About The ASEAN Insurance Training & Research Institute (AITRI)

Besides their immense diversity culturally, the Association of South East Asian Nation (ASEAN)’s member countries remain to be one of the most diverse communities in its economic growth and achievement, the diversity deeply shaped by each country’s social, geography, history and political system. Even today at almost 40, ASEAN is still about ten nations in a community, with some countries economically advanced while others still struggling to overcome hard core poverty. 

Realising that the same disparity applies in the insurance markets, the insurance regulators from the member countries - Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam - mooted the idea to establish an institute to strengthen the regional financial co-operation in the area of human resource development in insurance during the ASEAN Summit Meeting in 1999. The idea was to close the gap between the more established insurance markets and the teething market in the region through the provision of necessary avenues and accessibility to education, training and research relating to insurance.

Through the establishment of this institute, the more advanced countries will also be facilitated in assisting their less advanced brothers through the transfer of knowledge and technical know-hows. Towards this aim, the ASEAN Insurance Training and Research Institute (AITRI) was established in September 2000, during the ASEAN Insurance Regulators Meeting, as part of the region’s efforts to restore confidence, regenerate economic growth and promote regional financial stability.  

It was officially incorporated on 1st December 2004. The Malaysian Insurance Institute (MII) was mandated as the Secretariat and AITRI headquarter is now based in the MII building in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Dato’ Syed Moheeb Syed Kamarulzaman, the Chief Executive Officer of MII, was appointed as the CEO of AITRI.

Registered in Malaysia, AITRI has been receiving strong support from the central bank of Malaysia, Bank Negara Malaysia, since its inception. To ensure the involvement of each member, the insurance supervisor of the member countries were appointed to be on the member of AITRI Board of Trustees. AITRI, a non-profit organisation, has since been an important player for a rapid and equitable development of the intellectual capital in the ASEAN insurance market through its three-pronged activities: 

  • providing training for regulators,
  • providing training for the insurance industry and
  • conducting research studies
To facilitate the growth of a stable, transparent and competitive insurance market, AITRI has been vigorously  pushing  for  the

adoption of the International Association of Insurance Supervisors’s (IAIS) core principles. The adoption will ensure the implementation of standardized regulations and practices in the region’s markets, consequently smoothing cross-border collaboration and discussion.

As a research body, AITRI undertakes regional study projects on a collective need basis for the member countries, in which general assistance is extended to students who are conducting the research in insurance. Two researches have been carried out by AITRI so far. They are “A Comparative Analysis on Current Insurance Law and Its Supervision in the ASEAN Region” and “Study on Human Resource Development Needs for ASEAN Insurance Regulators and Insurance Industry”.

As most of the programmes carried out by AITRI stress on building the capacity in the low-income countries, sustainable access to financial resources and resource persons are two key determinants for AITRI’s long term growth. A not-for profit organisation, AITRI is continuously looking for and securing the funding and expertise support from international donors to realize the programmes planned out to develop industry competencies in the region’s insurance market.

AITRI donor include International Association of Insurance Supervisors (IAIS); an international body promoting standard and best practices in insurance supervision and regulation, The Financial Sector Reform and Strengthening (FIRST) Initiative; an international multidonor program supporting capacity building and policy development projects in the financial sector, Give2Asia; a U.S. non-profit organisation established by The Asia Foundation to increases the quality and quantity of charitable investments in Asia and The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD); a group of 30 member countries with a commitment to democratic government and the market economy. 

In conclusion, AITRI continues to strive in assisting the ASEAN countries, with special attention to its less advance members, improve and enhance their capabilities and technical knowledge in the insurance industry so as to have an ASEAN where individual insurance industries continue to challenge and help each other grow on a level playing field. This is done through bringing in experts and funding from donor bodies for training and education programmes for the regulators, private sectors and researchers.

AITRI welcomes participation from all interested parties who are committed in combining force and helping the institute to develop the ASEAN insurance market to the next level, at par with the developed countries. AITRI welcomes all donors, researchers and technical experts on board.

For more information on how you can contribute to AITRI and its goals, please contact AITRI and talk to Dato’ Syed Moheeb at +603- 2087 8882 extension 255, or email him at syedmoheeb@mii.org.my

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