Canadian Finance Minister welcomes further step in growing Canada-China business relationship
SHANGHAI, China, Jan. 22 2007 – Manulife-Sinochem Life Insurance Co. Ltd., a subsidiary of Canada-based Manulife Financial and the Official Life Insurance Partner of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games, has received approval from the China Insurance Regulatory Commission (CIRC) to open a Sales Office in Changzhou, its third city license in Jiangsu Province, and a Sales Office in Deyang, its second city in Sichuan province. The Company is now licensed in 19 cities across China, with plans for further national expansion throughout the year.
On January 22nd, Manulife-Sinochem welcomed The Honourable James M. Flaherty, P.C., M.P., Canada’s Minister of Finance to its Shanghai headquarters to thank him for the loyal support of the Canadian government.
“The Canadian and Chinese governments have been very helpful to Manulife as we’ve developed our business in China over the past ten years,” said Marc Sterling, Chairman of Manulife-Sinochem. “Manulife-Sinochem’s success is a true testament to the strong relations between Canada and China, as well as between Manulife and our Chinese joint-venture partner, Sinochem Corporation.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank Minister Flaherty for the Canadian government’s unwavering support of our growth and development in this country.”
“It is in the interest of both countries to see Canadian and Chinese expertise coming together to offer innovative financial products and services to the Chinese people,” said Mr. Flaherty.
Changzhou and Deyang, both economically prosperous cities in China, are markets that offer tremendous potential for Manulife-Sinochem.
Manulife-Sinochem commenced business in the Jiangsu provincial capital city of Nanjing in December 2005 and in the provincial primary city of Wuxi in September 2006. It expects to commence business in Changzhou in February 2007. The opening of the Deyang sales office, planned for early April, follows on the opening of the Sichuan branch office in Chengdu in August 2006.
Changzhou is an ancient cultural city with a history dating over 2,500 years. Today, it is a developing industrial city boasting a modern-day style and an economy that has experienced rapid development since the Reform and Open policy was promulgated. Recently, Changzhou was listed as one of “The top 50 Cities with a Comprehensive Investment Environment” and “The city with 40 Advantages of Investment Condition in China.” With further improvement of its environment, Changzhou has also been awarded the prize of “the Model City in China with good habitation environment,” which presents a good opportunity for both citizens and businesses to thrive.
Deyang, an important industrial city in the Chengdu Plain, is known as a national experimental city for comprehensive system reform and an important part of the new and hi-tech industrial belt along the line of Chengdu-Deyang-Mianyang. The city is also an important national manufacturing base for major technical equipment and is one of the areas that is most worthy of investment in Western China. The life insurance industry is experiencing a healthy development in Deyang, which presents good opportunities for all joint venture life insurers.
“Over the past decade, Manulife-Sinochem has experienced rapid growth in China,” said James Lin, President, Manulife-Sinochem. “Manulife-Sinochem is a leading joint-venture life insurer that has been honored with a high reputation for professional customer service and the development of the most talented sales force in the industry. Leveraging on our 10 years of successful experiences in the China market, Manulife-Sinochem is in a strong position to provide the industry’s very best financial protection and wealth accumulation products and services to its new customers in Changzhou and Deyang.”
Manulife-Sinochem is a joint venture company between Manulife (International) Limited (51 per cent) and China Foreign Economic and Trade Trust & Investment Company, a member of the Sinochem group (49 per cent).
China Foreign Economic and Trade Trust & Investment Company (FOTIC) is a core enterprise of Sinochem. Sinochem, founded in 1950, is one of the biggest foreign trading companies in China. Since 1989, Sinochem has topped the list of the country’s 500 leading foreign trading companies and has also been recognized as a Fortune 500 company for 16 consecutive years. Sinochem can be found on the Internet at www.sinochem.com.
About Manulife Financial
Manulife Financial is a leading Canadian-based financial services group serving millions of customers in 19 countries and territories worldwide. Operating as Manulife Financial in Canada and Asia, and primarily through John Hancock in the United States, the Company offers clients a diverse range of financial protection products and wealth management services through its extensive network of employees, agents and distribution partners. Funds under management by Manulife Financial and its subsidiaries were Cdn$381 billion (approximately HK$2,659.8 billion) as at September 30, 2006.
Manulife Financial Corporation trades as “MFC” on the TSX, NYSE and PSE, and under “0945” on the SEHK. Manulife Financial can be found on the Internet at www.manulife.com.