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MSI China President Masahiko Suga: “Shanghai Speed” attracts foreign investment
By:Zhao Chunyuan, Fu Yifei  |  From:english.eastday.com  |  2021-08-20 14:54

At the beginning of 2020, in response to Shanghai’s desire to develop a headquarters economy in Shanghai, Masahiko Suga took the initiative to propose and take the lead in promoting Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance Company, Limited (MSI) to establish a regional headquarters in Shanghai. In less than one year, MSIG Management (Shanghai) successfully settled in Jing'an district and officially opened on January 1, 2021. MSIG Management (Shanghai) is not only a regional branch established overseas by MSI, but also a representative enterprise of similar financial and insurance groups in the world which works as a regional headquarters in China.

In addition, Masahiko Suga also actively participated in promoting the implementation of the “intelligent cross-border trade insurance platform” project. At present, Masahiko Suga is the president of both MSIG Management (Shanghai) and  MSI China. In the process of promoting the settlement of their regional headquarters enterprises and the construction of an “Intelligent Cross-border Trade Insurance Platform”, he was deeply impressed by Shanghai's convenient business environment, excellent administrative efficiency and advanced legal system.

Masahiko Suga receiving an interview

“Shanghai speed”: less than half a year from preparation to settlement

MSI has always attached great importance to the Chinese market. It entered China as early as 1981 and set up a general representative office in China. It is the representative office’s 40th anniversary this year.

At the beginning of 2020, in order to respond to Shanghai's requirements for developing a headquarters economy and MSI’s desire to continue to increase investment in China and Shanghai, MSI decided to establish a regional headquarters in Shanghai, which is responsible for coordinating the company's resources in China. It is expected to give full play to the economic effect of establishing a headquarters in China and further increase the company's investment in financial technology, and scientific and technological innovation.

Masahiko Suga said that in the process of establishing the regional headquarters, MSI has received strong support from the Shanghai Municipal Government and other relevant departments. He deeply felt the high efficiency, excellent government service and good business environment in Shanghai.

The preparatory work of the regional headquarters was officially launched in June last year, and the industrial and commercial registration was completed in November. It took only about half a year from preparation to registration. After that, MSIG Management (Shanghai) was recognized as the regional headquarters of the multinational corporation by Shanghai Municipal Commission of Commerce on December 15 last year. “‘Shanghai speed’ is reflected in all kinds of efficient administrative services, and we can deeply feel Shanghai's efficient and pragmatic services, and sincerity in attracting foreign investment,” said Masahiko Suga.

MSIG Management (Shanghai)

On January 15 this year, Masahiko Suga attended the signing ceremony for foreign-funded projects in Shanghai and signed an agreement of strategic cooperation with Jing'an district. It is clear that MSIG will further strengthen cooperation with Jing'an and Shanghai, fully integrating the resource advantages of China and Japan, and actively building a mutually beneficial cooperative relationship. MSIG Management (Shanghai) will develop the strategic feature of “centralization and specialization” in the fields of financial technology and risk management, and make greater contributions to Shanghai's urban construction in terms of commerce, finance, and scientific and technological innovation.

Shanghai service: Intelligent technology empowers insurance innovation

At the third China International Import Expo held last year, MSI China participated in the exhibition and displayed its construction of their “intelligent cross-border trade insurance platform”. In less than two years since the project was launched, this innovative platform has made great achievements.

The “intelligent cross-border trade insurance platform” is a cross-border trade insurance platform led by Shanghai Insurance Exchange, jointly built by MSI China and the Shanghai E&P International Company, the operations unit of the “China (Shanghai) international trade single window” of Shanghai E-port. It uses blockchain technology to realize data interconnection.

The “intelligent cross-border trade insurance platform”

Masahiko Suga said that the platform has realized the intellectualization of insurance procedures by automatically obtaining port trade information. The platform has also realized the intelligent transformation of insurance and claim settlement services. “In the past, customers needed two to three days to buy insurance. Now it takes only three minutes through the platform, which greatly improves efficiency”, said Masahiko Suga.

Since the platform was released in November last year, most customers of MSI China have started to use the platform and have given great recognition to its functions. In addition, the three major Chinese insurance companies are also discussing business with MSI China about the platform and are expected to officially use it in mid-August this year.

In addition to making the insurance process easier and the claim settlement service more efficient, the platform can not only provide high-quality insurance and risk management services, but also provide good infrastructure support for the government to improve the trade and business environment. The construction and application of the platform is an important practice to realize Shanghai’s digital transformation, plan digital trade development actions, and implement the construction of “five centers”.

Masahiko Suga also confirmed that in the process of the platform development, the Shanghai Municipal Office for Port Services, the Shanghai E&P International Company and the Shanghai Insurance Exchange (SHIE) have given strong support. “The successful launch of the platform is inseparable from the Shanghai government's spirit of supporting opening, internationalization and innovation, as well as its strong leadership and execution,” said Masahiko Suga. He pointed out that in the face of complex trade processes, countries around the world are trying to use blockchain technology to solve this problem, but most have failed due to the lack of strong administrative participation. The “intelligent cross-border trade insurance platform” is undoubtedly a representatively successful case.

Seek more cooperation with Shanghai: actively promote the implementation of innovative projects

In 1997, Masahiko Suga came to Shanghai Jiaotong University to study Chinese. “At that time, Huashan Road was only a one-way street where most people traveled by bicycle. I lived on campus with Chinese students at the Shanghai Jiaotong University. At that time, I felt a different vitality and momentum of China from that of Japan,” said Masahiko Suga.

Masahiko Suga, who paid three visits to Shanghai in the 1990s, 2000s and 2010s, felt the rapid changes of the city every time. During his life and work, he has also personally experienced the good business environment and strong government support and services in Shanghai. Driven by him, MSI decided to continue to increase investment in China and Shanghai.

An office of MSIG Management (Shanghai)

MSI (China) established a new innovation division in January this year to promote various innovation projects. It emphasizes three keywords: CSV (creating shared value), DX (digital transformation) and Internationalization. “In the future, we will actively promote the implementation of various innovative projects around these three keywords,” said Masahiko Suga.

In 2021, the first year of the 14th Five-Year Plan (from 2021 to 2025) in China, Shanghai will make continuous progress in digital transformation and the construction of “five centers”. Masahiko Suga said, “In the future, we will continue to strengthen close cooperation with various departments in this city, constantly create new models and new value, and continue to make positive contributions to Shanghai, China and even the world.”