The Insurance Authority (IA) of Hong Kong has hosted a forum highlighting the importance of risk management in projects under Beijing’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).
The forum, which was held on September 11 during the 2019 Belt and Road Summit at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre, showcased how Hong Kong made a name for itself as a re/insurance hub and risk management centre for BRI projects, a statement from the regulator said.
Attendees included a panel of experts from the re/insurance, captive insurance, banking and risk management sectors. They discussed how insurance and project finance are interlinked and are vital to the commercial viability of enterprises, especially state-owned enterprises (SOEs), investing in BRI projects.
“Insurance, as the most important instrument for bridging risk transfer and project finance, helps SOEs meet the expectations of the State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission of the State Council (SASAC) for safeguarding national assets and mitigating potential loss for their BRI projects,” said Simon Lam, the IA’s executive director of general business.
Lam added that Hong Kong has the experience and expertise to provide the necessary re/insurance and risk management services for the BRI projects of SOEs, due to the strong presence of multinational insurers and reinsurers in the city.
Furthermore, Lam highlighted IA’s increased efforts to promote Hong Kong as a risk management centre for the BRI, with support from mainland Chinese authorities.
In December 2018, the IA launched the Belt and Road Insurance Exchange and Facilitation (BRIEF) platform, which promotes a more effective exchange of ideas and networking among relevant stakeholders. The platform currently has 39 members, including insurers, reinsurers, captive insurers and insurance brokers. In the same month, the IA authorised the first captive insurer since it began its regulatory duties in June 2017, bringing the total number of captive insurers in Hong Kong to four.