BEIJING, March 26 (Xinhua) -- British insurance giant Prudential Corporation Asia (PCA) said it is optimistic about China's market growth as the country's changing demographics and policy support are nurturing growing demand for sophisticated insurance products.
"Our market share in China is small compared with other Asian markets given our relatively recent entry in 2000, but we are confident we will grow bigger here," PCA Chief Executive Nic Nicandrou told Xinhua on the sidelines of the just-concluded China Development Forum 2019.
While its market share in China is about 0.6 percent, its business in China is already the third largest in PCA's portfolio businesses across Asia given the country's huge market base, according to Nicandrou, adding that PCA achieved double-digit growth in China in 2018 and outperformed the market despite a challenging environment for the sector.
He pointed out that China's slower GDP expansion won't weigh upon the insurance sector's growth, as the Chinese market is still comparatively underdeveloped, which means the insurance business will accelerate its growth not necessarily in sync with headline GDP.
China has about 250 million people aged above 60 years old, and the number is expected to grow in the near future. Nicandrou expected the insurance market in China to grow at an average of 13 percent over the next 10 years as the Chinese society gets older and wealthier, leading to a continuous rise in medical consumption.
As the first British insurer to enter the Chinese mainland market, PCA has been in China for 19 years, spanning 87 cities in 19 provinces via its joint venture with CITIC Group. The company plans to enter Shaanxi Province and 15 cities this year.
Nicandrou said they are glad to see the Chinese government's push to increase people's awareness of insurance and allow greater ownership where it is possible as the financial sector continues to open up. PCA established a wholly foreign-owned investment enterprise in Shanghai in 2018.
Nicandrou said PCA will focus on developing sophisticated products while improving its online capabilities and user experience. "We are benefiting from our China presence as we are exporting some China innovations into other businesses and markets."