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India nod to multi-brand retail FDI an important step: Walmart

PTI  New York, November 25, 2011
First Published: 13:25 IST(25/11/2011) | Last Updated: 13:27 IST(25/11/2011)

The world's largest retailer Walmart has termed India's decision to allow 51% FDI in multi-brand retail as a "first important step" and said it will study the finer details of the new policy to determine the impact on its ability to do business in India.

Walmart, which has been waiting in line with other global retailers like Carrefour and TESCO to tap the growing and lucrative Indian market with a 1.2 billion-strong population, said it was "grateful" that the Indian government realised and appreciated the value that foreign retailers like itself will bring to strengthen the country's economy.

"We believe that allowing 51% FDI in multi-brand retail is a first important, step. However, we will need to study the conditions and the finer details of the new policy and the impact that it will have on our ability to do business in India," Bharti-Walmart MD and CEO Raj Jain said.

Bharti Walmart is a wholesale joint venture between the US retail giant and India's Bharti Enterprises.

Jain said Walmart is "willing and able" to invest in back-end infrastructure that will help reduce wastage of farm produce, improve the livelihood of  farmers, lower prices of products and ease supply-side inflation.

The new policy will positively impact the Indian market and its people and will also contribute toward India's image as one of the world's fastest growing economies and a welcoming destination for international businesses, Jain said.

After a long wait, India also cleared 100% FDI in single-brand retail on Thursday.

Till now, the country has only allowed 51% FDI in single-brand retail and 100% FDI in the cash-and-carry format of the business.

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