This year's number of registrations has proved that the East Asian Insurance Congress (EAIC) is still the most important international event focusing on Asian insurance.

The EAIC's 19th biennial conference, organised and hosted by the Macau insurance industry, looks set for success despite the current economic slowdown in Asia. Indeed, as the EAIC's organising committee points out, following various lobbying trips to EAIC member cities earlier this year, it is apparent that there is a need among the regional insurance industries to make a concerted effort in identifying and addressing the challenges emanating from the economic turmoil. Concludes the committee: "It was the consensus of all industry professionals contacted that the 19th EAIC conference will be a timely and strategic platform for addressing these imminent issues."

Although the conference programme will proceed as originally planned, Mr Si Chi Hok, committee chairman, urges delegates and speakers alike to use discussion sessions and open forums to address their current concerns and share their suggestions. A recent count showed that around 80% of overall registrations emanate from Asia Pacific based member cities. It is anticipated that some 800 delegates will be making their way to the Macau Landmark Convention and Exhibition Centre on 20 to 25 September.

This year's theme is "global socio-economic and environmental changes - what impact on East Asian insurers?"

Wednesday the 22nd sees the first full day of sessions which includes the following:

* The impact of new distribution channels on the East Asian insurance industry;

* The increasing role of product development in coping with the rapidly changing life market; and

* Effects of liberalisation and deregulation - practical, tactical and regional considerations.

Thursday is very much an EAIC member meeting day, but there is a session entitled "Lining up for the Major League: The Crucial Ingredients to Future Survival?" Friday is open for golf or a city tour, or whatever else delegates may have in mind.

About the EAIC

The EAIC is a non-profit making and non-governmental organisation which aims to develop international collaboration in the insurance field. Its objectives are multifarious, its main aim to enhance communication and to promote the insurance industry both within and outside of the East Asia region. There are currently 11 member cities including Bangkok, Hong Kong, Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur, Manila, Singapore, Seoul, Taipei, Tokyo and Macau. For further information, contact the 19th EAIC Organising Committee on fax: 853 337 531. E-mail:

Valerie Denney is co-editor of this publication.