational challenges emanating from sanctions. 

Any change in government always carries with it potential policy risks. The pressure that governments are under to undertake actions to redress the effects of the economic crisis induced by the Covid-19 pandemic means that it is likely that new administrations will continue to ramp up public spending. But equally, the need to balance public finances and reduce elevated public debt levels will likely lead some administrations to increase taxes on businesses.

In the US in particular, Democrats are already proposing increasing taxes on the wealthy and large corporations. Should they win a clear majority in the congressional elections, they are likely to push ahead with this. The risk of new corporate taxes would be heightened if political parties that have a strong commitment to combating climate change and accelerating the transition away from fossil fuels win a clear public mandate to do this through the introduction of ‘green’ or other punitive taxes on highly polluting sectors. However, should no side obtain a clear mandate in the upcoming elections, this could lead to political stasis that would be detrimental to advancing a post-pandemic economic recovery.

Separately, the election of a Eurosceptic government in France could generate significant political instability in the European Union, which would weaken the bloc’s economic performance. Meanwhile the election of a more environmentally concerned but less fiscally responsible government in Brazil would improve investor sentiment towards the country, but it could lead once again lead to a deterioration of its public finances.

Even if the world reaches the minimal threshold for global herd immunity in 2022, the most likely scenario is that Covid-19 will become an endemic disease, with governments shifting their focus from case counts to managing severe illness and disease. As a result, businesses will anticipate low-level government restrictions through the year, whilst also ensuring that contingency plans for operational resiliency remain in place.

As part of this shift towards managing severe illness and diseases, many governments will enforce vaccine mandates, and this could pose challenges for corporations in certain jurisdictions. International travel will also remain a convoluted process considering the patchwork of testing restrictions and passport apps around the world, while companies with operations in poorer countries may find their staff lack access to the necessary technology for digital passports.

Corporate decisionmakers will need to navigate a more complex geopolitical environment as the pandemic accelerates an already fragmenting global economy. Covid-19 has exposed how governments and businesses are vulnerable to global dependencies, which has fuelled political discourse on investment screening and reshoring supply chains.

Amid deteriorating US-China relations and multifaceted supply chain disruptions driving up operational costs, Western businesses will experience greater political pressure to strengthen operational resilience in their respective supply chains, particularly those in industries that governments consider part of a country's critical infrastructure. Mitigating these risks will require greater investment in supply chain technologies to reduce costs, reskill workers and ensure greater transparency and efficiency. However, some governments will invest heavily in their critical infrastructure to ensure their strategic independence, which will create new opportunities for some sectors (especially construction and technology) over the coming year.

Future government responses to mitigating epidemics and pandemics will also drive policy risks for businesses into 2022. The economic impact of Covid-19 and the inequities brought to bear on societies will drive governments to consider environmental risks that facilitate the rapid spread of disease. Growing public awareness of how certain industries and business practices amplify environmental risks will pressure governments to introduce new environmental policies and regulations that will present challenges for corporate decisionmakers.

The terror threat will continue to impact businesses and their operations in the year ahead as countries emerge from Covid-related lockdown measures and grapple with post-pandemic pressures. Crucially, the use of technology and online platforms during lengthy lockdowns in the last two years could mask the true growth of terrorist groups across the spectrum as society reopens, presenting a major challenge for even the most well-equipped law enforcement and intelligence agencies to mitigate sole perpetrator attacks.

Moreover, societies across Europe and North America are increasingly polarised, driving both far-left and far-right terrorism. Businesses are becoming more frequent casualties of such politically-motivated attacks, particularly triggered by stances on contentious and divisive issues such as racism, irregular migration and now, increasingly, vaccine policies. Public spaces including entertainment and hospitality venues, business centres and transport hubs could become vulnerable locations once again for low-sophistication terror-related incidents such as stabbings and vehicle rammings, as countries lift movement restrictions.

