The Hong Kong government will introduce a number of tax incentives to promote marine insurance, reinsurance and specialty insurance as the city strives to become a regional risk management centre, according to Financial Secretary Paul Chan Mo-po.
Mr Chan said the timing was right to promote the insurance industry as he expects rising demand for the $1.7trn worth of infrastructure projects under development in Asia from now until 2030, according to a report in the South China Morning Post.
“We will soon consult the industry on these new measures,” Mr Chan said in a speech on Tuesday at the HKFI 30 Symposium. He did not provide details on the tax incentive structure.
The Financial Services Development Council (FSDC) released a report last year recommended that to stay competitive in the region, Hong Kong could follow Singapore's lead and consider introducing tax incentives to insurers for marine hull and liability policies and providing tax concessions to Hong Kong registered/flagged ship owners who buy insurance policies from Hong Kong insurers, among other measures.
Commenting on the Financial Secretary's speech, Mr Bernard Chan, executive councillor and head of Asia Insurance, said, “But a tax incentive alone is not enough. Singapore has been very successful in providing training and other support to establish an ecosystem for the marine insurance industry. Hong Kong needs to provide more education and other measures to build up the industry.”