From Wal-Mart to Starbucks: All lobbying hard to enter India | business | Hindustan Times
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From Wal-Mart to Starbucks: All lobbying hard to enter India

business Updated: Oct 16, 2011 11:36 IST

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Aiming to grab a pie of India's robust economic growth, at least a dozen US-based corporate giants are lobbying hard with their lawmakers to help them enter or expand further in this fast-growing market.

The issues on which these companies are lobbying with the US government range from facilitating the market access to easing of foreign investment rules in India to help further expansion of their businesses here, show the lobbying disclosure reports filed by them with the US Senate.

These large US-based multinationals include the likes of the world's largest retailer Wal-Mart Stores, the coffee shop giant Starbucks and financial services majors Morgan Stanley, New York Life Insurance and Prudential Financial.

Besides, technology major Intel, chemicals major Dow Chemical, pharma giant Pfizer, telecom majors AT&T, Alcatel-Lucent, as well as defence and aerospace giants like Boeing, Raytheon and Lockheed Martin are soliciting the support of the US government for furthering their Indian business interests.

In addition to these large corporates, there are numerous other smaller size companies seeking support from the US lawmakers to help them enter or expand further in India.

Together, these companies are estimated to have spent millions of dollars on their lobbying activities on various issues, including those related to their Indian interests.

Lobbying is a legal activity in the US, but the companies and their lobbyists are required to inform the US Senate about such activities through a quarterly disclosure report detailing the issues, the concerned government departments and institutions and the related expenses.

A host of Indian companies, including the country's biggest private sector company Reliance Industries, and even the Indian government, have also been lobbying in the US for many years to present their case with the American lawmakers.

India has emerged as one of the fastest-growing economies in the world, and a host of the companies from across the world, including from the US, are seeking to enter this market or further expand their business here.

Despite a global economic slowdown, countries like India and China have delivered an impressive growth.

The average annual growth rate for the lower-middle income countries such as India and China at about 7% in past 20 years has been more than three times that of the high-income countries like the US at little over 2%, as per the World Bank estimates.

However, the foreign investment ceilings in a host of sectors in India have come in the way of the US companies seeking to expand here, and they are seeking the help from their government to facilitate their expansion plans.