There is an increasing need for the insurance industry to share case studies from neighbouring countries/regions on how they respond to society's needs, such as sustainable development, and allocate their resources accordingly, says Mr. Masayuki Tanaka, the general secretary of East Asian Insurance Congress (EAIC) and managing director of the Foundation for the Advancement of Life and Insurance Around the World (FALIA).
He makes this comment in a message to mark East Asian Insurance Day which falls today (18 October). This date is symbolic because this was when the first EAIC was held in Tokyo in 1962 and when it was designated East Asian Insurance Day in 2006.
60th-anniversary virtual conference
In his message, Mr. Tanaka gives a brief outline of the happenings behind the scene that led to the staging in September of a virtual event to mark the 60th anniversary of the EAIC.
He says that in recent years, the EAIC had to postpone its biennial conference due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The 30th EAIC in Seoul, which was scheduled for 2020 and was postponed to 2022, could not be held this year again.
Under such circumstances for the insurance industry, Mr. Allan Santos, EAIC president (2018-2022), suggested that a commemorative event be held online this year to mark the 60th anniversary of the EAIC. His proposal was adopted and under his strong leadership, the EAIC held an online conference to mark the Diamond Jubilee and to reach out to the public with messages about future prospects for insurance. This move was also supported by the network and website of the regional insurance publication Asian Insurance Review, the official media partner of the EAIC.
The three cities of Manila, Tokyo, and Hong Kong took the lead in preparing the conference by associating the Diamond Jubilee with the four characteristics of a diamond (cut, colour, clarity, and carat) so as to depict the future of the insurance industry. They also worked on inviting speakers and panelists from various countries/regions who could discuss the outlook for the insurance industry over the next 40 years.
The EAIC conference was held virtually on 21-22 September. Various presentations and panel discussions were held. As a significant feature of the EAIC, the discussions involved the overall insurance industry, including life insurance, non-life insurance, and reinsurance. The EAIC was able too to continue its traditional cultural exchange, through cultural performances screened during the online conference.
EAIC 2024 and 2026
As for after the Diamond Jubilee, Mr. Tanaka says that the EAIC conference is on track again with Hong Kong agreeing to host the 2024 event, while the 2026 conference is scheduled to be held in Tokyo in 2026.
In the future, it will become extremely important for neighbouring countries/regions in Asia to further exchange information during the EAIC, he says. He ends his message, wishing, "I sincerely hope that East Asian Insurance Day, 18 October, becomes more widely known, insurance literacy in each country will deepen accordingly, and this will contribute to the development of the entire Asian region."