The extent to which the Taliban attempts to limit terrorist activities within Afghanistan’s borders will dictate whether Islamist extremists can boost their resources, recruits and regional capabilities. Failure to contain Islamic State and Al-Qaeda affiliates could lead to a gradual resurgence of more sophisticated attacks such as bombings on Western targets across central and south Asia and the Gulf. The perceived defeat of the US in Afghanistan may also inspire attacks in countries already vulnerable to ethno-religious tensions and radicalisation. Meanwhile, in the Sahel, armed conflict and state withdrawal will sustain the expansion of terrorist groups, disrupting the overland movement of goods and creating a hostile operating environment for NGOs and other businesses across sub-Saharan Africa.

Financial and physical damages will be at the forefront of concerns as businesses learn to navigate the changing environment in 2022 and beyond. Extreme weather events and natural catastrophes reportedly made 2020 the fifth most expensive year in terms of material damages, resulting in USD 81 billion in insured losses and USD 268 billion of economic losses overall. Geographically, monetary losses are estimated to have been the highest in the US, followed by Australia and Asia.

Sector wise, climate change-related financial risk was most recently underlined to the transportation and the real estate sectors in Germany and the Benelux region, with the 2021 floods resulting in an estimated USD 1.5 billion in infrastructural damage to Germany's railway network. Additionally, businesses in the agricultural sector are also projected to be disproportionately impacted, with anticipated crop losses across Central Asia in 2021 following extreme droughts highly likely to result in uncompensated financial losses for agriculture-food producers in the region.

Additionally, the tourism sector faces a high risk of a more volatile revenue streams and potentially increasing operating costs in the years ahead. The industry is vulnerable to feeling the impact of extreme weather events months and even years after an event has passed as the number of tourists will often remain depressed. Lastly, reputational and regulatory costs to businesses perceived not to be doing enough to combat climate change will increase in 2022 and beyond as governments slowly shift focus on policies aimed at meeting climate goals and mandating climate-related financial disclosures.

Public scrutiny and regulation will maintain current high levels of reputational risk across industry sectors in 2022. Global press coverage of delicate issues, from ESG to big tech regulation, will continue to be cast in a negative light. Businesses will therefore need to demonstrate knowledge, strategy and transparency around these issues to counter any damaging publicity and conciliate stakeholders. This will increase the importance of security managers working closely with legal, public relations and communications departments to prepare for inquiries and proactively mitigate the risk of exposure.

The expanding regulatory landscape is likely to increase demand on compliance departments, particularly in the areas of data privacy, environmental policies and human rights. Existing policies and procedures will need regular reviews to check for weaknesses, with businesses facing ever larger penalties for infringements. The cost of oversight will include not only fines, but also a loss of confidence from investors and creditors, as well as more attention from activists. Public interest in corporate behaviours is likely to intensify around significant events, such as the Beijing 2022 Olympic Winter Games, elections, and levying of sanctions during periods of geopolitical tension.

Conversely, some organisations will find business opportunities in the integration of ESG and global concern around climate change. There will eventually be opportunities for investment in decarbonisation, as well as vulnerability reduction for communities facing a high risk of natural disasters in poorer countries. Businesses that successfully build a foundation of strong environmental credentials in 2022 are likely to see the benefits for client loyalty, market share and attraction of talent as the global economy begins to recover from the pandemic.

GLOBAL DASHBOARD

The global ASTRA Trends dashboard allows the user to interactively visualise 2021 ASTRA risks trends, allowing customisable analysis of categories, regions, and countries

EVENTS TO WATCH

The below table summarizes the key events taking place in 2022. A full review and regional flashpoints are available in the full report

