China Agrees to Open Up Auto Insurance Market

February 14, 2012

U.S. Vice President Joe Biden said on Tuesday that China had agreed to an important financial sector reform by opening up its massive auto insurance market to foreign competition.

Biden said that during a meeting with U.S. business chiefs and Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping, China had indicated that it would move forward this year with tax reform to boost imports and domestic consumption, key goals sought by Washington.

“China’s also just told us it will open the third party liability auto insurance market to foreign companies,” said Biden, sitting next to a broadly smiling Xi.

[David F. Snyder, vice president and associate general counsel at the insurer trade group American Insurance Association (AIA), called the move a “significant step forward as it represents the result of several years of diligent work by U.S. and Chinese negotiators.”

Snyder said the development will be of “mutual benefit to the Chinese people and U.S. insurers entering the market. Therefore, we encourage market access be granted in a timely manner.”]

(Reporting By Alister Bull; Editing by Will Dunham)

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