The end of the Second World War was another major turning point in the global insurance industry. Not only communist countries but also former colonies were restricting the activities of foreign companies. Asian countries such as South Korea and Taiwan, and even Australia, protected their own insurance markets against foreign competition, while at the same time fostering local development. While the Bretton Woods system operated, restrictions on the transfer of international capital had prevented many insurers from operating outside their own countries. For a long time afterwards, insurers were confronted by obstacles that they were powerless to overcome—xenophobia, products tailored to specific countries, special distribution organizations and restrictions placed on majority control of domestic companies by foreigners. Only reinsurers managed to keep operating on a more or less global scale, thereby compensating for the lack of international risk distribution brought about by insurers concentrating on their home markets.
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