Thursday, March 4, 2010
Deep structural changes and changing attitudes toward risk are driving long-term growth in the insurance sector within the Middle East and North Africa region, Ahmed Humaid Al Tayer, Governor of the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), told attendees of a bi-annual insurance conference.
Held in Dubai on March 1-3, 2010, the World Space Risk Forum, organized in association with the DIFC, brought together professionals in the space business to exchange ideas on space risk management and insurance. Over 280 delegates including CEOs and CFOs of satellite manufacturers, satellite operators and launch service providers, in addition to all the major global insurance brokers and underwriter companies attended the event.
Speaking about the prospects for the space risk sector, Ahmed Humaid Al Tayer said: “Space insurance is one of the very few financial sectors that have weathered the storm of the global economic crisis and have continued to be strong and healthy. Future prospects for the space industry are strong. Demand for satellite communication capacity continues to grow as new TV, radio, Internet and mobile telephone services are launched and new earth surveys for pollution, resources and disaster monitoring are implemented.”
The space insurance sector plays a very important role in the success of space projects and in supporting innovation and new technological developments, he pointed out. “By allowing risks to be shared and managed more efficiently, insurance helps to secure the financial stability of businesses. For the same reason, the insurance sector plays a vital role in economic development. This is why the Dubai International Financial Centre has made insurance one of our key focus sectors,” he said, noting that insurance companies locating in the DIFC benefit from its well established legal framework, Dubai’s ‘onshore’ status, zero tax rated platform and high quality support services.
Observing other opportunities for the industry in the region in general, Al Tayer concluded:
“The region’s huge programme of infrastructure spending on energy, water, transportation and petrochemicals is creating mega projects that require insurance and reinsurance services.”
“Furthermore, the privatization of state assets has created a vast array of previously uninsured assets that now require insurance cover. The introduction of compulsory insurance for certain non-life risks by the region’s governments and their efforts to encourage individuals to save for retirement have also given a strong boost to insurance sector growth.”