DATE LOCATION(S) COMMENTS IMPACT RELATED ASTRA RISK CATEGORIES
26 JANUARY INDIA The 75th Republic Day MODERATE Attacks
Implications: Possible terror activity around this period from groups that oppose the Indian state.
1 FEBRUARY CHINA The Lunar New Year LOW Socio-economic Health
Implications: Mass movement of people for the month-long festival period likely to cause congestion and delays on transport; Factories suspend operations for the holiday season.
4 FEBRUARY - 20 FEBRUARY CHINA Beijing 2022 Olympic Winter Games LOW Domestic Unrest, Regional Tensions
Implications: Tightened security in and around Beijing. Likely anti-China protests in other countries may drive diplomatic tensions.
5 FEBRUARY INDIA Kashmir Solidarity Day MODERATE Attacks, Domestic Unrest
Implications: Though observed in Pakistan, clashes are possible between locals and Indian security forces; Heightened militant activities/attacks in Kashmir region are likely
FEBRUARY / MARCH INDIA Uttar Pradesh Legislative Assembly elections MODERATE Domestic Unrest
Implications: Heightened risk of post-election communal violence if the ruling BJP-backed candidate loses in UP. Farmers’ protests expected.
9 MARCH SOUTH KOREA Presidential election MODERATE Government Stability, Policy Risk
Implications: The ruling Democratic Party will seek to retain the presidency following Moon Jae-in’s single five-year term. Growing corruption scandals could increase the likelihood of the opposition candidate winning the poll.
27 MARCH HONG KONG Chief Executive election MODERATE Domestic Unrest, Government Stability
Implications: Pro-democracy groups may voice grievances against the pro-Beijing establishment, though the national security law could deter large protests and unrest. Government stability unlikely to be affected by a leadership change.
APRIL / JUNE NORTH KOREA Ballistic missile testing MODERATE Regional Tensions
Implications: Historically, this is a period when Pyongyang conducts ballistic missile tests. Such activity will further increase tensions with regional stakeholders.
1 MAY - 2 APRIL- REGIONAL Holy month of Ramadan MODERATE Attacks
Implications: Higher threat of attacks, particularly in Muslim-majority countries such as Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan. Friday Prayers and Eid al-Fitr are particularly significant days that involve large public gatherings.
9 MAY PHILIPPINES Presidential election MODERATE Government Stability, Police Forces, Human Rights
Implications: Incumbent Duterte is ineligible to run for a second term; however, if a Duterte ally is victorious, there is likely to be a continuation of a repressive crackdown on crime.
4 JUNE HONG KONG Tiananmen Square crackdown anniversary LOW Domestic Unrest
Implications: Activist groups will seek to organise commemorative events amid heavy security and road closures. A government ban on such events could trigger isolated protests.
1 JULY CHINA, HONG KONG Anniversary of the founding of the Chinese Communist Party; Anniversary of Hong Kong’s handover to China MODERATE Regional Tensions, Domestic Unrest
Implications: Chinese military may conduct provocative activity to mark the occasion, while tightened security is expected in Hong Kong.
JULY JAPAN House of Councillors election MODERATE Government Stability, Policy Risk
Implications: Prime Minister Fumio Kishida will aim to maintain his party’s majority in the upper house. An inability to improve Japan’s economic outlook by the poll could see opposition groups gain additional seats.
1 OCTOBER CHINA National Day MODERATE Regional Tensions, Socio-economic Health
Implications: Mass movement of people for the week-long holiday likely to cause congestions and delays; Chinese military may ramp up activity to mark this occasion, driving regional tensions.
OCTOBER / NOVEMBER (TBC) CHINA 20th National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party LOW Government Stability, Policy Risk
Implications: There is speculation that international borders will remain restricted until the congress is completed. Changes in leadership will be announced, though Xi Jinping looks set to stay for a third term.
NOVEMBER/ DECEMBER (TBC) TAIWAN Local elections MODERATE Government Stability, Regional Tensions
Implications: A key barometer for the DPP government’s popularity and the 2024 presidential race; China may react to a convincing DPP victory with military intimidation.
1 DECEMBER INDONESIA Papuan Flag Day MODERATE Ethno-religious Tensions, Autonomist Movement
Implications: Papuan independence groups mark the first raising of the Morning Star flag on this date. Potential trigger for unrest in the Papuan region as Indonesian authorities perceive the flag raising as a successionist act.

