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SOURCE: Zurich Insurance (Hong Kong)
18th May 2016

Safely Navigating a World of New Opportunities with the Belt and Road Initiative

HONG KONG, CHINA - Media OutReach - May 18, 2016 - "Belt and Road" is not just a buzzword. It is an opportunity for China to close the potential economic gap that may arise due to its demographic shift and to promote cross-border trade. While companies all over the world will reap enormous benefits by taking part in the Belt and Road Initiative, it comes with considerable risks and challenges which they should prepare to tackle.

The Belt and Road Initiative will entail vast investment in the construction of railroad, highway and tunnels as well as other sectors like energy and telecommunications. This will translate into lucrative business opportunities, but the diversity and different economic and political situations of countries along the routes inevitably mean there are inherent risks, ranging from the fundamental legal and financial challenges of accessing new foreign markets to political or social instability and regional disputes.

With great opportunity comes great challenges

There can be a multitude of risks associated with construction and infrastructure projects. Unforeseen damage to the equipment and machinery, third party bodily injury and property damage, disruptions to supply chain or project delay are some of the challenges the project owners may face. On top of this, there will be operation risks such as property damage and business interruptions caused by natural or man-made catastrophes. The companies also face people risks as their employees may be stricken by accidents and diseases, while working in an unfamiliar place also put them at risk of terrorist attack, kidnap and ransom.

Given that majority of the investment, financing, merger and acquisition (M&A) will take place in developing countries, the credit and political risks will add to the uncertainties faced by builders, contractors, investors and lenders. Abrupt change of government, war, civil strife, confiscation, expropriation, nationalization, sovereign or currency debt crisis can threaten projects and profits. When it involves M&A activities, the buyer may also face M&A risks which include losses arising from the breach of warranties or tax indemnity.

When companies venture into new territories under the Belt and Road Initiative, they also face regulatory risks where they need to deal with the challenge of local laws, regulations and tax requirements which are foreign to them. Any non-compliance or contravention of local laws may threaten the project and even cause damage to the company's reputation.

Choose a capable insurer to exploit the benefits from the Belt and Road Initiative

Notwithstanding the various business challenges involved, the Belt and Road Initiative represents immense business opportunities on an unprecedented scale spanning more than 60 countries across three continents. The global investment involved will be the largest in the last 50 years and the next 12 years. Riding on this Initiative, companies can grow their business as well as raising their international profile but at the same time they also need to take cautious steps to manage the risks involved and protect their own reputation. To safely tap into this new world of opportunities, these companies need a trusted insurance partner with the scale and capabilities to understand and manage the complicated challenges involved.

With almost 40 years of experience in this arena, Zurich Insurance provides all-round insurance solutions, protecting risks that may arise from every aspect in the Belt and Road projects. Zurich's International Program boasts a powerful network of experienced and multinational experts in over 200 countries and territories, working with carefully selected local partners who are leaders in their countries to ensure compliance with local laws and tax requirements. Our areas of expertise include:

  • Construction and Erection All Risk
  • Credit and Political Risk
  • Construction Third Party Liability
  • Surety
  • Project Cargo
  • Supply Chain Risk
  • Professional Indemnity
  • Captives, etc.

The Belt and Road Initiative offers unparalleled opportunities for companies within and outside the Belt and Road region alike. No matter where your business operates, Zurich's International Program will offer risk management solutions to help you reap the fruits of this golden opportunity.

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About Zurich Insurance Group

Zurich Insurance Group (Zurich) is a leading multi-line insurer that serves its customers in global and local markets. With about 55,000 employees, it provides a wide range of general insurance and life insurance solutions and services. Zurich's customers include individuals, small businesses, mid-sized and large companies, including multinational corporations, in more than 170 countries. The Group is headquartered in Zurich, Switzerland, where it was founded in 1872. The holding company, Zurich Insurance Group Ltd (ZURN), is listed on the SIX Swiss Exchange and has a level I American Depositary Receipt (ZURVY) program, which is traded over-the-counter on OTCQX. Further information about Zurich is available at

Zurich's presence in Hong Kong dates back to 1961. In Hong Kong, Zurich offers a full range of flexible general insurance and life insurance products and solutions for individuals, small businesses, and mid-sized companies, as well as large corporate customers, catering to their insurance, protection and investment needs. Zurich was also awarded the 10 Year Plus Caring Company Logo for 2015/2016 by the Hong Kong Council of Social to acknowledge its commitment in "Caring for our Community", "Caring for our Employees" and "Caring for our Environment" over the past years.



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