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Insurance Dispute May Delay China WTO Entry

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NU Online News Service, July 6, 3:13 p.m. – The American International Group Inc., New York, and the European Union may be causing a final snag in China’s 15-year effort to join the .World Trade Organization.

AIG and the European Union are disagreeing over the future maximum level of foreign ownership in joint venture insurance companies in China, according to a report by The Straits Times, a newspaper in Singapore.

China has promised that it will keep a 50% ceiling on foreign ownership of an international insurance company branch.

AIG has been seeking exemption from the 50% ceiling, arguing that its long presence in China sets it apart, while the European Union maintains that all international insurance companies are governed by the same regulations, according to the Times.