Last year, CVI celebrated their 5th year in Phnom Penh, an anniversary that marked the success of the general insurance provider in Cambodia’s emerging insurance market.
Cao Minh Son, CEO of CVI (Cambodia-Vietnam Insurance Plc) sat in his head office located on the corner of Norodom Boulevard and Samdach Pan and spoke to The Post about the niches his company had occupied in the inusrance market.
Son explained that as the sixth general insurance company coming into Cambodia, CVI is a joint venture between four shareholders: I.D.C.C. (Cambodian Investment and Development Co, Ltd), Kasimex Co, Ltd, GID (Goodness Investment and Development Co, Ltd), and DID (Diamond Island Development Co, Ltd).
“Our revenue in 2014 increased by 42 per cent, with a total revenue of $4.5 million,” said Mr. Son. “Our parent company operates across Indochina – starting in Vietnam in 1999, Laos in 2008 and Cambodia 2009 – we aim to provide the best services across the region.”
“CVI is the leading aviation insurance provider in Cambodia. We insure Cambodia Angkor Air, Cambodia Bayon Airlines, Helistar (Cambodia) Co, Ltd, Sky Angkor Airlines Co, Ltd and Apsara International Air. A lot of our income also comes from agriculture and vehicle insurance,” he said, adding that the agriculture sector has the potential for huge growth across the provinces.
“Right now we have started with industrial-sized plantations, and we’re looking to create new business opportunities with our partners to support rice meal products that will help farmers. We also insure crops, rubber plantations, palm oil, cow and pig farms,” Son said. “For the agricultural development undertaken by the Hoang Anh Gia Lai Group (HAGL), who has invested around $300 million in Ratanakiri and Mondulkiri province, CVI has been doing a lot of business up there and insuring a lot of their production.”
“The Government of Vietnam supports investment in Cambodia. For the last five years they have been encouraging many Vietnamese companies to do business here. The volume of trade and investment from Vietnam to Cambodia has gone up to around $3 billion, while before, in 2009 the trade registered at around only $300 million,” he said. Today, Vietnam is the fifth largest foreign investor in the Kingdom of Cambodia with most of their investment focusing on agriculture, aviation, medical and the financial industries including banking, insurance, and securities.
Focusing on the insurance market in Cambodia, Son said that the country was still behind its regional neighbours in terms of full-scale development that would open the door for further growth. “In Vietnam the total value of premiums reached were about $2 billion in 2014, while Laos was about $80 million.” He added that those two countries had a longer history in the insurance market, and that Cambodia’s still had a lot of room to grow.
“In Cambodia, if the government can quickly make laws and regulations in line with Vietnam and Laos, by creating compulsory insurance and enforcing their implementation, this would make it easier for insurance agencies to be established. Then many sectors like life insurance, auto insurance, and personal property insurance will become more active. In Vietnam there are a hundreds of thousands agents and brokers and this helps a lot of people to get jobs and earn a good income.” he said. “When that happens, I believe that the value of premiums will be many times higher than it is today.”