17th Annual LIMRA/LOMA Strategic Issues Conference - Welcome Speech

17th Annual LIMRA/LOMA Strategic Issues Conference - Welcome Speech

Welcome Speech by Encik Md Adnan Md Zain, President of the Life Insurance Association of Malaysia in conjunction with the 17th Annual LIMRA/LOMA Strategic Issues Conference held on 22 June 2009 at the Shangri-la Hotel, Kuala Lumpur

Yang Berbahagia, Dato' Muhammad Ibrahim, Assistant Governor of Bank Negara Malaysia,

Mr Robert Kerzner, President and CEO of LIMRA / LOMA,

Mr Ng Lian Lu, Chairman of the Host Committee,

Dato'Dato' ,

Distinguished speakers,

Representatives from the media

Ladies and Gentlemen

On behalf of the Life Insurance Association of Malaysia (LIAM), I have the great pleasure in welcoming all of you to this Strategic Issues Conference (SIC) 2009. To our overseas guests and friends, may I extend a very warm welcome to you. Selamat Datang, which of course means "welcome" in the Malay language.

I would also like to express my deepest appreciation to our guest-of-honour, Yang Berbahagia Dato' Muhammad Ibrahim, Assistant Governor of Bank Negara Malaysia, who has taken time off his busy schedule to attend the opening ceremony and to deliver a keynote address at this Conference.

We are proud that Kuala Lumpurhas been selected as the venue for this 17th SIC International Conference. Indeed, LIAM is deeply honoured to be partnering LIMRA and LOMA again in organizing this event for the 3rd time.

I am pleased to announce that today we have a total of 170 delegates from 15 countries attending this conference. We are very impressed with this large number of Conference delegates. Despite the challenging economic times where a lot of overseas travel and seminars have been reduced,?coupled with the current A(H1N1) pandemic where words of caution have been emphasized on travel abroad,the?registration for this International Conference has been remarkably high. Thus, it is most encouraging to note that companies and organizations represented here today do not compromise on the investment in human capital development.It is also a mark of recognition to the high quality seminars organized by LIMRA and LOMA which insurance practitioners will not want to miss.

I would also like to congratulate the organizers for having selected a most appropriate theme for this conference which is "The New Global Economy: Resilience in Challenging Times".

The year 2008 had been a challenging one, as most of you will readily acknowledge. The global financial turmoil, which began more than a year ago in the US, continues to unfold. Many consider the state of the market today to be the worst since the great depression in the 1930s. In the latest World Economic Outlook Update, IMF revised its estimate of world growth to half a percentage point, the lowest since World War II.

It is easy to feel depressed with all these negative news that we hear and read each day.?Nevertheless, all these internationally broadcasted pessimism may just melt away - if only we all steadfastly focus our sights beyond the dark clouds, there are always the silver linings that will appear with untapped business opportunities, multiplied with unexpected growth possibilities. As such, the current financial turmoil should not be allowed to derail its growth. By focusing on key fundamentals, including sound risk management, highly prudential and regulatory standards and strong corporate governance, we are confident that we will be able to ride out this stormy crisis. The lessons learnt from this turmoil will certainly help us to build a stronger foundation for the future.

Ladies and Gentlemen

For this 2-day conference, we have a line up of distinguished speakers, among them are regulators, from many various regions who will graciously share with us their wealth of knowledge and experience. I am sure that this International Conference will serve as a platform in providing great opportunities for all delegates, not only to learn from the speakers, but also to exchange ideas and information among yourselves.

To all foreign delegates, I wish you a wonderful stay in Kuala Lumpur. I hope that you will extend your stay in Malaysia for some sightseeing and shopping.

I wish to take this opportunity to also express my appreciation to Mr Ng Lian Lu, Local Organising Chairman for his untiring efforts in putting together a great conference. On this note, I wish all of you a wonderful experience and a successful Conference.

Thank you.