M.K. Itzhak Cohen, Deputy Minister of Finance
Prof. Oded Sarig, Commissioner of the Capital Markets and Insurance at the Finance Ministry of Israel.
Mr. Graham White, Deputy Chairman of Lloyd's & Managing Director of Argenta Private Capital Limited, who has become a traditional guest of honor of the Tel Aviv Re.
Mr. Ofer Eliyahu, Chairman of the Israel Insurance Associations and CEO of Eliyahu Insurance Company.
Mr. Zeev Even Chen, Chairman of the Association of Life Insurance Companies of Israel Ltd.
Mr. Georgios Kotsalos, CEO Interamerican-Greece and the President of the Hellenic Association of Insurance Companies
Distinguished guests from all over the world; all my colleagues from the Israeli Insurance market,
I was very glad to see so many new faces this evening among the participants in the 6th Tel Aviv Reinsurance Conference. It was also very nice to see some of the reinsurers tonight who are coming already to the conference for the 6th time.
I'm very proud as an Israeli to see that the city of Tel Aviv, where I was also born, has become one of the important centers of the international insurance and reinsurance markets.
The turnover of the Israeli insurance market including non-life, health insurance and life insurance, has grown up Shekels wise during 2011 has reached an amount of almost US$ 13 billion. Taking in consideration that the total population in Israel in 2011 has been just over 7.5 million people, which means that we are reaching a premium of $1,700 per capita, which is certainly one of the highest premiums per capita in the world.
The Israeli Insurance Association is dealing with a lot of issues during the year and I do not think it is the right place and time to tell you in details about all the activities of the Israeli Insurance Association. As you know, the insurance market in Israel is highly regulated and on top of the routine work of the Israeli insurance companies, we have also to spend a lot of time dealing with the regulator's many circulars. In addition to it, the cost for each insurance company dealing with the regulator's circulars is very substantial as every Israeli insurance company has to employ a large number of people who are dealing only with regulations.
2011 has been a much better year for reinsurers. I'm proud to say that the Israeli reinsurance market has been one of the first markets who implemented the increased rates in 2011 to comply with the demand of international reinsurers who had suffered severe losses in other territories in the world.
The Israeli insurance market is very happy with the excellent business relationship with the international reinsurance market and is looking forward to strengthen further the business relationship.
I would like also to say special words of thanks to Mr. Zeev Even Chen and Hedva Vanunu for supporting and helping in organizing the Tel Aviv conference during all the years.
Thank you and good evening.