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India clears 63 FDI proposals in single brand retail

Friday March 15, 2013 10:43:49 PM, IANS

Bangalore: The Indian government has cleared 63 proposals for foreign direct investment (FDI) in single brand retail since the measure was allowed last year, union Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma said Friday.

"We have received and approved 63 proposals for FDI in single brand retail so far," Sharma told reporters here, but did not disclose the quantum of investment that would flow into the country from the proposals.

"Though I am not able to tell off-hand the quantum of FDI the 63 proposals bring in, it will be in billions of dollars," he said on the margins of an interaction with scientists of the state-run Central Manufacturing Technology Institute (CMTI) on the city's outskirts.

Among the global majors which have got approval to invest in single brand retail is the Swedish furniture giant IKEA that is already sourcing goods from India valued at $1 billion.

"Majority of the single brand retailers which are investing in India has already a sourcing base in the country and the trend is set to increase manifold," Sharma pointed out.

"Most of the single brand retailers have sourcing base in the country and this will increase manifold," he said.

The minister also admitted that British supermarkets chains Tesco and Sainsbury have applied for setting up their sourcing centres and enter the Indian retail sector subsequently.

Sharma, who is on a two-day visit to this tech hub for official engagements, reiterated that the manufacturing sector had to grow at 10-12 percent annually to enable the Indian economy to return to nine percent gross domestic product (GDP) growth rate.

"It is a matter of serious concern that manufacturing has grown at a mere 0.9 percent this fiscal (2013-14)," he lamented while addressing students of the Indian Institute of Management (IIM-B) here.

Though India has made its presence felt globally, it is yet to have one global brand of manufactured product when other developing countries like China, Taiwan and South Korea have many.

"To address this major challenge, the government has come out with the national manufacturing policy to raise its share to GDP to 25 percent from 16 percent in the next decade and generate about 100 million productive jobs," Sharma noted.

While Indian manufacturing has grown in strength over the decades, it has largely been confined to industries which are labour intensive such as textiles, leather, gems and jewellery.

"To bring about a revolutionary change in the manufacturing sector, our enterprises have to embark on massive innovation to develop products for domestic and global markets, as Germany has done by investing heavily in technology and innovation," Sharma observed.






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