Bahrain to launch Insurance Day
Manama, February 8, 2012
Bahrain is to launch an annual Insurance Day to recognise the people who have built the industry in the kingdom and to create public awareness about the sector.
The first Insurance Day will be held towards the end of March and is supported by the Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB) and the Bahrain Insurance Association.
The event was unveiled by CBB executive director financial institutions supervision Abdul Rahman Al Baker in a speech at the opening of the eighth annual Middle East Insurance Forum (MEIF 2012) at the Gulf Convention Centre at the Gulf Hotel.
He said the annual event would help to further enhance the awareness of this vital sector and increase the penetration levels of insurance in Bahrain.
In his keynote speech, Al Baker said that his theme was 'Building a Platform for Progress - Key Developments to Ensure a Stable and Thriving Regional Insurance Market.'
"This theme is important and timely as the insurance industry in the Middle East and North Africa (Mena) region is undergoing transformation and there is a tremendous potential for the regional insurance market to grow and thrive," he said.
"The global financial crisis provides us an opportunity to address the weaknesses in the financial system and to build a platform for development and growth of the insurance industry."
"The regulators all over the world, especially in the Mena region, need to strengthen their regulatory framework so that the industry could capitalise on the growth opportunities."
"The financial crisis has been a reminder that markets need effective regulation if they are to operate properly," he said.
"As a regulator, the CBB always believes in continual enhancement and improvement of its regulatory infrastructure for the growth and betterment of industry," he added.
"Currently, we are working on the takaful module to further enhance the growth of the takaful industry and to ensure that all the stakeholders are protected.
"It is also expected that the changes to the module will attract new players to the market and will foster competition."
"As far as takaful is concerned, there is a need to implement takaful-specific accounting best practices in all Mena countries to ensure transparency and protect stakeholders' interests," he said.
"According to the latest report published in December with respect to the infrastructure projects in the GCC countries, the GCC is set to invest more than $960 billion in 1,638 new projects over the next decade.
"Over 80 per cent of these projects are construction, infrastructure and petroleum industry-related projects.
"For new roads and railway projects alone, the GCC countries will be spending a total of $97bn between 2011 and 2020.
"All of these projects are expected to produce a lot of insurance and reinsurance business and the region as a whole is likely to benefit from them.
"Last but not least, regulators in the Mena region should closely work together to develop a regional insurance market through harmonising legal frameworks and ensure that supervisory standards are on a par with best international standards," he said.-TradeArabia News Service