Hong Kong’s Insurance Authority took the opportunity of the inaugural Asian Insurance Platform to launch its Belt and Road Insurance and Exchange Facilitation platform which aims to bring together insurance and risk expertise to serve China’s Belt and Road Initiative.

BRIEF will bring together insurance and risk expertise with the aim of realising the potential of BRI. It aims to serve as a forum for exchanging ideas, identifying opportunities and creating solutions that will enable projects to happen,” said Dr Moses Cheng, Chairman of IA.

A total of 29 insurers, reinsurers and insurance brokers have already signed up to join this new platform. The BRI and the GBA development provide just the kinds of opportunities for us to attain a higher level of achievement,” added Mr Cheng.

The objectives of BRIEF, as outlined on a dedicated website, are to provide a platform to promote exchange of intelligence, forge alliances and facilitate networking; and establish Hong Kong as a global risk management centre and regional insurance hub.

Membership of BRIEF includes the Following Groups;

Mainland, Hong Kong and foreign enterprises engaging in projects and commercial activities connected with BRI;

Insurance companies and professionals involved in BRI including direct insurers, reinsurers, captive insurers, insurance / reinsurance brokers and captive managers;

Other professional service providers e.g. legal, accounting, logistics, engineering, architectural and consulting firms; and

Investment promotion agencies, trade associations, chambers of commerce and industry organisations.

In her address to the forum, Hong Kong Chief Executive, Carrie Lam outlined recent initiatives by her Government to boost the presence of insurers and reinsurers in the territory. These include 50% profits tax concessions for reinsurance and captive insurance business and a similar proposal, yet to be enacted, for marine insurers, which was announced in her policy address in October.

“In addition to tax incentives, we are eager to modernise our legislation to facilitate market development,” she said when referring to the decision to make legislative amendments to allow for the formation of special purpose vehicles in Hong Kong specifically for issuing insurance-linked securities.

“According to an international reinsurance company, the global market size for ILS is around US$80bn. In the first half of 2017, the amount of newly issued ILS exceeded US$8bn. Hong Kong is well positioned to attract the issuance of ILS by Mainland companies.”