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ACLI Praises Chinese Government

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The American Council of Life Insurers is welcoming the latest round of Strategic Economic Dialogue talks between the United States and China.

Chinese officials will be discussing annuities and other financial services topics here during the SEC talks, according to the ACLI, Washington.

Chinese has agreed to act by the start of the upcoming December round of SED talks to streamline “the application and licensing process for the provision of enterprise annuities by financial institutions,” ACLI President Frank Keating says in a statement.

ACLI has been asking China to make reforms that would allow foreign insurers to expand their presence in China and offer more products to Chinese consumers.

“China’s commitment today to proceed with the further expansion of its enterprise annuity system represents a win-win outcome — for U.S. life insurers and Chinese consumers,” Keating says.

Norman Sorensen, president of Principal International, a unit of Principal Financial Group Inc., Des Moines, Iowa, and chairman of the ACLI’s International Committee, traveled to China in April to co-chair a seminar on China’s enterprise annuity system.

The seminar looked at global trends in regulation and tax policy, and attendees included Chinese pension and annuity regulators, ACLI officials report.

Keating says the ACLI is looking forward to further progress on efforts to shape Chinese insurance regulation.

“Many issues are still on the table and need to be resolved,” Keating says.

The ACLI “remains committed to the ongoing dialogue that we hope will, over time, address regulatory procedures in China that we believe unfairly discriminate against foreign-invested life insurers,” Keating says.