Myanmar readying insurance market liberalisation

Blueprint to welcome foreign insurers could be released in three months, says insurance official

Myanmar readying insurance market liberalisation

Insurance News

By Gabriel Olano

Myanmar will release, within the next three months, a roadmap for insurance market reform, which will allow foreign insurers into the fledgling Southeast Asian market, according to the chief of state-owned Myanma Insurance.

Sandar Oo, managing director of Myanma Insurance, presented the plans to the Ministry of Planning and Finance at the Myanmar Investment Forum 2017, which was held on Tuesday and Wednesday in Yangon. Various investors from other countries such as China, India, and Japan were also in attendance.

According to Oo, the government wants to “achieve in the near future a well-structured, competitive insurance market. The comprehensive insurance liberalization plan has already been finalized, with the assistance of the World Bank group, and also it has been approved by our cabinet.”

In 2013, the government allowed local privately owned insurers to enter the market, ending the monopoly of state-owned Myanma. So far, 11 licenses have been issued. In anticipation of the market’s opening, 24 foreign insurers have opened representative offices in the country.

Three Japanese insurers have already begun selling fire and motor insurance in Myanmar, but limited only to the Thilawa special economic zone near Yangon.

Oo admitted that there is a “lack of technical and operational expertise” in the private sector. She recommended that the government improve its regulatory and supervisory framework to prepare for the arrival of foreign insurers.

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