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|Friday, January 12, 2001, updated at 17:49(GMT+8)|
China's Insurance Industry Prepares for WTO AccessionChina's insurance industry has geared up preparations for the nation's impending accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO) and much work was done in 2000 for this purpose, top industry regulator Ma Yongwei said Thursday, January 11.
The chairman of the China Insurance Regulatory Commission (CIRC) said in a press release that the CIRC hosted three workshops for senior managers in 2000, during which the participants studied the rules of WTO and its impact on China, and drew up responsive measures.
The CIRC has compiled a statute on foreign insurance companies and submitted it to the State Council for approval, Ma said, adding that the new regulation has abolished old rules against WTO principles.
Last year, the CIRC granted licenses to four new domestic life insurers, which will enter into joint venture agreements with foreign companies.
It also approved Taikang Life and other insurance firms to set up 36 branches nationwide and the China Reinsurance Company to open two subcompanies.
Aggressive measures have been taken to develop the intermediary market. Altogether, the CIRC has approved three brokers, 33 professional agents and three loss adjusters, all filling market vacancies.
According to Ma, Chinese insurers have also taken bold market-oriented reform measures to improve their competitive edges.
In 2000, Taikang Life and Xinhua Life completed the first ever international placement by Chinese insurers. Many new products, including unit-linked policies were developed and welcomed by the market.
State-owned giants, the People's Insurance Company of China and China Life, have reshuffled their organizations at provincial and county levels, streamlining 8,000 and 383 staff in the process respectively.
Also in 2000, the CIRC became a member of the International Association of Insurance Supervisors, which helped enhance ties between Chinese and overseas insurance industries.
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