UK ups pressure to open India for investment

UK ups pressure to open India for investment

The UK government has indicated that it hopes to negotiate a relaxation of restrictions on investment in India.

Speaking from the Mumbai offices of consumer goods giant Unilever, UK Prime Minister David Cameron told reporters there should be "a conversation about opening up the Indian economy, making it easier to do business here".

According to Sky News, Cameron highlighted the insurance and banking sectors as areas he wanted to push for a liberalisation of foreign direct investment in the country. However, an easing of restrictions could have a significant impact on Indian FDI retail restrictions.

Currently, Indian politicians are in the process of relaxing retail investment restrictions and recently introduced proposals allowing foreign companies to own up to 51% of multi-brand retail businesses.

A spokesperson for UK retail giant Tesco hinted that the group could potentially step-up investment in the region if conditions become more favourable.

"We have welcomed moves in India to allow foreign investment in multi-brand retail and continue to review the conditions. We already have a successful franchise arrangement with Tata's Star Bazaar stores and we are hopeful that this development will allow more Indian consumers, businesses and communities to benefit from world-class retail investment."