The challenges in implementing FDI in the retail sector and means to tackle them were discussed threadbare by a group of diplomats, professors and think tanks at a conference here today.
Cultural mindset of the population, large-scale loss of jobs, and stability of the average prices of products are some of the problems faced by MNCs which wish to enter the Indian retail sector, the participants said.
Achieving the right retail format to meet the demand of various consumer groups, creating a modern back-end operation system, accessing reasonably priced floor space, and adjusting to the local tastes were some solutions put forward at the conference titled "FDI in the Retail Sector: Perspectives on Growth and Development" organised by Jindal Global Business School.
Addressing the audience of Ambassadors of Scandinavian and Latin American countries and think tanks, Vice Chancellor of the university C Raj said there is a need for objective and rigorous public reasoning on issues such as FDI in retail sector so that the social and economic consequences of public policy making can be better understood.
Pointing out that the introduction of FDI in China led to improvement in economy operations, Thomas Lairson of International Studies Center at Rollins College in the US said opening up the retail sector in India to foreign players will reduce inefficiencies in the domestic retail trade.
Leonardo Onofre, head of the Economic and Commercial Section, Embassy of Brazil, stated that Brazil was on its way to becoming the fifth largest consumer market in the world by 2020, adding that FDI had led to market growth, decrease of interest rates along with increase of credit and new models of business.
It was emphasised in the conference that India should follow the footsteps of the Chinese, Japanese and Brazilian economies and invite FDI in retail as this would facilitate technological innovations, economic growth, and high employment rates.