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LONDONThere has been an overall decrease in political risk for the first time in three years, according to research from Aon Corp., with 17 of the 214 countries posing less of a risk in 2007 than they did in 2006.
There were, however, significant political risk events last year, such as coups in Fiji and Thailand, Aon noted. And the growth of so-called "nationalism is also becoming a major issue, especially for some of the world's multinational energy companies," according to Charles Keville, director of Aon's crisis management division in London.
In particular, Mr. Keville noted, some oil producing nations are seizing local resources that may have been owned or shared with international oil companies.
This can take the form of a blanket country action, such as Bolivia's recent nationalization of the oil and gas industry, or a more targeted move such as interference against individual projects, Mr. Keville noted."Greater reliance on overseas-sourced goods, with increasingly tighter 'just-in-time' product demands, means that companies' global supply chains are under greater threat from political and non-political trade disruption risks such as embargoes or even bird flu," Aon said in a statement.