In a bid to address the issues imposed by foreign investment norms, the world's largest retailer Wal-Mart has sought support from the US government for entering the multi-billion dollar Indian retail market.
The US-based Wal-Mart Stores, one of the world's top revenue grossers with over $400 billion of total annual sales and present in 15 countries, is lobbying hard with lawmakers here to help it expand into India, possibly through bilateral talks between the related authorities of the two countries.
The company is lobbying with the US Congress members as also the departments of commerce, trade and treasury, among others, to put forward its case on issues like “discussions on India and Foreign Direct Investment”, and “enhanced market access for investment in China and India.”
Its presence in India is limited to business-to-business wholesale market and back-end supply chain management business through a joint venture with Sunil Mittal-led Bharti group and it has been trying for many years now to enter Indian retail market, as India does not allow foreign direct investment in multi-brand retail business, in which Wal-Mart specialises.
The company had signed the JV with Bharti Retail in August 2007 and soon after that it began lobbying with the US lawmakers about its India plans.
Lobbying is legal in the US and the companies are required to submit a disclosure of the same every quarter. Interestingly, the latest quarterly lobbying disclosure report comes amid speculations that India might soon propose to permit 100 per cent FDI in multi-brand retail, a development which would allow Wal-Mart to enter Indian retail market.