Sun Life of Canada, the insurance group which manages about HK$1 billion, has announced a joint venture with Asia Insurance. The company will add Asia Insurance's general insurance product range to its range of products. Vice-president Alwin Lam said the deal was an attempt to diversify its product range without the high start-up costs of launching a new line. He said: 'I think this is the best way as it saves time and energy. Launching a line of general insurance products would require a lot of building-up and backing-up. It would be a big task. 'We will encourage our agents to register also as Asia Insurance agents. They will actively promote Asia Insurance's products, such as those for employee compensation, personal accident, home, motor and travelling.' Sun Life is the biggest insurance firm in Canada and in the top 15 in North America. New premium income in Hong Kong last year was about $400 million. Sun Life of Canada also has a representative office in Beijing, another planned for Shanghai, with the network intended to cover Guangzhou, Tianjin and Nanjing.