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AEC News - ASEAN Insurance Forum launched to help integrate markets in the region

Source: Asia Insurance Review | May 2016

An ASEAN Insurance Forum (AIFo) has been established to ensure that regional integration of the insurance sector is implemented in a prudent manner and benefits all member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).
   A joint statement of the 2nd ASEAN Finance Ministers’ and Central Bank Governors’ Meeting said that the AIFo will “facilitate coordination in supporting regional insurance integration and provide mutual benefit through capacity building.”
   The statement also welcomed the conclusion of negotiations for the Seventh Package of Financial Services Commitments under the ASEAN Framework Agreement on Services. The Package seeks to liberalise the insurance sector in ASEAN.
   The signing of the Protocol to Implement the Seventh Package will take place on 3 May 2016 at an ASEAN+3 Meeting in Frankfurt. When this agreement is signed and ratified, insurance companies will be able to offer international maritime, aviation and transit (MAT) insurance across ASEAN’s borders.
   To date, eight ASEAN member states have fully liberalised the cross-border supply of international MAT insurance. This will position ASEAN insurance institutions and intermediaries to perform a more meaningful role in supporting intra-ASEAN trade.
Regulatory framework
The statement also acknowledged the progress made under the auspices of the ASEAN Insurance Regulators’ Meeting, particularly in the development of insurance regulatory and supervisory frameworks through observance of the International Association of Insurance Supervisors (IAIS) insurance core principles and on the sharing of developments in member states’ domestic insurance policies and regulations. Insurance regulators of the various member states have continuously discussed and intensified efforts on capacity building and research to further develop the insurance sector in ASEAN.
   Meanwhile, the Japan-ASEAN Integration Fund has agreed to provide support for the first phase of the ASEAN Disaster Risk Financing and Insurance Programme. This is part of the risk financing and insurance road map of ASEAN to leverage national and regional resources as well as the international insurance market.
   The first phase of the programme involves capacity building, including establishing a regional disaster risk information management system; review and reform of policies, strategies, and programmes related to disaster financing; integrating risk financing and risk transfer in national policies and plans; and sharing experience and knowledge management.
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