DATE LOCATION(S) COMMENTS IMPACT RELATED ASTRA RISK CATEGORIES
27 FEBRUARY MALI Presidential and National Assembly elections. MODERATE Government Stability, Domestic Unrest, Security Forces, Policy Risk
Implications: Should the elections be delayed, there is a considerable risk of domestic unrest and probable clashes with security forces, as well as potential sanctions.
FEBRUARY DJIBOUTI Local elections. LOW Government Stability, Domestic Unrest
Implications: Elections are likely to pass peacefully with limited disruption or associated unrest.
30 APRIL GAMBIA National Assembly elections. LOW Security Forces, Policy Risk, Domestic Unrest
Implications: Increased security deployments are likely in Banjul during the run-up to the elections, potentially causing disruption to overland transport.
2-3 MAY REGION Eid al-Fitr religious holiday. LOW Commercial Disruption
Implications: Government offices, businesses and school closures may cause limited disruptions.
3 JUNE UGANDA Martyrs' Day. LOW Domestic Unrest, Security Forces
Implications: Heightened security and travel disruption is likely in Kampala where pilgrims visit historical religious shrines.
JULY REPUBLIC OF CONGO National Assembly elections. LOW Domestic Unrest, Government Stability, Policy Risk
Implications: Heightened security measures are likely to be implemented in the run up to the elections, causing some disruption to the operations of businesses and movement of goods.
TBC, JULY SENEGAL National Assembly elections. MODERATE Domestic Unrest, Government Stability, Policy Risk
Implications: Protests and a heightened security deployment in the run up will increase the risk of excessive force to quell protests, likely elevating risks to the safety of staff.
9 AUGUST KENYA Presidential, National Assembly and local elections. MODERATE Ethno-religious Tensions, Security Forces, Domestic Unrest, Government Stability
Implications: Ethnic tensions will increase in the run up to elections and violent clashes between security forces and activists are highly likely.
TBC SUDAN General election. MODERATE Government Stability, Domestic Unrest, Security Forces, Attacks, Policy Risk
Implications: The failure of the military government to hold elections by late 2022 will likely prompt the Sudanese Professionals Association to hold protests in Khartoum, resulting in violent clashes.
7-8 AUGUST REGION Muslims to observe Ashura. LOW Commercial Disruption
Implications: Government offices, businesses and school closures may cause limited disruptions.
AUGUST ANGOLA Presidential elections. MODERATE Policy Risk, Domestic Unrest, Security Forces
Implications: Further electoral amendments made by President Joa Lourenco, who is likely to be re-elected, will likely drive electoral fraud claims, driving protests which could result in violent clashes with security forces.
17 SEPTEMBER NIGERIA Shia Muslims to observe Arba’een. MODERATE Ethno-religious Tensions, Domestic Unrest, Security Forces
Implications: Marches likely by the Islamic Movement of Nigeria, potentially resulting in clashes in Abuja.
SEPTEMBER LESOTHO National Assembly elections. LOW Domestic Unrest, Security Forces, Government Stability
Implications: Protests are likely in Maseru in the weeks leading up to the elections, elevating the risk of excessive force from security personnel.
OCTOBER ETHIOPIA Russia-African Union summit. LOW Regional Tensions, Policy Risk
Implications: Russia will likely support a resolution seeking new cooperation avenues with Egypt over the Grand Ethiopia Renaissance Dam, although it is unlikely the summit will reduce  regional tensions.
22 OCTOBER NIGERIA Anniversary of the Lekki Toll Gate Massacre. MODERATE Domestic Unrest, Police Forces
Implications: The event could act as flashpoint for demonstrations in Lagos.

