2018 Asian Actuarial Conference - Hong Kong insurance industry to play a big role in BRI

The Hong Kong government is currently working with the Insurance Authority to enable the development of captive insurance, marine insurance and the underwriting of specialty risks in Hong Kong, said Hong Kong's Chief Executive, Ms Carrie Lam, during her opening address at the 2018 Asian Actuarial Conference yesterday morning.

“We are now considering new tax incentives to fast-track these lines of insurance, together with measures to promote the issuance in Hong Kong of such insurance-linked securities as catastrophe bonds. These and other measures are sure to boost Hong Kong's status as an insurance hub and risk-management centre and will surely help us seize the boundless opportunities arising from the Belt and Road Initiative,” she said.

This is one of many measures taken by the government to enhance the opportunities for insurers in the country. With BRI slated to ease the ability to citizens to work and seek opportunities across the region, the Hong Kong government is also working on ways to allow Hong Kong insurers wider access to the Greater Bay Area in China. Agreements are being sought with the mainland government to allow Hong Kong insurers to set up services there, which aims to help mainland and Hong Kong policyholders working or residing in the area in making claims and accessing other after-sales services, she said.

“At the same time, we are in discussions with the Mainland authorities to enable the distribution of Hong Kong insurance products throughout the Greater Bay Area, and to allow Hong Kong-headquartered life insurers to establish majority-owned entities in the Mainland, thereby expanding both opportunity for the industry and choice for the people.”

Ms Lam also touched on the government’s plans to promote and encourage technology development, especially in the realms of FinTech and InsurTech. Beyond the many opportunities abound for the industry, she also expanded on the risks that are emerging in today’s society, namely longevity risk and cyber-risk, while emphasising the importance of actuaries in understanding, predicting, quantifying and managing these risks.

The Asian Actuarial Conference was held in Hong Kong for the first time in 17 years and is host to almost 700 actuaries and other insurance professionals, despite the stormy weather of Typhoon Mangkhut. The four-day conference will end on September 19.