The Swiss Life Network Asia Pacific Conference 2007 took place in Shanghai, China, at the end of August 2007. The event, which was co-hosted by Ping An Annuity Insurance Co. and the Swiss Life Network, focused on employee benefits in China and Asia. With over 250 participants, this conference was the largest Swiss Life Network event ever held in the region.

The conference provided a packed programme of up-to-date information sessions presented by speakers from the Chinese Ministry of Labour and Social Security (MOLSS), the Chinese Insurance Regulatory Commission (CIRC), as well as representatives of several leading multinational companies and key markets in the Asia Pacific region.

Louis Cheung, Executive Director and General Manager of Ping An Insurance (Group), Margrit Schmid, Head of Swiss Life Network, and Du Yongmao, Chairman and CEO of Ping An Annuity Insurance Company, opened the event by welcoming the participants. Keynote speakers included: Chen Liang, Director-General, Ministry of Labour and Social Security, Beijing, and Liang Tao, Director of Life Insurance Department, CN Insurance Regulator CIRC, Beijing.

An official welcome address was also given by Hans-Peter Willi, acting Consul General of the Consulate General of Switzerland in Shanghai, who described the well-established and growing political and economic relationship between China and Switzerland, noting that there are currently over 250 Swiss companies present in Shanghai.

Participants also had the chance to hear objective views on how the products and services offered by the Swiss Life Network benefit multinational companies. Fintan Nunes, Managing Director of IKANO S.A., Luxembourg, described his experiences of working with an international employee benefits network. He shared his views that employee benefits provisions will liberalise further, due to increasing incomes, life-style requirements, the ageing population and the rising costs of healthcare.

Tian Wei Wei, Human Resource Director of Shanghai Roche Pharmaceutical (‘Roche’), Shanghai, explained the strategies of multinational companies when dealing with geographic diversity. Focusing on trends and developments on the mainland, she said that specific compensation and benefit policies are key to handling the many challenges that arise.

The participation of Swiss Life Network Partners from India (Kotak Life), Japan (Meiji Yasuda Life), Korea (Korea Life), the Philippines (First Guarantee Life), Taiwan (Kuo Hua Life), Thailand (Bangkok Life) and Singapore (NTUC Income), gave participants an opportunity to have their questions answered in person, and learn from a vast pool of international knowledge. There were also several updates by Network Partner representatives, setting out major employee benefit developments and trends on the international level.

Describing the goals of the conference, Margrit Schmid said: “This conference showed our commitment to providing our multinational clients in this important region with access to top quality employee benefits through leading Network Partners. The conference sessions also illustrated our dedication to delivering timely, relevant and useful information – true added value - to all our business partners.” Feedback on the conference was very positive - with 76% of participants rating the conference as “very good” or “good”. All the participants said that they were looking forward to attending future Asia Pacific Conferences.