Qatar aims to become insurance hub
by David Masters
Story link: Qatar aims to become insurance hub
Qatar Financial Centre Authority (QFCA) has set its sights high with the goal of making Qatar a regional hub for insurance and reinsurance activity.
The group’s director-general, Stuart Pearce, said the country must develop strategic initiatives from locally-based assets if the goal is to be achieved.
“Following the 500 meetings that QFCA official had held with leading insurance firms across the world, the level of interest about the region and especially Qatar is growing, thanks to the country’s sound economic performance and strategic economic initiatives initiated by the government,” Pearce said.
Government support is indeed forthcoming, with Qatar’s finance minister, Yousef Hussein Kamal, giving his personal backing to the QFCA’s vision.
Speaking at the MultaQa Qatar conference this weekend, Kamal said: “In our region, non-life premiums, on average, account for just one percent of GDP.
“This compares with 3% for the UK and 5% for the US.
“I am convinced that we will successfully narrow this gap as our economic diversification strategy progresses and public awareness of insurance improves.”
He added that insurance activity in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) accounts for less than 1% of the world’s total.
“The potential for growth is enormous,” Kamal said.
He added that Qatar’s efforts to reinforce its economy include the creation of Qatar Insurance Services (QIS) and Qatar Finance and Business Academy (QFBA).
“QIS is a unique opportunity to differentiate Qatar and the region from other insurance centres in the world,” Kamal said.
It will advance the sophistication of Qatar’s insurance industry, and drive the development of insurance and reinsurance across the GCC.
The QFBA, meanwhile, has been established to develop junior, middle, and senior ranking executives in the region.
“Over time, the QFBA will augment the attractiveness of Qatar, not just for doing insurance business locally but also as a springboard into the Middle East region as a whole.”