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FDI in retail: Reform will deepen business ties, says US

"We welcome India's decision. We think economic reforms, such as these, will further strengthen business-to-business ties between our two countries," State Department spokesman Mark Toner said.

twitter-logo IANS   Washington     Last Updated: November 30, 2011  | 00:00 IST

The United States has welcomed India's decision to allow foreign direct investment in the multi-brand retail sector, saying such economic reforms will further strengthen business-to-business ties between the two countries.

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"We welcome India's decision. We think economic reforms, such as these, will further strengthen business-to-business ties between our two countries," State Department spokesman Mark Toner told reporters on Tuesday.

"It's going to create new economic opportunities and it's also going to lead to more choices for Indian consumers," he said.

Asked about the huge opposition in India to the government's decision, the spokesman said: "Well, again, this is part of a vibrant democracy where opposition parties can speak their mind and voice their concerns."

Pros and Cons of FDI in retail

"But we viewed this, as I said, as a way to deepen our economic ties with India," he added.

Last week, corporate America had also hailed Indian cabinet's "bold" move.

"These bold reforms have heartened investors from the United States and elsewhere," said the US-India Business Council (USIBC), comprising nearly 400 of America's and India's top companies seeking deeper commercial ties between the two countries.

FDI may increase rentals of retail space

"The government's bold resolve to move on these complex reforms serves as an assurance to investors that its economic liberalisation agenda begun in the early 1990s is very much on track, even in the face of the global economic downturn," USIBC said.

"This change in policy is a good start to a win-win decision for all stakeholders, including the customers, farmers and the Government of India," said Doug McMillon President and CEO of Walmart International, one of the largest US chains of discount department stores.

"We're confident that the government, after seeing the value we bring to India and its people, will view this opening as a first step in further liberalising FDI in retail," he added.

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