U.S. retailers look for opportunities in India

An investor holds rupee notes and handwritten investment details from the digital display outside the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) in Mumbai.

JEREMY HOBSON: Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner said this morning the United States supports the French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde to be the next head of the International Monetary Fund. Same support also coming from Brazil this morning. That makes it all but certain that Lagarde will be named the new IMF chief perhaps as soon as today.

Meanwhile, Secretary Geithner is meeting this morning with India's finance minister trying to nudge India toward reforms that could lead to more U.S. investment there. Specifically allowing U.S. banks more access to Indian financial markets and allowing Wal-Mart to open big box stores in the country.

Marketplace's Nancy Marshall Genzer has more.


NANCY MARSHALL GENZER: In some ways, this story is about consumers. The U.S. would like to start exporting more to India -- big things like planes, and smaller stuff people use every day, like shampoo. India's economy is growing fast as is its population. But before they can get to all of those showering shoppers, U.S. companies have to navigate a sometimes corrupt bureaucracy, trade barriers, and limits on foreign investment.

Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner is looking for reform.

TIMOTHY GEITHNER: India is at the point now where future growth will depend on the success in this next wave of reforms not just in the financial sector but improving the financial sector.

There are some big American companies just itching to get into India. Wal-Mmart, for one. But it faces some obstacles there. Because right now, Indian consumers prefer small mom and pop stores.

In Washington, I'm Nancy Marshall Genzer for Marketplace.

About the author

Nancy Marshall-Genzer is a senior reporter for Marketplace based in Washington, D.C. covering daily news.

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