India defends rules for foreign retailers

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Associated Press

Posted on October 10, 2013 at 1:01 PM

Updated Thursday, Oct 10 at 1:02 PM

WASHINGTON (AP) — India is defending government regulations that have prompted U.S. retail giant Wal-Mart to hold back on opening superstores there.

Indian officials insist the rules to protect local businesses are not too restrictive for international companies.

India's finance minister spoke Thursday to a Washington think tank. He says he's confident that one or two large retailers will enter the Indian market by next March, though he didn't name any.

In a politically sensitive move, India last year gave the green light for international companies to open multibrand retail stores. But they have to get 30 percent of their products from local small businesses.

Wal-Mart Stores said Wednesday it cannot move forward with expansion plans because the regulations make it impossible. That's a blow to India's attempts to attract foreign investment.

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