INDIA: Wal-Mart calls on India to open e-commerce to FDI
Best Price Modern Wholesale remains Wal-Mart's only banner in India
US retail giant Wal-Mart has called on the Indian government to relax regulations governing foreign direct investment in the e-commerce sector.
"Our experiences worldwide support the fact that e-commerce is an important and growing area that meets our customers shopping needs. Toward this, we encourage the government of India to consider opening e-commerce for FDI," a spokesperson for Wal-Mart India told just-food today (6 March).
Reports in India have said Wal-Mart may be mulling launching a website to serve the business-to-business channel.
Wal-Mart insists it remains "committed" to the market but has concerns about the recent changes to regulations governing foreign direct investment into the consumer-facing retail channel, leaving industry pundits uncertain about how it plans to grow its business in the country.
The world's largest retailer operates the Best Price Modern Wholesale cash-and-carry chain in India alone after ending its venture with local conglomerate Bharti Enterprises in the autumn.
It has put its expansion in the country on hold amid bribery allegations related to applications for new store openings.
However, the company has yet to expand into consumer-facing retail after rules on foreign direct investment were relaxed in 2013. Wal-Mart is concerned the changes do not go far enough to enable the world's largest retailer to operate effectively in the market.
"We continue to study the feasibility of the FDI policy and remain steadfast in our belief in the important value Wal-Mart brings to India, including social and environmental benefits. We would like to serve our customers in ways that can help them save money and live better," the spokesperson said.
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