The nation changes its laws so that big name western companies are now able to open outlets without having to have a local partner.

India abandoned a rule against foreign single-brand retailers operating stores without a local partner, paving the way for global companies including Starbucks Corp. and Ikea.

The government ratified a Nov. 24 cabinet decision to raise the ownership limit to 100 percent from 51 percent for single- brand, Trade Minister Anand Sharma said in a statement yesterday. The new rules take effect immediately and require the companies to use smaller Indian companies for at least 30 percent of procurement, he said. Bloomberg Businessweek.

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