Growth of Asia-Pacific over the past two to three decades has resulted in massive improvement in the lives of people and an impressive growth of the middle class. However, this has also created an exponential growth of infrastructure and assets at risk. Over the past five years, we have seen major catastrophes that have resulted in many deaths as well as economic losses.

The Great Eastern Japan Earthquake (also called Tohoku Earthquake), the unanticipated major losses due to the two Christchurch Earthquakes and the most recent Thai floods have clearly shown the vulnerability of major urban centers in Asia. What other “surprises” await the societies in various countries in Asia and to the insurance/reinsurance companies? What have we learned from those recent events? With Asia being a major agriculture region of the world, what impact can we expect in food security due to climate change? These and many other important issues such as the design of portfolios, secondary losses, contingent liabilities, business interruptions due to catastrophe losses and such secondary impacts are not that well understood for Asian risks.

The past three ICRM Symposia highlighted the following issues:

  • 2010 Inaugural Symposium introduced ICRM and its agenda for research and education.
  • 2011 Symposium was dedicated to food and water security and the impact of climate change on these risks.
  • The 2012 Symposium was focused on “Black Swan” type of events, i.e. major catastrophes that were not on the radar screens of planners, policy makers, risk analysts or researchers.

The 2013 Symposium will emphasize on the evolving risks due to extreme events in the Asia Pacific region and whether societies, governments, insurance/reinsurance and financial industries are prepared for such events. It will have the following sub-themes:

  • Is the Asian landscape prepared in terms of understanding and preparing for extreme risks? Is the financial sector and insurance/reinsurance sector capable of dealing with such risks without extreme stress?
  • What have we learned from the recent extreme events in Asia? What needs to be done to mitigate the impact of gaps between what is needed to be done and what is currently done?
  • Articulation of some of the extreme events that could occur in Asia, impacting the ability of nations and industry to manage those resulting risks.
  • What are the “Dragon Kings” as opposed to “Black Swans”? How do we deal with such events?

It is the aim of the Fourth Symposium to raise awareness and understanding of these issues and to exchange ideas and strategies for better management of associated risks.