Wal-Mart Stores Inc., the world’s largest retailer, is in talks with partner Bharti Enterprises Pvt. about opening retail outlets in India after the government eased rules for foreign ownership in multibrand store chains.
India's UPA coalition government, widely accused of policy paralysis after having seen annual economic growth dip under its watch to 5.5 percent from more than 8 percent, initiated a slew of reform measures last weekend designed to attract foreign capital and restore investor confidence. The most significant of these reforms was the opening up of the retail sector to foreign investment, a decision first made by the government last November but subsequently rescinded after vociferous resistance both from the opposition and some of the coalition's own partners.
India’s opening up of foreign investment in retail may see Wal-Mart Stores Inc. be the first to tap the $505 billion market as Carrefour SA and Tesco Plc focus on battling falling profits and consumer spending.
Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and Carrefour SA may gain access to the retail market of the world’s second most-populous country after an Indian government panel was said to have recommended easing restrictions on the industry.