DATE LOCATION(S) COMMENTS IMPACT RELATED ASTRA RISK CATEGORIES
JANUARY TUNISIA Arab Uprising anniversary. MODERATE Domestic Unrest, Security Forces
Implications: Elections, if held, will struggle to overcome political polarisation and could trigger domestic unrest and attacks by rival militias.
28 FEBRUARY - 3 MARCH REGION-UAE MENA Climate Week (MENACW2022). LOW Corporate Governance, Regulatory Framework
Implications: The forum will represent an important platform for regional actors; likely to foster ESG-aligned investments.
27 MARCH LEBANON Scheduled parliamentary elections. HIGH Policy Risk, Domestic Unrest, Ethno-religious Tensions, Socio-economic Health, Government Stability
Implications: Protests are likely in urban cities should results fail to bring about meaningful change. A delay in government formation could impact third-party funding linked to reforms.
EARLY 2022 UAE-UK Free trade agreement negotiations. LOW Policy Risk, Regulatory Framework, Socio-economic Health
Implications: A positive outcome would remove market entry barriers and broaden investment opportunities. This may intensify the rivalry between the UAE and Saudi Arabia.
EARLY 2022 TURKEY Drafting of new constitution. MODERATE Government Stability, Policy Risk, Domestic Unrest
Implications: President Erdogan is seeking to address his unpopularity and political setbacks ahead of the 2023 presidential elections; drafting could become a contentious issue.
EARLY 2022 GULF-EU EU-Gulf Cooperation Council meeting Implications: Likely to deepen cooperation on global issues and regional security. LOW Regulatory Framework, Socio-economic Health
2 APRIL – 1 MAY REGION Holy month of Ramadan. MODERATE Attacks, International Terrorism, Security Forces
Implications: Violent extremists have previously increased attacks on religious targets during this period.
1 MAY TURKEY May Day – International Workers’ Day. LOW Domestic Unrest, Security Forces
Implications: With growing public dissent, protests organised by labour unions and political parties increasingly likely. Security forces will weary of another 2014-scale protest.
2-3 MAY REGION Eid al-Fitr religious holiday. LOW Commercial Disruption
Implications: Government offices, businesses and school closures may cause limited disruptions. Based on the epidemiological situation, countries may impose Covid-19 restrictions.
9 - 13 JULY REGION Eid al-Adha religious holiday. LOW Commercial Disruption
Implications: Government offices, businesses and school closures may cause limited disruptions. Based on the epidemiological situation, countries may impose Covid-19 restrictions.
30 JULY REGION Islamic New Year LOW Commercial Disruption
Implications: Government offices, businesses and school closures may cause limited disruptions.
4 AUGUST LEBANON 2nd anniversary of Beirut Port explosion. MODERATE Domestic Unrest, Government Stability, Attacks, Ethno-religious Tensions, Corruption
Implications: The investigation remains a primary driver of civil unrest and a politically-sensitive issue. Protests remain likely.
7-8 AUGUST REGION Muslims to observe Ashura. LOW Attacks, International Terrorism, Domestic Unrest
Implications: Government offices, businesses and school closures may cause disruptions. Thousands gather in cities in Iraq and other countries.
11 SEPTEMBER EGYPT Coptic Christian New Year (Nayrouz). MODERATE Attacks, International Terrorism, Ethno-religious Tensions, Security Forces
Implications: Enhanced security measures around religious sites and Coptic neighbourhoods in Cairo and Alexandria likely due to Islamist extremist groups targeting religious minorities.
16-17 SEPTEMBER REGION Arba’een Shia religious festival. LOW Attacks, International Terrorism, Security Forces
Implications: Possibility of protests in Bahrain, Iran, and sectarian clashes in Iraq. There is also an increased threat of attacks by Sunni militants who have previously targeted Shia religious gatherings.
BY NOVEMBER BAHRAIN Parliamentary and municipal elections. LOW Domestic Unrest, Policy Risk, Government Stability
Implications: Government crackdowns on political dissent leading up to the vote may trigger unrest and calls for boycott.
21 NOVEMBER – 18 DECEMBER QATAR 2022 FIFA World Cup. LOW Human Rights, Domestic Unrest, Socio-economic Health
Implications: The competition will promote tourism and drive business investment interest. Online and offline protests calling for a boycott over Qatar's human rights record may present a reputational risk.
11 DECEMBER IRAQ 11th anniversary of the end of the Iraq War. MODERATE Attacks, Security Forces, Government Stability, Domestic Unrest
Implications: The presence of US troops in the country may act as a flashpoint for unrest and anti-American sentiments.

