‘Pakistan is prone to climatic shift and the emerging risks, including the significantly large risks which come under the ambit of disasters,’ said Fida Hussain Samoo, the Commissioner (Insurance)-Securities & Exchange Commission of Pakistan-SECP, while addressing as the Chief Guest on the first day of a two-day International Conference on Climate Change & Emerging Risks, organized by Pakistan Insurance Institute – PII, here on Monday the 10th of April 2017. The theme of the conference was ‘Our World, Our Turn’.

While sharing his thoughts on the occasion of International Conference on Climate Change and Emerging Risks, he further stated, ‘there have been number of initiatives by the local and international bodies to develop a mechanism for the effective management of climate change and emerging risks, including the disaster risks which claim number of lives and valuable properties’. ‘The support and assistance from Government of Pakistan and the SECP has been extended regarding many such initiatives’, he added.

Well planned and well organized event lured a large number of audience from the field of insurance/re-insurance to attend exclusively to listen to the expert views of the luminaries, from across the world. The seasoned figures included some richly experienced speakers from Germany, France, China, Thailand, Sri Lanka and Middle East, besides Pakistan who delivered their presentations at the International Conference on Climate Change and Emerging Risks.

Prior to the Conference, a welcome dinner was arranged in the honour of all delegates and distinguished guests on Sunday. The insurance fraternity really enjoyed the scrumptious meals, while discussing various matters of mutual interest. They all looked forward to the debut of the International Conference on Climate Change and Emerging Risks the next morning.

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Former Senator and ex-Federal Minister of Information, Javed Jabbar was the keynote speaker on the maiden day of International Conference on Climate Change and Emerging Risks, as he had virtually proved his extraordinary skills of addressing such a high-profile audience, while sharing his personal experiences in the fields of Advertising and Climatology in a very impressive, yet interesting manner. Earlier, Taher G. Sachak, Chairman PII had presented the welcome address, which was to be followed by the address of Zafar ul Haq Hijazi, Chairman, SECP who could not make it, for some personal reasons. In his place, the Commissioner Insurance SECP discharged the duties as the Chief Guest on the occasion.

The Chubb’s Regional President, Eurasia & Africa expressed his views on ‘Cyber & technology risk– how to manage a Chimera?’ While elaborating the stipulated topic in the International Conference on Climate Change and Emerging Risks, he had quoted the following statement of — Evan Greenberg, Chubb Chairman and CEO, who once said:

‘Perils are emerging as society matures…as economy digitizes, as society digitizes, there are more exposures that are going to emerge. Cyber risk is one of them’.

Another worthy speaker of the International Conference on Climate Change and Emerging Risks, Dr. Jagath Alwis, Director (Technical)/Chief Technical Officer, Ceylinco spoke on the topic of ‘Global Warming & The Changing Insurance Landscape’. He disclosed that the former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher was the first leader who openly spoke about climate change in her speech to the Royal society in 1989. It was followed by drought in the USA and Canada in 1988/89 and the Hurricane Katarina. Much public awareness was created about climate change and then, ultimately, the focus was on the Green House effect.

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While highlighting the issue in detail with the support of painstaking research, Dr. Alwis advised the Industry should contribute towards Green insurance by abstaining from underwriting obvious risks which are polluting the environment and refraining from insuring motor vehicles which have high carbon dioxide emission levels. The learned insurer had also proposed encouraging discounts for environmental friendly projects, rewarding energy saving initiatives and highlighting environmental issues during risk inspections.

The second & last day of the International Conference on Climate Change and Emerging Risks was full of useful information, imparted by some worthwhile industry seniors from Germany, France, China and Pakistan. However, it was more interesting to learn about the personal experiences and advices by veteran insurer, Saifuddin Zoomka wala, who started his career some 52 years back.

Besides providing and sharing significant knowledge, the organisers had also made arrangements for entertaining the diversified audience through a musical concert at the end of day-1.Artistes invited from Coke Studio performed enthusiastically, and it was Saleem Javed, the famous pop singer, who had stolen the show by his enthralling performance on the last day. He had sung popular songs of Urdu, Punjabi, Pashto, Sindhi and Balochi, compelling the enthusiasts to begin dancing, frankly.

While preparing for the coverage of International Conference on Climate Change and Emerging Risks, Live Rostrum News Agency came up with some exclusive questionnaire for the Chairman and Commissioner-SECP. Since the former didn’t turn up, it was expected from the latter to fulfill his promise to respond back, but, he refrained from doing so, for the reasons unknown. Following are the questions:

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QUESTIONS FOR THE REGULATOR AT THE CONFERENCE

  1. Reinsurance is a cross border business and statistics show that Pakistan as a third world country is subsidizing the developed world reinsurers for the last 4 decades plus and loosing 4 to 6 hundred million USD per year at an average because of low claim ratios. This situation can be averted by opening our markets for companies to assume foreign risk and by the creation of a domestic reinsurance pool. Your comments?
  2. A proposal was moved with PRCL based upon the above question where a gold- based security was proposed to them and no counter argument was received from them in the interest of the country. Why?
  3. China being the largest foreign investor at this point in time in the Pakistan economy, are desirous of all their foreign investments being insured / reinsured with themselves.  This is a policy under their ‘one belt one road’ initiative.  Will Pakistani rules on insurance and reinsurance provide ease and support?
  4. The nuclear plants K2 & K3 are poised for placement with the European / American markets and steps in that direction have been taken by PRCL and NIC jointly. These steps are against the grain of the Chinese policy of investment in these two projects.  Is the Government going to reverse this process and when?
  5. What is the government plan for opening up the reinsurance market for cross border underwriting as the insurance ordinance 2000 is a biased draft containing the market for Pakistani insurers? This Ordinance was prepared by a defunct company called Arthur Anderson.

 

Report by Sohail Ahmed Siddiqui
Coverage through lens by Farhan khan

Sohail Ahmed Siddiqui

Poet, Writer, Journalist, Broadcaster and TV Host
Sohail Ahmed Siddiqui had served various organisations in different fields. He has got approximately 700 published writings (Urdu/English) and a few books to his credit. Currently, he is the Chief Editor, Live Rostrum.

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