By Shwe Aung
Burma’s state-run insurance programme, Insurance Business Supervisory Board, will allow private-sector insurance companies to begin operating in the country.
The insurance sector has been exclusively controlled by the state for almost 40 years.
The IBSB, which is under the Ministry of Finance and Revenue, published a statement in the Burmese language state newspaper Myanma Ahlin last Friday announcing companies or groups that were interested in establishing insurance enterprises would be able to submit their applications to the board for approval.
IBSB secretary Dr Maung Maung Thein said the decision to allow private firms to commence operations is part of a strategy to boost the insurance sector within the country.
Burma is one of the three countries where the insurance industry is solely controlled by the government, along with North Korea and Cuba. While the country has been slowly opening up, state enterprises still control a large stake of Burma’s economy; however, much of the private sector is dominated by military-linked cronies.