The 9th meeting of the Arab Forum of Insurance Regulatory Commissions kicks off in Abu Dhabi

: 10/31/2010

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Insurance premiums realized in the State are expected to rise to AED22 billion during 2010, marking a growth rate of 10% as compared with AED20 billion achieved in 2009, according to H.E Eng. Sultan bin Saeed Al Mansouri, Minister of Economy and Chairman of the Insurance Authority.

In his speech during the opening of the events of the 9th meeting of the Arab Forum of Insurance Regulatory Commissions (AFIRC) which kicked off in Abu Dhabi, Al Mansouri said that, in the qualitative aspect, the local market is filled with the technical competencies specialized in various classes of insurance.

The events of the 9th meeting of the AFIRC organized by the Insurance Authority over two days kicked off with the participation of the chairmen, directors, and representatives of the insurance authorities of 16 Arab countries as well as many presidents of the regional and international organizations relevant with insurance.

Al Mansouri said that the UAE government strategy paid the insurance sector huge attention through the issuance of a modern law and establishment of the IA which took the initiative to develop the insurance sector in the State and preform a leading role in the region and an active involvement internationally.محتوى الصفحة

He affirmed that the government will provide full support to the IA’s efforts in order to reach the highest ranks globally. He emphasized that since its inception, the IA has been seeking to reorganize the local insurance market and establish thereof on the best technical, financial, and legal standards and principles, and it intends to follow this direction with accelerated steps.

He noted the influential reciprocal relationship between the insurance activity and what happens in the economic and social sectors.

He said that the insurance sector in the UAE embodies such reality accurately. In terms of the volume, the UAE market dominates an advanced rank among the Arab insurance markets, as the insurance premiums achieved in the local insurance market in 2009 amounted to nearly AED20 billion and they are expected to reach around AED22 billion. At the same time, in terms of quality, the local market is filled with the specialized technical competencies in various insurance classes.

Al Mansouri explained that the UAE attained advanced achievements at the level of economic policies as the State adopted the policy of economic diversity, apart from the oil resources, and the contribution of non-oil sectors reached 71% of the gross domestic product of the State in 2009.

He added that the UAE has become one of the best countries worldwide in the provision of the investment environment that attracts investments thanks to the developed legislations and laws and advanced infrastructure which contributed to the increasing of direct foreign investments in the aftermath of the global financial crisis, especially in the sectors of energy, renewable energy, petrochemicals, and the financial services as well as the industry, aviation, and tourism which boosted the UAE competitiveness at the regional and international levels.

He referred to the intense efforts exerted by the UAE to support and encourage innovation and create competitiveness in all the economic sectors in the State. The UAE ranked the first position in the Arab region and the 24th position among 132 countries included in the index, according to the global innovation index for 2010.

Al Mansouri noted the importance of paying attention to many aspects when determining the answer which is evident with the manner of protecting the insurance client, policy holders and beneficiaries, especially in the insurance classes that target the public, which emphasized the role of effective control and how to protect the insurance companies especially when some of them breach the technical and financial principles adopted locally and internationally when dealing with the insurance risks and when entering the investment domain, and how to conciliate and coordinate between the Arab legislations relevant with the insurance transactions.

He expressed hope to expand the base of AFIRC membership over the current number which amounts to 16 Arab countries to include all the Arab states.

He emphasized the importance of the time factor in achieving the AFIRC operations and objectives in a manner that boosts the growth of such sector. The UAE hosts the events of the 9th meeting of AFIRC based on the unanimous decision which was made by the AFIRC members to hold their 9th meeting in Abu Dhabi in appreciation of the advanced role performed by the IA in the UAE, in order to improve the insurance sector in the State and in view of the IA’s established commitment to enhance supervision and control on the insurance sector to ensure the financial solvency and adopt the laws and fair competition.

On his part, Yoshihiro Kawai, Secretary-General of the International Association of Insurance Supervisors (IAIS), gave a speech during the opening of the AFIRC where he reviewed the latest developments in the IAIS.

During the opening ceremony, a promotional presentation about the UAE economy and another presentation about the developments achieved by the IA since its inception to date were presented. Further, many insurance figures were honored for their prominent role in developing the Arab insurance industry and the AFIRC.

Many memorandums of understanding were recently signed between the IA, the Egyptian Financial Supervisory Authority, and the Jordanian Insurance Authority which were signed for the UAE by H.E. Fatima Mohammed Ishaq Al Awadi, Deputy Director General of the IA, and the officials of the insurance authorities in Egypt and Jordan. Further, a third memorandum of understanding was signed between the AFIRC and the General Arab Insurance Federation.

Following the opening ceremony, the AFIRC started discussing its agenda which included a discussion of the status quo and future vision of the AFIRC in addition to a package of matters and internal issues. The AFIRC will continue completing discussion of the issues tomorrow in the presence of all the participating Arab countries.

It is worth noting that the AFIRC was founded in 2006 and the UAE was one of the founder members. The AFIRC holds its meetings twice a year and its decisions form the key source to the organization and development of the insurance authorities in the Arab countries.

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