Giving retail a miss
The reason why Kolkata lost out on the summit is because the FDI move irked Trinamool Congress so much so that it left the coalition in September as a mark of protest. One of the reasons cited by the mandarins now is that Samajwadi Party too has not been over enthusiastic in favour of FDI in retail. Chief minister of UP Akhilesh Yadav had made this clear last year and any mention by Sharma could have put the host in a piquant situation. So, even though summit has shifted, the centre has avoided bringing up the topic at the summit. With countries like France, China, Korea, Japan, Australia, Russia and Brazil among the guest list, the stage was just right for India to woo foreign investors into the sector which has been recently liberalised. But today Sharma met his United Arab Emirates counterpart and given the interest airlines from that country are showing in the Indian aviation sector, FDI changes in the sector did apparently figure in the discussions. The R word was absent.
The summit, however, has plenty of other things to talk about.
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