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UConn Faculty Participate in Conference on China's Future
(Released: 10/03/00)

By Allison Thompson, Office of University Communications

STORRS, Conn. -- Three faculty members from the University of Connecticut School of Law will travel to Beijing this month to participate in a conference studying the impact of China's pending membership in the World Trade Organization (WTO).

"China's recently granted permanent normal trade relations status with the United States and its anticipated entry into the WTO will change the country's role in the international community and force changes in China," says Robert Googins, an adjunct professor of law and founding director of the law school's Insurance Law Center.

In a three-day conference titled "A Conference on Insurance and Financial Services: China after WTO," Googins, John Day, a lecturer in law, and Hugh Macgill, a professor of law and former law school dean, will discuss with Chinese insurers and regulators the changes which will accompany their country's expanding global role.

The meeting begins on Sunday, Oct. 15 with a dinner and welcoming remarks. On Monday, Oct. 16 and Tuesday, Oct. 17, participants will have the opportunity to attend panel discussions on WTO requirements, the potential impact on Chinese insurers, implications for China's regulatory system, and opportunities and changes for foreign and domestic insurers.

"Entry into the WTO will lead to a programmed opening of the Chinese marketplace. It probably won't happen on day one, but it will have to be more open to American insurers," Googins says. "The opportunity to get into the Chinese market will be enhanced. Those that are already in it will find more opportunities, and Chinese insurers will find increased competition."

The conference is cosponsored by partners that include the law school and its Insurance Law Center, the University of International Business and Economics in Beijing and the United States Department of Commerce.

As the site of the Insurance Law Center, which is the only facility of its kind in the country, the law school is recognized as a world leader in the study of insurance as a business and as a social institution for allocating risk and responsibilities.

This month's conference is the second in a series of annual meetings for international insurance regulators and competitors. Last year's conference explored insurance and financial services regulation in Central and South America.

"This series of conferences is designed to facilitate the exchange of information on best regulatory practices and provides a unique opportunity for regulators and competitors from different countries to learn from one another and to strengthen the relationships that are essential to effective regional cooperation," says Googins.

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