Long wary of foreign investment, India has begun to usher in a set of reforms that will allow international corporations to gain a foothold and open up the retail sector in the world's second most populous country.
Restrictions on Wal-Mart and other mega-retailers were lifted in September, along with barriers to investment in the aviation and broadcast media industries. A month later, the government proposed increasing the amount of foreign investment allowed in Indian insurance and pension schemes.
The reforms are among the most aggressive in decades, yet still require foreign operators to partner with Indian companies.
In addition, large retail operators will only be permitted to open stores in the 53 cities with a population greater than one million people. And states retain the right to veto the new initiatives.
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