Canadian insurers welcome South Korean free trade agreement

by 24 Mar 2014
The recently announced free-trade agreement between Canada and South Korea has received kudos from Canadian life insurers. But why?

“As one of Canada's most internationally active business sectors, the life and health insurance industry is a major supporter of free-trade agreements,” said Frank Swedlove, president of the Canadian Life and Health Insurance Association. “We are pleased that such an agreement has been reached with such a large and important market as Korea.”

The Canada-Korea FTA is the first of its kind with an Asian country, a region where Canadian life insurers have traditionally had a strong and growing presence.

“We are hopeful that this FTA with Korea will raise Canada’s profile and further enhance our economic ties in the region,” said Swedlove, commending the government for continuing to pursue new free-trade agreements and for “identifying the Asia Pacific region as a key market of interest in its Global Markets Action Plan.

Internationally, Canadian life and health insurers have a presence in more than 20 jurisdictions around the world, holding roughly $600 billion worth of assets abroad that generate over $48 billion – or 40 per cent – of total premiums from foreign operations.

Life and health insurers praised Ottawa back in February, when the budget included a $1.25 billion investment commitment from the governing Conservatives for infrastructure over five years. (continued.)

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