China's WTO Entry
Analysis: WTO to Bring Fair Play to China's Insurance Industry

Multinational insurance companies would be forming joint ventures with Chinese insurance companies to tap the mainland market.

Global companies were bigger with more experience and staff, but Chinese companies know China better and they already had branches over China.

"The joint venture companies have to be multinational as small companies will not be granted the licenses. The rules are quite strict these days," Apps said.

China finally gained formal accession to the WTO December 11, starting the gradual opening of different areas of the mainland economy -- including the insurance industry.

China's entry into the WTO is a tremendous event for the insurance industry because insurance is a big part of the negotiations.

"It was a big part of the U.S.-China discussions and there was obviously a blueprint for the opening up of China's insurance market," he said.

When asked whether multinational insurance companies would be a threat to mainland companies, Apps said "threat" was the wrong word.

"For Chinese companies that stay in the past, they have a big problem. But for the ones that are willing to learn and adapt, it will be fine. Chinese companies and joint ventures will both grow enormously," he said.

(People's Daily December 13, 2001)


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