China has made major advances in building a community for the insurance industry in countries along the Belt and Road. [Special coverage]
In the past few months, more than 20 countries along the route have signed memorandums of cooperation with China Reinsurance Corporation (China Re), the initiator of the community, according to Yuan Linjiang, chairman of China Re.
Yuan said that Chinese insurance and reinsurance companies will work closely with their foreign counterparts, which will provide services for local customers such as claims settlement and contract-issuing.
The cooperation network is expected to cover all relevant countries by the end of the year.
The proposal also drew the interest of many domestic companies, Yuan said. "The overseas market is enormous, and we need to support each other in expending operations," he said.
China Re is the only state-owned reinsurance company in China. It is estimated that the company provides reinsurance worth 60 billion yuan (.7 billion) for the Belt and Road Initiative annually.
On April 27, the China Insurance Regulatory Commission (CIRC), the industry's top regulator, issued guidance for Chinese insurers to serve the Belt and Road Initiative.
Chinese insurers were encouraged to expand their presence in the Belt and Road regions and increase business in export credit insurance and overseas investment insurance.
Yuan said that insurance companies play an important role in the ambitious initiative.
"The companies, with huge reserves of long-term and stable capital, are themselves investors looking for potential opportunities," he said. "On the other hand, the companies should help to decrease risks for other companies and provide stable and sustainable returns for them."