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India’s Bharti Enterprises plans to partner with Wal-Mart Stores and invest up to $2.5 billion in a nationwide chain of supermarkets and retail shops, a top executive at Bharti said. The massive retail project will be developed over the next eight years and create about 60,000 jobs. 

 

Details of a potential joint-venture between Wal-Mart and India’s Bharti Retail are mostly one-sided, but it appears the two may finalize an agreement as early as this week to bring Wal-Mart into India. Multi-brand foreign retailers are only allowed to operate in India with a local joint-venture partner. Bharti said yesterday it plans to invest $2 to $2.5 billion by 2015 to build approximately 10 million square feet of stores, employing 60,000 across 30 Indian cities each with a population greater than 1 million. It is not clear whether the Wal-Mart brand will be used, but Bharti said it will own the stores. Wal-Mart has not said how much it plans to invest. At this stage Wal-Mart’s role seems focused on providing supply-chain and technology management to the venture. Coverage by the Associated Press notes the Indian government has not raised any objections to a prospective deal so far, but a high ranking official warned last week any deal will be subject to scrutiny 

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