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Top CEOs show interest to step up engagement with India

January 28
03:36 2011

French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde and India's Minister of Commerce and Industry Anand Sharma speak with each other during a session in Davos

DAVOS: Top global CEOs, including those of Wal-Mart, Rio Tinto, Tesco and Applied Materials, met Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma here last evening, sharing their enthusiasm about opportunities in the growing Indian economy.

Those who met Sharma included Wal-Mart CEO Mike Duke, Tesco Chief Executive Terry Leahy, Sistema Chairman Vladimir Evtushenkov, Rio Tinto Chief Executive Tom Albanese and Applied Materials head Michael Splinter.

A senior official, who was present at the meeting, said given the consistent economic growth in India, the world business leaders expressed their interest in increased commitment to India, in terms of strengthening their presence in the world’s second fastest growing economy.

Sharma, he said, told them that barring a few sectors, India has opened the gates for foreign direct investment in all the areas.

He said the global retailers can invest more in the back-end infrastructure like building supply chain between the farm producers and the retailers.

Davos annual WEF meeting is all about networking and cementing ties with India remains on top of the agenda of the global corporates, said a senior Indian industry leader.

“We have been advised to scale up investment in upstream activities,” Tesco CE Terry Leahy told PTI.

Sistema, which has collaboration with Shyam Group in India, expressed his company’s increasing investment in the Indian telecom sector with a subscriber base of 750 million.

Though FDI into India declined in 2010-11 due to global slowdown in the previous years, the country remains a priority area for the investors.

India’s FDI inflows declined by 27 per cent to USD 14 billion during April-November 2010-11 compared to the same period last fiscal.

-PTI

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