A low awareness and a passive attitude by many Hong Kong companies has left them vulnerable to international crises, a risk assessment expert said yesterday. Stephen Vickers, president of International Risk, said large firms in Hong Kong were generally not equipped to handle potential crises caused by tension in the Middle East. 'The mindset is that we are not at risk. This overconfidence and passive attitude by senior management has led to a lack of basic contingency planning at corporate levels to protect personnel and facilities outside Hong Kong,' he said. Mr Vickers said while greater China was considered to be at a lower risk of terrorist attack than other Asian countries, companies which do business with countries like Indonesia and the Philippines should be on guard.