The Insurance Business Regulatory Board (IBRB) will allow foreign insurance companies to conduct business in the country in the new fiscal year, which will commence on 1 October, U Zaw Naing, the board's secretary, has said.
“This is a roadmap for the development of the local insurance sector. The Union government has already given the nod for it. We will allow foreign insurance companies to sell life insurance and general insurance services in the country. It will start in FY2018-2019,” he added.
He said that the IBRB would hire international consultants to help it screen and review foreign insurance providers before permitting them to compete in the market, according to a report in the Myanmar Times.
Daw Sandar Oo, managing director of Myanma Insurance, said the state-owned insurance provider “welcomes foreign insurance firms”.
“The local insurance market needs investments and new technology in order to grow. If foreign firms are allowed to enter, local insurance providers can cooperate with them to help develop this area in Myanmar,” she said.
At present, the contribution of insurance to the GDP is 0.07% only. The market is dominated by Myanma Insurance. There are 12 private local insurers operating in the domestic market.
Foreign insurance companies are currently not permitted to do business in the country. However, three have been allowed to operate in the Thilawa Special Economic Zone, while several others have opened representative offices in Myanmar.