Report: India closer to allowing foreign retail investment

New Delhi, India  — India will announce new rules for foreign investment in retail by April 2012, which would pave the way for such retailers as Wal-Mart Stores, Carrefour SA and other large chains to open stores in the country, Bloomberg reported.

“We are much further down the process than people think,” said Junior Trade Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia in an interview with Bloomberg. “I think it is a huge opportunity for India.”

Indian law limits foreign retail investment to ownership of wholesale stores or 51% holdings in single-brand shops. The government prohibits non-Indian companies from operating multi-brand outlets to protect local store owners. 

India is the third-most attractive retail market for global retailers among the thirty largest emerging markets, according to AT Kearney. The growing middle class, expanding economy and increasingly brand-conscious population will help push retail sales up by 35% during the next three years, the company said in a June report.

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