The Association of Southeast Asian Nation (ASEAN) is now looking at the insurance industry as the economic bloc seeks to drive deeper financial integration within the region.
The 10-member ASEAN has formed a working group which will explore measures that would open up the insurance sector, the Nikkei Asian Review
According to the report, the measures being studied may include greater participation of foreign partners.
"We hope to have [a] bottom-up approach from the industry to hasten integration," the report quoted as saying a Malaysian trade official who attended a recent forum organized by the ASEAN Business Club.
The ASEAN is composed of Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.
The regional body is trying to ease trade by liberating duties under the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) initiative launched at the end of 2015.
Under the AEC Blueprint, the ASEAN should substantially remove restrictions for the segments of direct life insurance, direct non-life insurance, reinsurance, retrocession, insurance intermediation and services auxiliary to insurance.
However, the Nikkei Asian Review
reported that little has been achieved on liberalising the insurance sector.