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Aviva-COFCO life insurance applies to operate in Beijing,Chengdu
( 2003-11-18 09:13) (Xinhua)

European life insurance company Aviva and China National Cereals, Oils, Foodstuffs Import-Export Corporation (COFCO) announced here Monday that their joint venture will speed up expansion and hopes to enter into the Beijing and Chengdu market.

Aviva's Chief Executive Richard Harvey handed in the application Monday to the China Insurance Regulatory Commission (CIRC) for Aviva-COFCO to enter the two cities.

"Beijing is China's political, economic and cultural center," Harvey said. "Chengdu is an important western city in China, without foreign life insurance companies so far and considered to have huge potential."

Aviva opened its Beijing representative office in 1994. Aviva-COFCO has registered capital of 500 million yuan (61 million US dollars).

Harvey said China's insurance market has become more and more open as it fulfills its WTO commitments, which has contributed to Aviva's quick expansion.

According to Zhou Mingchen, chairman of COFCO, the company's net assets in 2001 reached 12.1 billion yuan (1.5 billion US dollars), and he hoped it would grow twice as much by 2010.

"It is COFCO's intention to enter the financial sector," Zhou said.

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