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Govt to ease curbs on FDI in luxury sector, Shri Nath

Mar '08
Shri Kamal Nath, Union Minister of Commerce and Industry, during his address at the Mint Hindustan Times Luxury Conference, has stated that India is no longer a mere testing ground for international luxury brands, but a lucrative market.

Quoting from the report of Global Consulting firm A T Kearney, Shri Kamal Nath informed that the report recently placed India at the top of a list of emerging markets for global retailers in its 2007 Global Retail Development Index.

“Indeed, if India was just a test market, such a high powered list of speakers would never have come for this conference! Many factors have contributed to this growth in demand for luxury goods. High salaries of employees in the corporate sector, emergence of new cities, a growing middle class, increasing number of working women, and rise of a new breed of self-employed entrepreneurs in a whole range of business sectors."

"Yes, we are proud of our new wealth. But let me also stress at this forum that India is a developing country with significant development challenges. The business of luxury cannot exist in a vacuum and must be seen from the overall context of equity and inclusiveness. I think it was Francis Bacon who once remarked: Money is like manure; it's not worth a thing unless it's spread around.” he added. Smt Shobhna Bhartiya, Chairperson, Hindustan times Ltd and representatives from leading luxury brands were also present on the occasion.

Explaining about thecontribution to luxury Industry from an Indian Perspective, Shri Kamal Nath informed that 'Dharavi', which is supposed to be Asia's largest slum also doubles up as a giant manufacturing cluster. Over the years, many migrants have moved there and have set up one-room factories, which have become extremely successful businesses.

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