India woos foreign cos with new norms

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In a move that will give a boost to foreign retailers like Ikea, the government approved 100 per cent FDI under the automatic route for single brand retail trading.

It will now become easier for ventures such as Tata-Singapore Airlines and other domestic carriers to rope in foreign partners to bring in more funds for bidding.

The decisions came ahead of Modis participation in World Economic Forum at Davos this month where he is likely to hard sell India as an attractive investment destination. Similarly, with the government relaxing norms for Air India, foreign airlines can now invest up to 49% under approval route in the sale-bound Indian carrier.

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The government has yesterday permitted foreign airlines to invest up to 49 per cent in debt-ridden Air India, and eased norms for investment in single brand retail, construction and power exchanges. As the real estate business has been crippled, allowing 100% FDI under the automatic route for real estate broking services can help matters.

While India has seen its economy slowing recently, it has managed to secure a lot of foreign capital even without the new opportunities in place for entrepreneurs from overseas.

The Union Cabinet has given its approval to a number of amendments in the FDI Policy.

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A government forecast said growth in Asia's third-largest economy will slow to 6.5 per cent in the financial year 2017 to 2018 against the previous year's 7.1 per cent.

In the case of medical devices, the government has permitted a wide range of items that can attract up to 100 per cent FDI via the automatic route.

"More worrisome is the decision to set off the condition of mandatory sourcing requirement of 30% of purchases from India, for 5 years after the opening of the first store by the foreign company".

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"Global brands across different categories, from apparel to electronics to accessories will be aided through this, providing further options to Indian consumers and improving India?s ranking in ease of doing business", he added.

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