Saturday, July 22, 2017

Myanmar opens special economic zone to global insurers

All foreign insurers with local representative offices in Myanmar would be eligible to apply for a special economic zone (SEZ) licence, according to a recent government notification.

International insurance companies will be allowed to offer their services inside the Thilawa SEZ, a Myanmar-Japanese joint venture and the country’s only operational SEZ.

Currently, only three Japanese insurers—Sompo Japan Nipponkoa, Tokio Marine & Nichido Fire Insurance and Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance—have permission to operate inside the zone.

Over 20 international firms, which have opened local offices in Yangon in the last three years, are eagerly awaiting the opportunity to do business in Myanmar’s underdeveloped market.

Thant Zin, director of Finance Ministry’s Financial Regulation Department, was quoted as saying that allowing foreign insurers to operate in Thilawa was an initial step in the liberalisation of Myanmar’s insurance sector.

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