Prudential Life Assurance (Lao) Company Limited (“Prudential Laos”) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Department of State Own Enterprise Reform and Insurance (DSRI, Ministry of Finance of Laos) on a Regulatory Sandbox program to build life insurance awareness in Laos in December.
In the MoU, Prudential Laos will implement and fund this project under the guidance of the DSRI. This project will be initially implemented in Vientiane Capital, and subsequently expanded to local levels between January 2023 and December 2025.
This collaboration also supports the Government of Laos to create stronger awareness, promote and develop the insurance sector, as well as providing tax incentives to consumers, employers and businesses through life insurance.
This is also to contribute to national social-economic development by connecting the Lao insurance industry with other emerging Southeast Asian and international markets, particularly under the slogan “Insurance shall be a main and strong pillar to the social-economic system.”
Manish Gurbuxani, Chief Executive Officer, Prudential Laos, said “At Prudential Laos, our purpose is to help Lao people get the most out of life by making health and financial protection accessible and affordable. Recognizing the gap and importance of financial literacy and how it can create impact on both individuals and society. We aim to bring safety and protection to our communities through long-term engagement, primarily focusing on financial education, health, and safety.”
“Besides, we have also worked hard to promote financial security to all levels. We achieved this by providing simple, digital bite-sized products that everyone can access. Today’s event is a key milestone for the Lao life insurance sector. Together with the support from the Department of State Own Enterprise Reform and Insurance and the Ministry of Finance, we are confident to raise stronger awareness about life insurance and the importance of financial planning among the community in the coming years,” added Gurbuxani.
Mr. Somphavanh Sihapanya, Deputy Director General, Department of State Owned Enterprise and Insurance, Ministry of Finance, said, “Despite the growing number of the insurance companies operating in Laos, life insurance awareness among Lao people remains low. Limited understanding about the importance and benefits of life insurance is one of the main obstacles for the expansion of the industry.
“Insurance industry is one of the most important driving forces of our economy. This sector provides a solid foundation for both public and private sectors to run their businesses and capture further growth opportunities. Through this collaboration with Prudential Laos, we are poised to foster and contribute more to facilitate the life insurance industry to protect more people in Laos,” added Siphapanya.
A regulatory sandbox provides a safe and efficient environment for firms to test business ideas, financial products or services under the Regulator’s supervision. A sandbox environment supports the Regulator to form their regulatory responses to innovations based on the outcomes of frequent live experiments.
This enables the Regulator to make more timely and better decisions to determine the optimal level of regulations to encourage innovation. In addition, a regulatory sandbox can strengthen the capacity of the Regulator. By facilitating a more open and active dialogue with innovators, sandboxes can help streamline regulatory approval processes to drive financial inclusion for more customers.
Following the success of the first regulatory sandbox launched in the United Kingdom in 2015, regulatory authorities and innovators around the world, including Malaysia, Singapore, and Thailand, have developed further sandbox programs to incubate innovative solutions across the region. The latest round of regulatory sandbox in Laos will provide more investment options for banks, private equity, and venture capital funds to back innovations that propel the Lao economy.