July 26 -- China Re Group, the leading reinsurer in China, made a solid step forward in our internationalization process. Approved by the Monetary Authority of Singapore on 3 June 2016, the Company established Singapore Branch to carry on general business in Singapore as a reinsurer.
The establishment of the Branch will help the Company gain a foothold and grow businesses in Asia, the international reinsurance center, which will add to its strength when competing intensively in the global reinsurance market. On 25th July, the Branch held its brief but grand opening ceremony. Lawrence Wong, Minister for National Development and Board Member of Monetary Authority of Singapore; Chen Xiaodong, Chinese ambassador to Singapore; Zheng Chao, Economic & Commercial Minister Counsellor of the Embassy of China to Singapore; Yuan Linjiang, Chairman of the Company; Yu Qing, Vice President of the Company; management of the Branch and representatives of financial institutions and Chinese firms in Singapore attended the ceremony and witnessed the significant moment of the Company's internationalization.
Chairman Yuan Linjiang said that the Ten Opinions of the State Council on Accelerating the Development of Modern Insurance Services, known as the new "National Ten", is a nationwide policy in insurance industry that determines a new orientation of the industry and guarantees the thriving market in this field. Last year, total premium volume reached RMB2.4 trillion, a 20% increase on a year-on-year basis. And the new "National Ten" has also sped up internationalization of Chinese insurance companies. China Re Group not only plays a dominant role in domestic market, but also gains influence in global market. Sticking to the unique function of "the insurance of insurance" and actively involved in the One Belt One Road national construction, the Group is vigorously serving and supporting Chinese companies to "go global" and achieve internationalization.
China Re Group is confident about the Singaporean market. Yuan said that Singapore, the important global financial center, is playing a pivotal role in insurance and reinsurance businesses in the Asia-Pacific region and even on a global scale. As China vigorously promotes the construction of the "21st Century Maritime Silk Road", and with increasing economic and trade cooperation between countries, the demand for insurance would be largely boosted. Singapore, the hub of "Maritime Silk Road", captures huge potential in insurance market.
The founding of the Branch is another strategic move for the Company to open up and deepen cooperation with the Asian-Pacific countries. Yuan stressed that the Branch is expected to be a stepping stone to gain exposure to markets of the Asia-Pacific region, to link the insurance markets between China and Singapore as well as other Asia-Pacific countries. And the Company should practice the philosophy of being "professional and responsible", and give full play to our competitive edge in "risk spreading, technical support, capital financing", so as to serve the need for insurance in the "One Belt One Road" region alongside with our Singapore counterparts, and contribute our efforts in strengthening finance and trade cooperation between the two countries as well as in constructing the international reinsurance center in Singapore.
Lawrence Wong, Minister for National Development and Board Member, Monetary Authority of Singapore, extended his heartiest congratulations to China Reinsurance Group on the opening of the new Singapore office. He said that China Re's Singapore office is the Group's first Asian branch outside China and Hong Kong, which marks a significant milestone in the Group's internationalisation strategy to become a globally diversified reinsurance group. And China Re is the first Chinese reinsurance company in Singapore, opening up a new chapter of insurance connectivity between China and Singapore. He believes that there is much that China Re can achieve as it expand and deepen its presence in Singapore.
Chen Xiaodong, the Chinese Ambassador to Singapore, attended the opening ceremony and sent good wishes to development of the Branch. He said that China and Singapore now have important opportunities to jointly build the "21st Century Maritime Silk Road" and enhance regional connectivity. He believe, with its strength and potential, the China Re Singapore branch will contribute to our cooperation under the Maritime Silk Road and promote global operation of Chinese businesses.
The Branch is expected to cover property reinsurance business in Asia Pacific region of the Company. Considering the business structure, performance and risk profile in this region as well as the experience of the Company's international business, It will focus on the key and emerging markets in Asian-Pacific region including Singapore, Japan, South Korea, Australia, New Zealand, Thailand, Malaysia, India and Indonesia etc.