Welcoming rapid growth in the insurance sector, Meng Zhaoyi, deputy director-general of the International Department of the China Insurance Regulatory Commission (CIRC), said that whether it was driven by foreign or Chinese, insurers, "strong growth will be conducive to the development of the local insurance industry and the economy. Nearly all restrictions on foreign insurance companies will be removed by yearend in accordance with China's WTO commitments. Official data showed that foreign vendors posted an average 50% growth in the first half. That rate was twice as fast as domestic insurance business grew. Meng called current growth trends "a good thing".