The Southeast Asia region’s insurance market will continue to reap success once the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) is formed at the end of 2015, said Singapore’s Straits Times.

The newspaper quoted Managing Director of international credit ranking agency AM Best Asia Pacific Roger Sellek as saying that insurers are planning to expand their business to overseas markets once the AEC is formed and international credit rates will be a “passport to neighbouring markets” for 110 insurance and reinsurance companies with branches in Singapore.

With impressive growth in the island country’s market, AM Best Asia Pacific experts predicted the personal insurance market will blossom in Thailand and Indonesia, the newspaper said, adding that Singapore is currently the biggest insurance market in the Southeast Asian region with total revenue from life insurance and non-life insurance reaching nearly 23 billion USD in 2013.

However, experts estimate Singaporean insurers will need a decade or longer to build competitive competency.

Many big insurance companies with branches in the country have inked agreements to offer their products through the banking network.

Manulife has signed an exclusive agreement worth around 1.2 billion USD with Singapore’s DBS bank to sell their products to bank customers in Singapore, China and Indonesia.

Previously, Prudential and AIA also made similar agreements with the Standard Chartered bank and Citibank in an attempt to expand their businesses in 11 Asia markets.-VNA