b'Insurance Regulatory AsiaOpportunities and Challenges in the Greater Bay AreaInsurance Connect Scheme and Sales of Cross-border Insurance byChinese InsurersBACKGROUNDOn October 14, 2020, PresidentXi Jinping (PresidentXi) attended the 40th anniver-sary celebration ceremony of the establishment of Shenzhen Special Economic Zone (Shenzhen). In his speech, President Xi advocated that Shenzhen should proactively promote and deepen the development of the Greater Bay Area (GBA), including the reform and opening up of the Qianhai Shenzhen-Hong Kong Modern Service Industry Cooperation Zone. 1This echoes the proposed set-up of GBA Insurance Connect scheme, which was proposed by the Shenzhen Office of the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission (CBIRC). The CBIRC issued the relevant circular to the insurance industry in China (not publicly accessible) to seek opinion in late October 2019 (2019 Circular), but as of publica-tion there has been no further official announcement on its implementation. INSURANCE CONNECT - SUMMARYDespite the lack of official announcement, it was widely reported that the Insurance Connect scheme is the second cross-border connect scheme to foster the integration of financial services from Hong Kong and Macau with nine Mainland cities in the Guangdong province to form an enormous economic and business hub, following the Wealth Management Connect which allows sales of investment products via financial institutions between these 11 cities. As revealed in the 2019 Circular, CBIRC is planning to establish two insurance service centers in the GBA (Service Centers) to provide cross-border insurance services in two stages:1. The first stage will not involve any cross-border sales of new policies, but offer post-sales services to Mainland resident policyholders who hold Hong Kong insurance policies.2. The second stage will be a true connect between Hong Kong, Macau and the Mainland, enabling enquiry, sales and claims of insurance policies across the border. 1 Source: Xinhuanet (Chinese only).84GLOBAL INSURANCE INDUSTRY | YEAR IN REVIEW2020'