Abdul Rahman Al Baker
500 experts for Bahrain insurance forum
Manama, January 16, 2013
More than 500 leading players, industry thought leaders and key regulators in the regional and international insurance industry are set to gather in Bahrain next month at for the ninth annual Middle East Insurance Forum (MEIF).
MEIF 2013 will run at the Gulf Hotel on February 4 to 5.
Held under the theme "Balancing Growth with Profitability: New Strategies for the Middle East Insurance Industry", MEIF 2013, supported by the Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB), will be a key platform to discuss new strategies to maintain growth momentum while boosting technical profitability in an increasingly competitive regional insurance market.
"The Middle East insurance industry is still relatively young compared to other more developed markets in the world," MEIF managing director David McLean said.
"The attractive demographics, increasing customer awareness, positive regulatory reforms and increase in average individual income in the Middle East have made the region one of the fastest growing and most attractive insurance markets.
"With GDP in the Middle East forecast to grow at a faster rate, the Middle East insurance markets have strong potential for growth.
"However, with a wide range of social, political and economic changes not only in the Middle East but globally, it is very important for industry players to continuously assess their business models and strategies in order to ensure robustness.
"With rising competition for market share from both regional operators and multinationals, players in the Middle East insurance industry will have to place operational efficiency, competitiveness and scale at the top of their strategic planning agenda," he said.
"As the Middle East continues to be one of the most dynamic and attractive insurance markets in the world, it is essential that the current growth momentum in the industry is continued in the long term and this requires leading players in the industry to concentrate on technical and operational profitability, address the issues of pricing challenges and shift towards risk adequate pricing while adopting international best practices," he added.
The two-day event is set to begin with an inaugural keynote address by CBB executive director of financial institutions supervision Abdul Rahman Al Baker, who will discuss how enhancing the regulatory framework can support the further development of the insurance industry in the Middle East.
"The insurance industry in the Middle East is undergoing significant transformation and there is tremendous potential for the market to grow and thrive," he said.
"Regional market trends clearly highlight the growth potential for both multinational and local participants.
"However, given the current challenges of increasing competition, it is essential that the industry addresses key challenges and refine business models to build the foundation for an exciting and stable growth curve for the insurance sector.
"With significant untapped potential in the regional insurance industry, both regulators and operators in the region must aim to promote collaboration, transparency and adoption of the best international standards in order to optimise the growth potential," he added.
A major highlight of this year's MEIF will be the industry leaders' power debate session which will feature significant debates and discussions on maintaining growth momentum while boosting technical profitability.
Providing new research insights into insurance buying patterns and behaviour, MEIF 2013 features an exclusive session led by Ernst & Young which will discuss the findings of an original global research where 25,000 global insurance consumers were interviewed, including consumers from the Middle East. – TradeArabia News Service