The Zurich Research and Development Centre (R&D Centre), based in Shanghai, China, has now been in operation for more than a year, having been officially inaugurated in March 2010.
The aim of the Centre is to participate in and contribute to the growth and development of Shanghai as an international finance
centre and global shipping hub by 2020. The Centre will also provide benefits for Zurich customers through its focus on studying and forecasting new developments and trends in the fields of global shipping and financial industries.
The research projects Zurich has brought together some wellknown specialists in shipping and finance from foreign and domestic academic institutions, working closely with the Chinese government. In the last year, the Zurich R&D Centre has successfully completed ten research projects, which were led by eight research teams.
The projects included a report on liability insurance for shipping agencies and the development of shipping insurance in Pudong, China, produced by Professor Wang Xuefeng, the Dean of the International Shipping School, Shanghai Maritime university, as well as marine insurance studies by Patrick Donner, Associate
Academic Dean of World Maritime university. Other projects covered topics such as the development of shipping-related
derivatives markets in Shanghai, and aircraft and ship-related financing.
The projects have been taken by the government as policy references, and the recommendations made are being adopted to roll out new policies and innovative reforms about market access,
shipping-fi nance and tax incentives.
Looking ahead to the second year of operation, the Centre is undertaking a number of new projects that will benefit customers. In particular, james Liu points to a study on port risk management and insurance solutions that he believes will benefi t customers by giving them a better tool to analyze and address the risks in operating the port facilities including piers, docks, warehouses, and also provide new business opportunities to
logistics companies and freightforward companies.
He also points to research on current market access benchmarks for foreign service providers, which he says will provide new policy advice to the government to remove unnecessary
barriers for foreign fi nancial and shipping services companies to enter the markets of Shanghai.