Hong Kong SAR CEO Carrie Lam struck a bullish note during her opening address at the Asian Insurance Forum 2020 held virtually today and organised by the Insurance Authority.
She acknowledged that the coronavirus pandemic had hit the territory’s insurance sector hard – it is presently fighting a fourth wave – but stressed that the “few imposing roadblocks ahead of us, including the pandemic,” will not blow the territory’s growth off course.
She pointed to the growth in issuance of insurance-linked securities (ILS) in Hong Kong during the first half of the year, which she said was up 20% on the previous year, in spite of COVID-19. She also reminded delegates that the government had amended the securities law in July to facilitate the ease of issuance of ILS.
Tax concessions will come into effect in the New Year that should also help the insurance sector, she said, and for those offering “tailored risk solutions”.
The strategy of developing Hong Kong as a global risk management hub – leveraging the opportunities presented by China’s Belt and Road Initiative – coupled with efforts to make Hong Kong a regional insurance hub on the back of the Greater Bay Area srategy – were recurring themes in Ms Lam’s keynote address.
“China’s economic growth in recent months has led the world,” she said and indicated that the concomitant increase in the movement of goods and people would offer plentiful growth opportunities for the insurance sector in Hong Kong. “We will take full advantage of all the opportunities offered,” she said.