Carrefour puts India investment plans on hold

27th April 2007, Comments 0 comments

NEW DELHI, April 27, 2007 (AFP) - French retail giant Carrefour has put on hold plans to invest in India due to concerns over political opposition to multinational retailers entering the market, a report said Friday.

NEW DELHI, April 27, 2007 (AFP) - French retail giant Carrefour has put on hold plans to invest in India due to concerns over political opposition to multinational retailers entering the market, a report said Friday.

Indian business daily The Economic Times said Carrefour, the world's second largest retailer, also wanted to see how Wal-Mart fared in the Indian market before stepping in.

"We are waiting for some more clarity on the Bharti-Wal-Mart structure," Carrefour's Indian operations head Gerard Freiszmuth was quoted as saying.

Mobile phone major Bharti Enterprises has said its planned retail venture with US supermarket giant Wal-Mart complies with Indian rules on the sector.

Freiszmuth said Carrefour was awaiting results of a study commissioned in February by the government examining the impact of multinational retailers on small domestic stores.

Sonia Gandhi, whose Congress Party heads the federal coalition government, had called for the study, saying she was worried that the entry of multinational retailers could threaten millions of small businesses.

India does not allow foreign direct investment in the retail sector except for single-brand stores, meaning foreign companies have to sign franchise deals with local companies to gain access.

"We will not be in a position to announce any concrete India entry plan till policy issues on FDI (foreign direct investment) in retail are made clear," Freiszmuth said.

"We have been looking at India as an attractive destination and hope to have a long-term association with the country. We are studying and understanding the various pros and cons and will not make an announcement in haste," he said.

Last month, a source at Indian business giant Reliance said the company was in advanced tie-up talks with Carrefour for a retail venture but the French retailer later denied it was in negotiations.

Top foreign retailers have been jostling for a slice of what has been dubbed India's great "retail rush" amid higher spending by a fast-growing middle class.


Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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