18 April 2023Analysis

Think Tank releases plan to bolster Hong Kong as insurance centre

The Hong Kong Federation of Insurers (HKFI) Think Tank has released a set of policy recommendations to the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government for promoting the capabilities of the local insurance industry to help reinvigorate Hong Kong’s status as an International Insurance Centre (IIC).

Sharing the common visions of the Development Roadmap for the Insurance Sector in Hong Kong and relevant industry initiatives in the 2023-2024 Budget, this proposal places significant emphasis on promoting the strategic role of the Hong Kong insurance sector and enhancing its overall capacity to support the execution of national strategy. Additionally, the proposal aims to build more sustainable talent pools for the insurance industry in Hong Kong.

“The Hong Kong insurance sector can contribute substantially to the national strategy, both as a major source of institutional capital and as a risk management centre of excellence. We hope to bring more international risks to be underwritten in Hong Kong and to attract global talents and deepen domestic career pathways," said Edward Moncreiffe, chairman of the HKFI’s Think Tank. “We stand ready to work with our supportive Government to reinvigorate Hong Kong's prominent status as an IIC with our pragmatic recommendations.”

Based on the common aspirations of the industry gathered through a member survey conducted by the HKFI and the strategic recommendations from the Think Tank, the HKFI submitted the proposal to the Financial Services and the Treasury Bureau and the Insurance Authority in early April with three key areas recommended to help drive the industry forward.

According to the Think Tank the three are:

“To accelerate our sector to be an institutional investor in infrastructure investment in Greater China and expedite the transition to a low-carbon economy with capital allocation on ESG instruments. In this connection, we call on the Government to facilitate insurance investment into Infrastructure Debt and Green and Sustainable Finance (GSF) assets under the incoming Hong Kong Risked-Based Capital Regime.

“To create more international insurance capacity and capability in Hong Kong, where fiscal incentives and support services should be put in place to facilitate enterprises setting up broking, underwriting and other core business functions in Hong Kong. Meanwhile, this approach recommends cultivating a talent training pathway for local citizens in partnership with renowned academic institutions and the industry sector.

“To position Hong Kong as a professional risk management centre, drawing on our risk capability and expertise and providing capacity to meet the growing insurable needs of the GBA, the Belt and Road and other national strategies.”