We in DIFC are very pleased that the inaugural World Space Risk Forum is being held in Dubai. As the region’s recognised global financial hub, Dubai, in many ways, provides an ideal venue for this meeting.
The inaugural World Space Risk Forum comes as the space insurance industry celebrates another successful year. Towards the end of 2009, Aon International Space Brokers had predicted that profits in the sector might top $400m this year.
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. Though the financial crisis has caused some projects to be delayed, essentially, the crisis has not had an impact on the space industry.
So, please accept my congratulations for your achievements over the past year.
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 risk management sector plays a very important role in the success of space projects and in supporting innovation and new technological developments. By allowing risks to be shared and managed more efficiently, insurance helps to secure the financial stability of businesses. And 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.
The MENA region is known for its low uptake of insurance products, especially considering its high levels of income, assets and wealth. However, low penetration levels imply vast growth opportunities for the insurance and reinsurance sector.
Deep structural changes and changing attitudes toward risk are driving growth in the insurance sector.
· The region’s huge programme of infrastructure spending on energy, water, transportation and petrochemicals is creating mega projects that require insurance and reinsurance services
· The rapid growth of Islamic, or Takaful, insurance products is opening insurance to a new customer base.
· The development of trade in the region is leading to a growing demand for aviation and other forms of commercial insurance.
· The privatisation of state assets means a vast array of previously uninsured assets are now requiring insurance cover.
· In addition, governments in the region are encouraging individuals to save for their retirement and are introducing compulsory insurance for certain non-life risks.
We at DIFC are supporting the growth of the insurance sector by serving as an attractive domicile for firms – whether they are looking to tap regional growth opportunities or simply seeking a platform to operate globally.
While in Dubai, some of you may like to explore DIFC’s offerings, which include:
· A well established legal framework, onshore jurisdiction, zero tax rated platform and high quality support services that offer a secure and productive base for the establishment of insurance, reinsurance and captive insurance companies.
· Strategic geographic location in the centre of a region that offers tremendous growth potential
· World-class prudential rules for insurers, re-insurers and captives, in line with the highest international standards of regulation and supervision
· Opportunities for “synergy operations” in activities like insurance, asset management, fund registrations, financial exchange products and Islamic financial services.
Our plan for developing DIFC into a leading insurance hub goes beyond the infrastructure. We seek to create a vibrant community of financial service providers that can enhance synergies and knowledge exchange in the industry. We have over 850 companies, which include many of the insurance industry’s leading players like Zurich, AIG, Alliance Re, Marsh, and RFIB.
I would like to thank the organisers of the World Space Risk for choosing to hold this important event here in Dubai. I wish you a thought-provoking conference. And I hope that you will also have time to see for yourselves the high quality of business environment, infrastructure and lifestyle that Dubai offers.Global Arab Network
Extracted from Speech notes for Ahmed Humaid Al Tayer, Governor of the Dubai International Financial Centre