“Focus Cina” racconta ogni mese le esperienze degli italiani e dellle aziende italiane che hanno avviato un’attività nelle province cinesi. In questo numero abbiamo contattato Patricia Chua, Regional Head of Branding & Communications di Assicurazioni Generali S.p.A. - Asia Regional Office
1. What is Generali's business in China and in Sichuan and when did they start investing there?
Generali set up two insurance joint ventures in China with China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC). These two joint ventures are Generali China Life Insurance Co. Ltd (GCL) and Generali China Insurance Co. Ltd (GCI). GCI is the first Sino-foreign joint venture operating in the Chinese non-life insurance market. Generali is also a shareholder of Guotai Asset Management Co. Ltd.Both GCL and GCI have branches operating in Sichuan. Generali China Life Insurance Co. Ltd. (GCL) was established in 2002 and Generali China Insurance Co. Ltd (GCI) in 2007. As a foreign player, both companies have now established strong leadership presence.
2. What is the relationship with local authorities? Did they help your investment or have you find a business environment not as friendly as expected?
As one of the world’s largest insurance player, Generali has forged a strong relationship with the authorities and our partner. The business environment is also conducive to companies looking for growth in China.
3. How do you asses Chinese market for your business? Do you see many growth opportunities?
We see significant growth opportunities given China’s huge population, relatively under-insured market, growing affluence, rising middle class and the government’s strong support to grow the insurance sector.
4. According to your perspective, what are main economic characteristics, difficulties and opportunities of Sichuan province?
Sichuan is among one of the largest provinces in China and its population ranks amongst the top five in the country. It is rich in natural resources and has the most well developed industrial sector in the region. Sichuan is also one of the major agricultural production bases in China, its output of rice, wheat, rapeseed, citrus fruit, peach, sugar cane, sweet potato and Chinese herbs all account for a significant share of China’s total. Sichuan is also one of the most industrialized provinces in western China. While heavy industries such as coal, energy and iron and steel remain as dominating sectors, the province has also established a light manufacturing sector comprising electronics, building materials, wood processing, food and silk processing. With strong government support, its economic importance is growing.
5. What can you suggest to Italian firms willing to invest in Sichuan?
Sichuan has great potential and is attractive for Italian companies. The capital city of Sichuan, Chengdu, in particular is famous for its leisurely and quality of life. Here, good food and fashion is synonymous with Chengdu.