Lloyd’s Sixth Annual London City Dinner at Merchant Taylors’ Hall on Thursday night featured a keynote address by the Governor of the State of Rio de Janeiro, Sérgio Cabral.
In his opening remarks Lord Levene, Chairman of Lloyd’s, described the Governor as a “dynamic and very successful leader who was keyed to success.” He also pointed out that the “remarkable change in Brazil’s economy, which used to be stifled by inflation, was now so evident,” that the “world must sit up and take proper notice.”
In his speech, Governor Cabral spoke about the long history of strong economic and commercial relations between Brazil and the UK. He explained that Brazil is going through “a new cycle of development” and is providing attractive opportunities to British investors looking to expand to the region.
He described his Brazil as “a country with an uncommon set of characteristics. It is the fifth largest country in the world in territory and population, and the tenth strongest economy, which amounts to more than one trillion dollars. Brazil has a very diversified industry and most of its energy comes from renewable sources; it also counts on an extensive array of natural resources.”
He spoke of the economic growth the country has achieved, the stability it enjoys, which has been somewhat rare in Latin America, and the government’s commitment to develop Brazil’s immense store of natural resources in ways that do not produce adverse consequences for the environment.
Moving on to discuss Rio de Janeiro, Cabral described how the State “offers unique advantages in terms of logistics, energy, industry and services”, and spoke of his administration’s efforts to make Rio a more attractive proposition to British and other overseas investors. He explained how his Government is “building a new economic and social reality” in the region and that he is “extremely glad” that Lloyd’s has taken the decision to establish its operations for Brazil in Rio [See IJ web site – https://www.insurancejournal.com/news/international/2008/02/14/87332.htm].
He stressed that the city is “an important financial center too, particularly in the insurance and reinsurance sectors.” The headquarters of the Reinsurance Institute of Brazil (IRB), the state-owned company which had until the beginning of 2008 the monopoly of the Brazilian reinsurance market, is located there.
“The new regulations approved at the beginning of this year opened the Brazilian market of insurance and reinsurance for the participation of foreign companies,” Cabral continued. “It is a market that still can be better explored and has good chances of a promising growth in the near future. Experts estimate that the reinsurance market may double in the first two years after its opening. The Brazilian insurance market currently accounts for over 13 billion dollars of premium. It is the largest in Latin America.”
He also noted that the “main players of the insurance and reinsurance sectors are located in Rio.” These include “the national regulatory agencies; all the associations and entities representing the two sectors; some of the largest Brazilian insurance companies – Icatu-Hartford, Sul America, Bradesco – among others.” He added that he is “extremely glad to say that Lloyd’s – our host this evening – has recently decided to establish its operations for Brazil in Rio.”
Lord Levene paid tribute to Governor Cabral’s role in supporting Lloyd’s negotiations to receive a reinsurance license in Brazil, and in persuading Lloyd’s to establish its base in the State’s capital city. He also discussed how “the balance of power in the world has truly shifted” and the importance to Lloyd’s of building a strong presence in the rapidly transforming “New World” markets including China and Brazil to ensure the market’s future success.
He also went on to stress there is a now a “vast difference in performance, perception, attitude and results between the old world and the new world” and that recently the United States and Europe have been heading rapidly down, while this New World has been heading rapidly up.”
Turning to domestic concerns, Levene stated that in order for Lloyd’s to continue to compete on the world stage the UK’s Treasury Department needs to address the tax treatment of Lloyd’s in the UK if the market is to “stay on top.”
The full text of Governor Cabral’s speech, and Lord Levene’s remarks may be obtained on the Lloyd’s web site at – www.lloyds.com.
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