RGA Reinsurance Company has been granted a preparatory license by the China Insurance Regulatory Commission (CIRC) to operate a licensed life reinsurance branch in Shanghai, China, which is likely to be fully operational within one year.

Commenting on the subject, RGA president and chief executive officer Greig Woodring said that China is a strategically important market, and it is collaborating with the CIRC to secure full branch license.

"We believe China’s robust economic growth, improved risk and capital management standards, and health and pension systems reform provide a stable, favorable environment for the growth of the life and health reinsurance industry," Woodring added.

The underwriter has been operating in the country since 2005, through its representative office in Beijing, which was actually approved in December 2004.

RGA Reinsurance Beijing representative office chief representative Jason Ou said, "The successful completion of our branch license application will provide us the flexibility to offer a full range of services and support from within China to this very important and rapidly evolving market."

With nearly $2.9trn of life reinsurance in force and assets of more than $40bn, RGA delivers an array of traditional life reinsurance, facultative underwriting solutions, pricing, product development and distribution solutions, and financial reinsurance.

RGA manages subsidiary companies in Australia, Barbados, Bermuda, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Taiwan, Turkey, UAE, UK and US.