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China's achievements over past 70 years a 'success'

By Yang Yang | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2019-03-28 10:03
Thomas Buberl, CEO of AXA Group. [Photo by Wang Zhuangfei/China Daily]

China's economic development over the past 70 years has been a story of growth and prosperity, AXA Group CEO Thomas Buberl said at the China Development Forum in Beijing.

"I congratulate China on what they have achieved over the last few decades. They have been very successful," Buberl said during an exclusive interview at the forum on Saturday.

The Chinese government has launched a series of measures for further reform and opening-up, such as the newly adopted Foreign Investment Law.

Buberl considers the Foreign Investment Law of great significance, as it indicates China's commitment to open up its market wider — very important for AXA, the Paris-based insurance and investment group.

"We've just invested more in China. We are about to buy out one of our partners in non-life insurance. We are very willing to invest here and want to develop further here, because we believe it has a great potential. For us China is a very important market, and we would like to develop further," Buberl said.

Buberl said motor insurance and life insurance remain very strong areas for AXA, and identified many exciting new opportunities in the Chinese market.

"One is certainly insuring infrastructure developments in the Belt and Road Initiative. We can contribute to that. And secondly, the development of the health system in China, in particular the private health system. We would really like to also contribute to that," Buberl said.

Buberl also emphasized the importance of the company's presence locally in China, because as the AXA goes more into insuring infrastructure and helping with the health system, it will become more important to work with cities and municipalities.

Buberl is very optimistic about the outlook of China's economy and believes with the government's continuous efforts to open up — especially in the financial sector — China will have a prosperous future.

"The trend will remain very positive because China has a strong internal demand and with the necessary reforms that have been passed on the opening of the markets, China will continue to prosper," Buberl said.

"My first China Development Forum proved to be an excellent experience. Not only were the panels and discussions thought-provoking, but the quality of the speakers and attendants was remarkable. This allowed for the sharing of insightful and innovative ideas, as well as open and engaging debate," Buberl said.

"As the CEO of a company which has been present in China for the past 20 years and is eager to invest and grow in the country, this platform putting together a diverse crowd of Chinese officials, international and local business executives and scholars is extremely valuable," he added.

Taking new steps to further open up China's financial sectors, the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission approved the establishment of the first foreign-funded pension insurance company in the country on Wednesday.

To encourage a larger number of foreign banks and insurers that meet regulatory requirements to participate in the Chinese financial market, the commission said it will continuously push ahead with the opening-up of China's banking and insurance sectors and keep improving the business environment.

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