DATE LOCATION(S) COMMENTS IMPACT RELATED ASTRA RISK CATEGORIES
14-16 FEBRUARY GERMANY Munich Security Conference. LOW Domestic Unrest
Implication: Anti-war protests are likely in Munich, with solidarity direct action against defence firms elsewhere in Western Europe possible.
MARCH EUROPE Israeli Apartheid Week. MODERATE Domestic Unrest
Implication: Yearly event that  will see an uptick in pro-Palestinian activism and protests across Europe, increasing the risk of direct action against firms perceived to have links to Israel, particularly in the UK.
3 APRIL SERBIA Presidential election. LOW Government Stability, Policy Risk, Supervision Quality
Implication: President Vučić or SNS candidate likely to be re-elected, limiting policy risk whilst sustaining the trend of democratic backsliding.
10 APRIL FRANCE First round of presidential election. HIGH Government Stability, Policy Risk
Implication: President Macron will fight for re-election in what will likely be a highly tense election that will see a strong challenge from far-right candidates.
22 APRIL EUROPE Earth Day. MODERATE Domestic Unrest
Implication: Environmentalist rallies and disruptive direct action highly likely in major cities across the Continent.
24 APRIL FRANCE Presidential election run-off. HIGH Government Stability, Policy Risk
Implication: Emmanuel Macron is likely to make the run-off vote, though a strong challenge from a potential far-right candidate will increase policy risk significantly.
APRIL HUNGARY General election. MODERATE Regulatory Framework, Policy Risk, Government Stability
Implication: An opposition victory could reduce policy and regulatory risks for businesses, though the chances of victory against the ruling nationalist Fidesz party remain moderate.
5 MAY UNITED KINGDOM Local elections. LOW Government Stability, Ethno-religious Tensions
Implication: Likely to have limited business impact in England, Scotland and Wales, but Northern Ireland Assembly elections could be highly tense amid fallout from Northern Ireland Protocol issues.
14 MAY UNITED KINGDOM Pro-independence march in Glasgow. MODERATE Domestic Unrest
Implication: Large turnout will likely create significant disruption in Central Glasgow.
BY 5 JUNE SLOVENIA Parliamentary elections. LOW Government Stability, Policy Risk
Implication: Prime Minister Janez Janša’s SDS party remains ahead in the polls, but an opposition cooperation agreement could challenge the party to form the next government, which would likely alleviate governance concerns under SDS.
7 SEPTEMBER SWEDEN Parliamentary elections. LOW Government Stability, Policy Risk
Implication: The ruling Social Democratic party will run for re-election, though post-election coalition negotiations are likely to be prolonged, sustaining policy risks.
1 OCTOBER UNITED KINGDOM Pro-independence march in Edinburgh. MODERATE Domestic Unrest
Implication: Organisers plan for this protest to be the largest this year, with significant disruption highly likely.
1 OCTOBER LATVIA Parliamentary elections. LOW Government Stability, Policy Risk
Implication: Highly fragmented politics will mean coalition negotiations will likely be complex post election, sustaining policy risks amid frequent scandals.
BY 2 OCTOBER SLOVENIA Presidential election. LOW Government Stability
Implication: Mostly ceremonial position of President will limit impact on policy risk and government stability.

