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Carrefour India head meets Sharma for FDI

The Indian head of French retail giant Carrefour, Jean Noel Bironneau, on Thursday called on commerce and industry minister Anand Sharma amid calls from sectoral players to open multi-brand retail in India to foreign direct investment (FDI).

Although neither Sharma nor Bironneau commented on what transpired during their meeting, it is understood that the French retailer raised the issue of allowing FDI in multi-brand retail.

Last year the government had attempted to allow 51 per cent FDI in the segment but had to suspend the move following widespread opposition, including from its own allies.

It, however, had gone ahead with increasing FDI in single brand retail to 100 per cent from the earlier 51 per cent with a condition that 30 per cent of products must be sourced from small and medium enterprises in India.

Indian retail majors such as Future Group and Shoppers Stop have favoured allowing of FDI in multibrand segment saying it would be a win-win situation as capital from overseas would help in improving back-end supply chain.

The Carrefour Group currently operates two cash and carry stores in India at present. It had opened its first store in India in Delhi (Seelampur) under the name 'Carrefour Wholesale Cash & Carry' in December 2010. This was followed by another store in Jaipur in November last year.

The group is the world's second-largest retailer and the largest in Europe. As per its website, the group currently operates in 32 countries and has over 9,500 stores.
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