Manulife-Sinochem relationship continues to show strong resultsTSX/NYSE/PSE: MFC SEHK:945TORONTO, Nov. 28, 2016 /CNW/ - On November 26, 1996, Manulife Financial Corporation and Sinochem officially opened Manulife-Sinochem, the first foreign insurance joint venture in China. Prime Minister Jean Chretien and Chinese Premier Li Peng officiated at the ceremony in Shanghai. "We have an excellent joint-venture partner in Sinochem, and our success over the last 20 years has been achieved through mutual trust and co-operation," said Donald A. Guloien, President and Chief Executive Officer. "Almost a million customers and their families trust Manulife-Sinochem to help them achieve their dreams and aspirations. Our experience in China has exceeded our expectations and we look forward to achieving even greater results in the years to come." "Since its inception in 1996, Manulife-Sinochem has grown substantially and there is a significant opportunity for further growth in China," said Kai Zhang, President and CEO, Manulife-Sinochem. "The growing trend of digitization provides an opportunity for us to increase customer reach and improve customer experience. Manulife-Sinochem has been building a digital-first strategy to connect with customers anytime, anywhere." Manulife has deep roots in China having sold its first Asia policy in Shanghai in 1897. Manulife-Sinochem now operates in more than 51 cities and 14 provinces with more than 13,000 employees and agents. It has more than 2 million insurance policies and has paid 1.2 billion RMB insurance claims since 1996. Mainland China is Manulife's #4 business in the region in terms of a total Annualized Premium Equivalent (APE).