Space and Culture, India (May 2013)
Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in India’s Retail Sector
This article presents an overview of retail trade in India in the wake of the country's new policy that will allow foreign capital in multi-band retailing. It discusses various potential benefits and costs of foreign direct investment (FDI) in the retail sector, particularly in terms of its effects on traditional retailers, employment, consumers, farmers, and local manufacturers. It argues that given somewhat slower growth projection for the Indian economy during the next decade, various structural issues including inadequate infrastructure and a lack of affordable real estate, and the prevalent structure of the agricultural markets, it is unlikely that all the potential benefits and costs will be realised to their fullest extent, at least in the foreseeable future. The economic dynamics and the political process will play an important role in determining the outcomes of this move to allow FDI in the retail sector and will ultimately determine the effects on various stakeholders.