Thu, Aug 06, 2009 - Page 12 News List

Insurance agents holding awards meeting in Taipei

By Joyce Huang  /  STAFF REPORTER

The 10th International Dragon Award (IDA), which honors outstanding life insurance agents in the Asia-Pacific region, will start its four-day annual meeting this year in Taipei today, organizers said yesterday.

More than 4,800 life insurance professionals, representing more than 100 life insurers from 17 countries in the region, will attend the meeting, IDA chairman Wu Po-yang (吳伯揚) said.

The insurance award, initiated by Taipei-headquartered IMM International (保險行銷集團) in 1998, will honor 2,000 winners this year, 600 of whom will be present to receive their awards tomorrow, he said.

For the first time in the award’s 10-year history, China outperformed Taiwan and will present its 700-strong team of award winning sales agents, compared with Taiwan’s 600, Wu said.

“The financial tsunami does not seem to have negatively affected the Chinese market last year as it did the Taiwanese market,” he said.

As each visiting participant is estimated to spend US$230 per day in Taiwan, Eric Chiang (蔣士煌), deputy director-general of the Bureau of Foreign Trade, said the IDA meeting could generate NT$500 million (US$15.3 million) in revenues for Taiwan.

Chiang said Taiwan is well-known for its hospitality and is well-positioned to develop its meetings, incentives, conventions and exhibition (MICE) industry.

“The Ministry of Economic Affairs has prioritized development of the MICE industry this year by setting up a MICE office,” Chiang said.

The MICE office’s project leader, Alice Chou (周麗霞), said yesterday that Taiwan’s strengths in the medical, science, high-tech and engineering fields, as well as some nongovernmental organizations could help it attract more conferences.

The office is in talks with more than 70 international conference organizers and is hopeful that 20 will soon agree to hold their meetings in Taipei, she said.

Separately, Lai Pen-tui (賴本隊), chairman of the Life Insurance Association of the Republic of China, yesterday said the group was opposed to the government’s plan to tax investment-linked policyholders, saying the move would hurt the domestic insurance market.

He urged the government to look to international norms and treat unit-linked policies, 5 percent of whose premiums is saved to ensure life security, as tax-free insurance products.

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