Foreign cos keen to invest in multi-brand retail: Sharma


The Union Minister for Commerce, Industry and Textile, Anand Sharma today said that the government is receiving applications from various foreign companies showing interest to invest in India after the recent announcement of opening up 51 percent FDI in multi-brand retail.

"There are companies who are interested. Yesterday, I have met companies and talked about it. They want to open 60 stores in India," he added on the sidelines of CII's Annual General Meeting in New Delhi on Wednesday.
Companies such as TESCO, Carrefour, Sainsbury, etc. have approached the Commerce Minister and have discussed ways to open up stores in India.
"They have approached us for sourcing and establishing themselves in India. They have given us applications. But where they will do, it is their business decision," he added.
Also, French multi-brand retailer Auchan Group is also examining ways to invest in India at the moment.
During the event Sharma also pointed out that innovation and technology incentive will make India globally competitive.
He will strive for greater FDI in defence for bringing in defence technology in the industry. "I am in favour of arranging FDI in defence sector to at least 49 per cent if not 74 percent." Sharma also added.
Presently, 26 percent FDI is allowed in the defence space in India.
He is hopeful that the Goods and Service Tax (GST) will also help in bringing down transaction costs and is expected to be implemented soon.
On the forthcoming Foreign Trade Policy, Sharma said that it is schedule to be announced on April 18, which will probably boost growth of exports in near future.
"We are also seriously looking at ways to bring down the trade deficit and boost exports now," he added further.
The trade deficit has widened to USD 182.09 billion and is expected to widen further between USD 193-196 billion in 2012-13. Till April-February period of 2012-13 has dropped by 4 percent at USD 265.95 billion.