Singapore PM Urges Lloyd’s to Expand Asian Links

September 11, 2006

Lloyd’s Chairman Lord Levene welcomed His Excellency Lee Hsien Loong, Prime Minister of Singapore, and a host of senior executives from across the insurance market, government and business at a dinner held in the Merchant Taylors’ Hall in London on Thursday, Sept. 7.

The Prime Minister told the assembled notables that European businesses should consider all of Asia when planning for the future, and not focus solely on China and India. “Europe has many urgent priorities, but it must strive to deepen its relationship with Asia,” the Lloyd’s Website bulletin quoted him as saying. “If Europe is left out of Asia at a time when the region is growing and linking up with partners all over the world, it will pay a heavy price not just in economic growth and vitality, but also in its international influence.”

He added: “Dynamic and vibrant as it is, Asia will continue to depend critically on its links to other parts of the world. We do not see a future for ourselves in a closed Asian bloc. Instead, we seek to build an open framework of cooperation with many partners.”

In his remarks at the dinner Lord Levene said: “When I first joined Lloyd’s, I saw a hugely impressive business in North America, a respectable business in Europe and a modest business in Japan, Australia and South Africa and not a great deal elsewhere. Our business in Asia, outside Japan, was small, except that interestingly in Singapore we have the only other Lloyd’s market in the world operating in the same way as it does in London, and which is now starting to gather wider interest.”

Lloyd’s, however needs to grow, he continued, and to do that “we have to look East.” He reminded the audience that at last year’s dinner he reported an agreement with Chinese Regulatory Authorities giving Lloyd’s a license to operate as an on-shore reinsurer in China. “We hope to be operational there by the year end,” Levene continued. “We are also hopeful that the Government of India will be able to introduce measures to make that enormous economy once again fully open to Lloyd’s.”

The full text of the Prime Minister’s speech and Lord Levene’s remarks may be obtained on the Lloyd’s Website at: www.lloyds.com.

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