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(2021) Oliver Bäte , Chairman of the Board of Management & CEO , Allianz SE: we are particularly pleased to see that China is promising to go to

So 2020 will be remembered as the year of the corona crisis that everybody knows and that’s pretty clear. What 2020 should also be remembered for is how swift the world has reacted to an unprecedented challenge.

Think about how swift the governments have collaborated to address the economic fall-outs, and have provided monetary and fiscal stimulus. Think about how scientists have collaborated across borders to develop vaccines in an enormously fast pace,and delivering them to countries in a way that has not been foreseen.

And think about how resilient business models have been. Now we have at Allianz 90% of people working remotely. Would that have been possible a few years ago? I don’t think so.

So 2020 is not just a challenge. It’s not just a crisis,and it has turned out to be huge opportunity for the world to develop things that we thought impossible just a few years ago.

2020 was also a remarkable year for Allianz.

Yes, we have to take some hits due to COVID-19 effects, particularly in the property and casualty side of the business, claims for business interruption, reduced business in travel of course, and a few other items.

But it was also the year that has made us proud in a number of respects. Think about the fact that in China we were awarded the first foreign fully owned insurance holding company.

We’ve also had the first license for an insurance asset management firm that is 100% controlled by foreigner. That made us very proud. Thank you very much to the Chinese community.

But on the global basis there’re also remarkable things to report. After 131 years of history, we recorded the highest ever customer satisfaction that we were measuring with the top-down Net Promoter Score. And not enough, we also had the highest year of employee support and satisfaction in our history. So while business has suffered, the strength of the company has really prevailed, and we can be very proud of that.

The COVID-19 crisis and 2020 will also see a turning point in terms of economic development.

On the one hand, it was proved to be an accelerator with everything regarded to digitalization, and we’ve seen that now in our business as a pervasive force that is accelerating.

But there’s a second point, and I think that’s very important:the focus on stronger resilience in society, in the economy, but also in individual business models.

As we think about resilience, it’s very important to address important factors more aggressively than in the past.

Think about climate change. And we are particularly pleased to see that China has embraced Net-Zero, and is promising to go to Net-Zero in CO2 emissions by 2060.

We applaud that and we would love to support that trend with a lot of things that we have also been doing in Europe and at Allianz specifically. As we think about the contribution of the financial sector to making Net-Zero a reality, there’re a lot of things that we can do together. And China could play an even more important role than in the past.

One initiative that we are supporting from the Allianz perspective for the United Nations is the so-called “Net-Zero Asset Owner Alliance”. Asset owners are insurance companies and pension funds that have committed to drive their investment portfolios to be of net-zero CO2 emissions by the year 2050.

And we are not waiting until 2050 to see whether that works. And in fact, we’ve just announced very concrete targets for 2025, and we would love to have leading Chinese financial institutions to join this initiative that has now surpassed 5 trillion (USD) in Asset under Management to support this initiative.

So please join us in this journey that will provide very important pivotal change in the world economy.

Thank you!