EU-China Resolve Insurance Impasse

October 30, 2000

Chinese and EU negotiators have apparently reached agreement on granting an additional 7 licenses to European insurers, as agreed in principle last May when the bilateral accords were reached between the two as part of the process that will eventually lead to China joining the World Trade Organization (WTO).

Until now only Italy’s Generali and Holland’s ING Groep have received new licenses, joining among others AIG, Allianz, AXA, Royal & Sun and Winterhur, who already have permission to operate in limited areas. The Chinese have promised to name an additional 7 within the next two weeks.

China’s foot dragging on issuing the new licenses, and its failure to pass legislation which would implement is commitment to opening its insurance market have been roadblocks in the path of its joining the WTO, as EU negotiators have insisted that it live up to its promises.

“The fact that we’ve managed to solve the important issues that remained outstanding for the full implementation of our bilateral deal clinched last May is in itself another step on the way to China’s accession to the WTO, ” EU Trade Commissioner Pascal Lamy stated in a report from Reuters News Agency.

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