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Economy

Myanmar's insurance sector set for help from Japan

Spread of car ownership offers business opportunities

TOKYO -- Myanmar will flesh out its insurance industry with Japanese guidance and personnel support on crafting rules and products, hoping to develop a potentially lucrative market.

Along with its healthy economic growth, cars are rapidly spreading in the Southeast Asian nation of more than 50 million, making it fertile soil for insurance. Myanmar, which is liberalizing its financial industry, will also receive Japanese assistance in revising a 1996 insurance business law.

On Thursday, Myanmar Deputy Planning and Finance Minister Maung Maung Win received a broad support plan, including advice on insurance regulations and practices, from Japanese Cabinet Office State Minister Takao Ochi during a visit to the island country.

Building up the industry would be a long-haul process, but Myanmar aims to see it through with Japanese cooperation, the deputy finance minister told Nikkei.

The plan includes advice on establishing regulations for insurance companies to have sufficient funds for payouts, as well as know-how in providing such products as auto and endowment insurance.

Japan's Financial Services Agency is sending officials to Myanmar to provide personnel support for building financial infrastructure. There are also plans for staff from Japanese private-sector insurers to visit the Southeast Asian country this fall. Japanese insurance providers hope to get in on the ground floor of Myanmar's financial sector to establish strong and durable ties.

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