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VietNamNews

ASEAN develops insurance market

Update: December, 06/2013 - 08:42
Minister of Finance Dinh Tien Dung and delegates.—VNA/VNS Photo Tran Le Lam

DA NANG (VNS)— Viet Nam will work with ASEAN nations to develop healthy insurance markets, especially to work out drastic measures on management, supervision and early warning systems for insurance in the region.

The statement was made yesterday by deputy general director of the Ministry of Finance's Insurance Supervision Authority, Phung Ngoc Khanh, while talking with Viet Nam News.

Khanh, who took part in the 16th ASEAN Insurance regulator meeting and the 39th ASEAN Insurance council meeting in central Da Nang City, said Viet Nam had actively co-operated with Thailand, Laos and Cambodia on border crossing compulsory motor vehicle insurance to boost control methods on quarantine, customs and security.

"The meeting plays an important role in sharing information, experience from ASEAN nations and financial experts with the participation of nearly 200 participants. It's also an opportunity for Viet Nam and ASEAN nations to review mechanism, policies, assessments and the quality of the insurance market in the region," he said.

"The meeting focuses on early warning systems on financial situations, business management, response solutions on finance risks, and supervision. Series of measures will be given in order to build a fair and healthy insurance market when the ASEAN community forms in 2015," he said.

Minister of Finance Dinh Tien Dung said, "The process of financial integration among ASEAN has seen a steady progress since the ASEAN Finance Ministers' Meeting in Thailand in 1997 and in Viet Nam in 2008.

"ASEAN has achieved much in developing capital markets, liberalising accounts of capital and financial services, as well as insurance co-operation and customs among nations."

He said the domestic insurance market has seen an average growth of 20 to 25 per cent since its debut 20 years ago, but it was still seen as having small scale and less diversity in products, in comparison with the world market.

The General Secretary of the ASEAN Insurance Council, Evelina Pietruschaka, said the regional insurance market has great potential after the formation of the ASEAN community in 2015.

"It's a huge market, with ASEAN joining in a community with a population of 600 million people. A healthy insurance market, well-organised and properly managed, would lure investment from Europe, the US and world-wide," Evelina Pietruschaka said.

"However, we also face challenges with different capacities and mechanisms in each country. We are eyeing natural disaster risk insurance, education of young managers and co-operation among nation," she said.

Thomas Kessler, deputy chief executive officer of Viet Nam National Reinsurance Corporation, said: "There are still differences in mechanisms, policies, capacities and markets among the countries. Viet Nam is in the middle. It needs a balanced mechanism to determine how to boost its good market in the ASEAN community."

A report at the meeting shows that the background of a wide range of adverse natural events suffered by ASEAN member states, caused annual average losses of US$4.4 billion (equivalent of 0.2 per cent of ASEAN regional GDP).

Strategies for financial protection against disaster can reduce the impact by taking pressure off fiscal and individual budgets after a disaster and decreasing the opportunity costs with source funding to meet post-disaster needs.

According to latest reports, Viet Nam has 240,590 insurance agents, a 7.2 per cent increase in comparison to last year.

In the third quarter of this year, the non-life insurance market revenue reached VND18.2 trillion ($857 million), an 8.13 per cent increase over the same period last year. — VNS

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