Harmonization of industry regulatory frameworks a key theme at WTC 2017

Updated 17 February 2017

Harmonization of industry regulatory frameworks a key theme at WTC 2017

DUBAI: The 12th annual World Takaful Conference (WTC) will gravitate around the theme of “Stability, Authenticity & Technological Transformation,” said a press statement released on Thursday.
Convened by leading financial intelligence platform, Middle East Global Advisers (MEGA), the WTC is going to be held in strategic partnership with the Dubai International Financial Center (DIFC)
Owing to continued resilience in the estimated $2 trillion global Islamic finance markets, the global Takaful market is expected to continue its double-digit growth momentum of about 14 percent in 2014 and is slated to cross over $20 billion by 2017, according to the press statement.
Undifferentiated strategies and intense competition are key factors that have adversely affected the short-term financial dynamics of operators in some markets.
It said the absence of uniformity in regulatory frameworks is a pressing concern that obstructs a smooth way forward for the presently fragmented Takaful industry.
Cross-border cooperation and concurrent operations of standard setters and regulators is paramount to enable full enforcement of robust regulations produced by standard setting bodies, which at present is not being enacted.
Keeping in line with the issue at hand, a host of sessions at WTC will gravitate around discussions with a strong focus on the standardization of regulatory and Shariah’ framework by industry facilitators, and how it is a pre-requisite to enhance growth. Leading industry experts will analyze the challenges at hand and focus on coming up with effective suggestions with the ultimate aim of developing a convergence roadmap for regulators, operators and Shariah’ scholars.
WTC 2017 will build on its decade-long reputation for nurturing the development of the Takaful industry by facilitating thought-provoking discussions, producing quality research and generating actionable insights.
In 2016, WTC convened high profile guests and dignitaries from Dubai Islamic Economy Development Center, Dubai International Financial Center, Islamic Insurance Association of London, Insurance Authority UAE, PwC, Moody’s, EY, Swiss Re, Munich Re, Noor Takaful, Emirates RE and many more organizations.
WTC will take place on April 11-12 at the Dusit Thani Hotel, Dubai. The second day of the conference will focus on the impact of disruptive technologies on the insurance industry.
The stream aims to highlight the importance of developing digital proficiency among insurance operators in the light of stiff competition by spearheading a series of insight-generating discussions.
WTC is the leading global forum for Takaful and has played an instrumental role in the development of the industry for more than a decade by facilitating thought-provoking discussions, producing quality research and generating actionable insights.
WTC serves as a platform to facilitate idea-sharing among industry leaders gathered from diverse parts of the world ranging from key markets for Takaful such as the GCC and South East Asia to emerging markets such as Africa and Europe.

Saudi Arabia, Russia and China give EU trade reforms thumbs down at WTO

Updated 14 min 35 sec ago

Saudi Arabia, Russia and China give EU trade reforms thumbs down at WTO

  • China is suing US and EU at WTO
  • Kingdom warns new rules are concerning

The EU’s new rules against countries dumping cheap goods on its market got a rough ride at a World Trade Organization meeting, where China, Russia and Saudi Arabia led a chorus of disapproval, a trade official said on Thursday.

The EU, which is in a major dispute with China about the fairness of Chinese pricing, introduced rules last December that allow it to take into account “significant distortions” in prices caused by government intervention.

A Chinese trade official told the WTO’s anti-dumping committee that Beijing had deep concerns about the new methodology, saying it would damage the WTO’s anti-dumping system and increase uncertainty for exporters, an official who attended the meeting said.

China argued that the concept of “significant distortion” did not exist under WTO rules, and the EU should base its dumping investigations on domestic prices in countries of origin, such as China.

The EU reformed its rules in the hope they would allow it to keep shielding its markets from cheap Chinese imports while fending off a Chinese legal challenge at the WTO.
China said that when it joined the WTO in 2001, the other member countries agreed that after 15 years they would treat it as a market economy, taking its prices at face value.

But the US and the EU have refused, saying China still subsidises some industries, such as steel and aluminum, which have massive overcapacity and spew vast supplies onto the world market, making it impossible for others to compete.

China is suing both the US and the EU at the WTO to try to force them to change their rules.

Legal experts say the dispute is one of the most important in the 23-year history of the WTO, because it pits the major trading blocs against each other with fundamentally opposing views of how the global trade rules should work.

In the WTO committee meeting, Saudi Arabia said the new rules were very concerning, and it challenged the EU to explain how EU authorities could ensure a fair and objective assessment of “significant distortion.”

Russia said the EU rules violated the WTO rulebook and certain aspects were unclear and created great uncertainty for exporters. Bahrain, Argentina, Kazakhstan and Oman also expressed concerns.

But a US trade official said the discussion showed that appropriate tools were available within the WTO to address distortions affecting international trade.