By  on November 9, 2010

NEW DELHI — President Obama has India’s burgeoning retail sector in his sights.

Obama, here on a visit to talk up economic cooperation and trade between the two countries, has joined the chorus of those pressuring the Indian government to loosen rules on foreign direct investment in retailing. Currently India restricts overseas firms to 51 percent ownership of single brand stores, meaning they need a local partner. Foreign companies can own 100 percent of cash-and-carry stores, but these can sell only to other retailers and businesses, not to the general public. Multibrand retailing is forbidden in India — which blocks the likes of Wal-Mart, Carrefour and Tesco from entering the market.

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