China – In late March, the Global Federation of Insurance Associations (GFIA) met with representatives of the Chinese Group of 20 (G-20) Presidency, where it welcomed the G-20’s aim of stimulating an "innovative,invigorated, interconnected and inclusive world economy”.
The GFIA delegation set out for Chinese G-20 leaders how the global insurance industry can play an important part in achieving these goals. With more than $26 trillion of assets under management and the ability to invest in long-term assets, such as infrastructure and SMEs, GFIA said that the global insurance industry is well placed to provide long-term investment, which in turn can boost economic growth and create jobs.
The Chinese G-20 Presidency is paying special attention to engaging with institutional investors and promoting infrastructure investments as an asset class, which is something GFIA strongly supports. GFIA also discussed the need for cost-benefit assessments to be included in the development of prudential initiatives at a national and international level.
The impact of new international regulatory standards on the ability of insurers to invest long-term, and in assets that bring economic growth, must be taken into account. For example, a cost-benefit assessment should be included in the global Insurance Capital Standard(ICS), which is currently being developed by the International Association of Insurance Supervisors (IAIS).
GFIA chair, Governor Dirk Kempthorne,said: "Governments must aim to have a well-diversified retirement savings and pension landscape. They must provide incentives for consumers to save and supplement mandatory government pensions. Insurers play an important role in providing long-term retirement savings products. Policymakers should ensure that prudential regulation for insurers does not undermine this important function."
GFIA and the G-20 presidency discussed a number of other globally pertinent issues, including tax regulation, financial inclusion and micro insurance, aging societies and lowering trade barriers.