DATE LOCATION(S) COMMENTS IMPACT RELATED ASTRA RISK CATEGORIES
14-16 FEBRUARY GERMANY Munich Security Conference. LOW Domestic Unrest
Implication: Anti-war protests are likely in Munich, with solidarity direct action against defence firms elsewhere in Western Europe possible.
MARCH EUROPE Israeli Apartheid Week. MODERATE Domestic Unrest
Implication: Yearly event that  will see an uptick in pro-Palestinian activism and protests across Europe, increasing the risk of direct action against firms perceived to have links to Israel, particularly in the UK.
3 APRIL SERBIA Presidential election. LOW Government Stability, Policy Risk, Supervision Quality
Implication: President Vučić or SNS candidate likely to be re-elected, limiting policy risk whilst sustaining the trend of democratic backsliding.
10 APRIL FRANCE First round of presidential election. HIGH Government Stability, Policy Risk
Implication: President Macron will fight for re-election in what will likely be a highly tense election that will see a strong challenge from far-right candidates.
22 APRIL EUROPE Earth Day. MODERATE Domestic Unrest
Implication: Environmentalist rallies and disruptive direct action highly likely in major cities across the Continent.
24 APRIL FRANCE Presidential election run-off. HIGH Government Stability, Policy Risk
Implication: Emmanuel Macron is likely to make the run-off vote, though a strong challenge from a potential far-right candidate will increase policy risk significantly.
APRIL HUNGARY General election. MODERATE Regulatory Framework, Policy Risk, Government Stability
Implication: An opposition victory could reduce policy and regulatory risks for businesses, though the chances of victory against the ruling nationalist Fidesz party remain moderate.
5 MAY UNITED KINGDOM Local elections. LOW Government Stability, Ethno-religious Tensions
Implication: Likely to have limited business impact in England, Scotland and Wales, but Northern Ireland Assembly elections could be highly tense amid fallout from Northern Ireland Protocol issues.
14 MAY UNITED KINGDOM Pro-independence march in Glasgow. MODERATE Domestic Unrest
Implication: Large turnout will likely create significant disruption in Central Glasgow.
BY 5 JUNE SLOVENIA Parliamentary elections. LOW Government Stability, Policy Risk
Implication: Prime Minister Janez Janša’s SDS party remains ahead in the polls, but an opposition cooperation agreement could challenge the party to form the next government, which would likely alleviate governance concerns under SDS.
7 SEPTEMBER SWEDEN Parliamentary elections. LOW Government Stability, Policy Risk
Implication: The ruling Social Democratic party will run for re-election, though post-election coalition negotiations are likely to be prolonged, sustaining policy risks.
1 OCTOBER UNITED KINGDOM Pro-independence march in Edinburgh. MODERATE Domestic Unrest
Implication: Organisers plan for this protest to be the largest this year, with significant disruption highly likely.
1 OCTOBER LATVIA Parliamentary elections. LOW Government Stability, Policy Risk
Implication: Highly fragmented politics will mean coalition negotiations will likely be complex post election, sustaining policy risks amid frequent scandals.
BY 2 OCTOBER SLOVENIA Presidential election. LOW Government Stability
Implication: Mostly ceremonial position of President will limit impact on policy risk and government stability.

