The Chinese insurance regulator, the CIRC, has reiterated that it will further open up the industry to foreign insurers by encouraging those that are already operating in the country to develop medical, pension and disaster insurance.
Mr Chen Wenhui, CIRC Vice Chairman, said that the regulator would raise the attractiveness of the Chinese insurance market to foreign insurers by, for example, improving the regulatory system. He was speaking at a meeting with representatives of 10 foreign insurance companies, according to a report posted on the CIRC website.
For foreign insurers which have yet to enter the Chinese market, the CIRC would make entry requirements more favourable. Mr Chen said that through attracting an increased number of quality foreign insurance entities, the Chinese insurance market would improve its structure and see more vigour and orderly competition.
Mr Chen said that currently, there are 57 foreign insurance companies from 16 countries operating in China. He said that the total assets of foreign owned insurers in the country reached CNY1 trillion (US$152 billion) at the end of last year, compared to CNY3 billion at the time China won accession to the World Trade Organisation in 2001.
He said that the entry of foreign insurance companies into China has brought advanced concepts, technology and products and promoted the development of the industry.
For the first half of this year, foreign owned insurance ventures in China had a 6% share of the life market and a 2% share of nonlife business.