Pru Life UK and its regional headquarters, Prudential Corporation Asia (PCA), were the headline sponsors of the recently concluded 5th ASEAN-EU Business Summit, the Philippines’ first big business event in its chairmanship this year of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).
Held last March 10 in a hotel in Pasay City, the Summit gathered close to 350 dignitaries, distinguished guests, and delegates from the European Union and around the ASEAN region for a full day of thoughtful discussions on the most pressing topics and issues in the business relations between the two regions. The Summit was held in parallel to the ASEAN Economic Ministers Meeting and the EU-ASEAN dialogue session between EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström and her counterparts in ASEAN.
“In partnership with PCA, Pru Life UK is pleased to be the Platinum sponsor of the 2017 ASEAN-EU Business Summit. Our company has grown with the Philippines and ASEAN. As we move forward and map our future, we bank on events such as this Summit to gather insights and spark discussions which are necessary in mitigating risks, overcoming challenges, and further expanding the business,” said Pru Life UK President and CEO Antonio “Jumbing” De Rosas.
PCA’s Regional Director for Government Relations Paul Lynch further underscored the sponsorship’s importance. He said, “Prudential is the largest European insurance company in ASEAN. We have been in the region for over 90 years and expanded our presence to a ninth ASEAN nation, Lao PDR, in 2016. We believe that closer commercial ties between the EU and ASEAN will create jobs and prosperity in both regions, and PCA is determined to play a full role in ASEAN’s economic growth.”
Bringing their extensive experience managing the vast businesses of British financial giant Prudential plc in Asia, the top executives of Pru Life UK and PCA weighed in the timely discussions on the need for a strong financial system in the ASEAN region and on the role of insurance companies in ensuring the region’s long-term growth.
In his keynote address, Mr. De Rosas highlighted the importance of thinking long-term progress, and how insurance companies can support this objective.
He said, “For an economy to grow to its full potential, it needs a strong financial system. Insurance companies have a longer-term perspective. We make long-term commitments to our policyholders and have stable long-term cash flows. This makes insurance companies ideal sources of funding for the government, and for businesses or commercial projects with a multi-year time horizon.”
“The way that insurance companies invest – able to ride out short-term fluctuations in the market – also adds to economic resilience,” he added.
Meanwhile, Prudence Foundation Executive Director Marc Fancy served as a panelist for the session on corporate social responsibility and the role of business in achieving sustainable development. He shared how PCA streamlines its regional programmes in accordance to important key societal issues, wisely taking a strategic approach when it comes to CSR. The Foundation’s community programmes are focused on three pillars – Children, Education, and Disaster Preparedness and Recovery.
He expounded, “Most big companies in Asia are familiar with investing every time disasters actually happen. But it’s actually a much better use of capital to invest in building preparedness and resilience; and that fits very well with us as a business, being in life insurance – a proactive, risk mitigation-oriented company.”
Prudential’s delegation to the Summit also includes Don Kanak, Chairman of Eastspring, Prudence Foundation and the EU-ASEAN Business Council. This year's summit was organized by the European Chamber of Commerce Philippines to pave the way for the deepening economic relationship between ASEAN countries and Europe. The EU is ASEAN’s largest source of investment and second largest trading partner. The two regional integration organizations are celebrating 40 years of formal relations this year, and are working towards increasing bilateral trade opportunities.
Pru Life UK’s participation in the ASEAN-EU Business Summit coincides with Pru Life UK’s 20th anniversary in the Philippines. In 1996, the Insurance Commission granted the British subsidiary the license to operate and sell life insurance products in the country. Since then, Pru Life UK has expanded its reach to over 80 branches in the Philippines, with the biggest life agency force at 17,000 licensed agents, and has emerged as one of the top five life insurers. Pru Life UK holds headquarters in Uptown Bonifacio, Taguig City.