DATE LOCATION(S) COMMENTS IMPACT RELATED ASTRA RISK CATEGORIES
TBC CHILE National plebiscite on new Constitution (no later than July 2022) MODERATE Policy Risk
Implications: A new constitution will change foundational structures from the old Constitution written under the Pinochet dictatorship. It will a while for the changes to manifest.
6 FEBRUARY COSTA RICA General elections LOW Policy Risk, Government Stability
Implications: Current centre-left President Carlos Alvarado cannot be reelected for a consecutive term. An unprecedented number of presidential pre-candidates highlights the lack of leadership and capacity for political dialogue.
13 MARCH COLOMBIA Legislative elections MODERATE Government Stability, Policy Risk, Domestic Unrest
Implications: Elections to elect representatives to both houses of Congress. The results will indicate which candidates have popular backing heading into presidential elections.
27-Mar MEXICO Recall referendum HIGH Government Stability
Implications: If the electorate votes against  President  López Obrador, he will cease being President. For the referendum to take place, 2.85 million signatures are necessary.
8  MAY COSTA RICA Inaugural ceremony for the newly elected administration LOW Domestic Unrest
Implications: May serve as a potential flashpoint for domestic unrest.
29-May COLOMBIA Presidential elections. MODERATE Government Stability, Policy Risk, Domestic Unrest, Security Forces, Socio-economic Health
Implications: First round elections, with a runoff on 19 June if no candidate gets more than 50 percent of votes. Chance of domestic unrest and political violence in run-up and on election day.
5 JUNE MEXICO Local elections. MODERATE Policy Risk, Violent Crime, Corruption, Attacks
Implications: Local elections to be held in six states including Tamaulipas. Violent political attacks possible as increasing murder rates have been recorded in the run-up to elections.
7 AUGUST COLOMBIA Inaugural ceremony for the newly elected administration MODERATE Domestic Unrest
Implications: Ceremony may be a possible flashpoint for protests.
2 OCTOBER BRAZIL General elections. HIGH Domestic Unrest, Government Stability, Policy Risk
Implications: There are concerns over tactics and corruption as incumbent President Jair Bolsonaro's popularity falls. Opinion polls show he trails behind former President Lula da Silva. Domestic unrest is likely in run-up and on election
day.
2 OCTOBER PERU Regional and municipal elections. LOW Policy Risk
Implications: All regions in country to elect mayors and governors for the 2023-2026 term.

DATE LOCATION(S) COMMENTS IMPACT RELATED ASTRA RISK CATEGORIES
1 JANUARY US Selective water cuts for 25 million people in Southwest come into effect due to water shortages along Colorado River. LOW Energy Security, Water Security
Implication: The cuts will drastically reduce water security for residents throughout the Southwest, but especially in Arizona.
17 JANUARY US Martin Luther King Jr. Day. For Awareness N/A
Implications: N/A
TBC REGION Ninth Summit of the Americas LOW Policy Risk, Regulatory Framework
Implications: The United States will host the Summit. Leaders across the region will discuss common policy issues in the hope of strengthening relations.
31 MAY US Memorial Day. For Awareness N/A
19 JUNE US Juneteenth Day. MODERATE Domestic Unrest
Implications: Increased likelihood of public demonstrations and counter-protests.
2 JUNE CANADA Ontario general election will be held on, or by, 2 June. The ruling Progressive Conservative Party faces strong Liberal Party opposition. LOW Policy Risk
1 JULY CANADA Canada Day. FOR AWARENESS N/A
4 JULY US Independence Day LOW Domestic Unrest
Implication: Slightly elevated risk of domestic unrest.
5 SEPTEMBER US Labor Day. FOR AWARENESS N/A
30 SEPTEMBER US End of federal budget year. FOR AWARENESS N/A
3 OCTOBER CANADA Quebec general election will occur on or by 3 October. Coalition Avenir Quebec highly likely to retain majority. FOR AWARENESS N/A
10 OCTOBER US Columbus Day and US Indigenous People’s Day. FOR AWARENESS N/A
8 NOVEMBER US 2022 mid-term elections MODERATE Policy Risk, Domestic Unrest
Implication: These elections will increase the risk of social unrest and political demonstrations as witnessed in the 2020 Federal Election. If the Democrats lose Congress, it will increase policy risks for Biden too.
11 NOVEMBER US AND CANADA Veteran’s Day in the US and Remembrance Day in Canada. FOR AWARENESS N/A
25-Nov US Thanksgiving. FOR AWARENESS N/A

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