A Monday report by Bloomberg said that IKEA has received the go-ahead from the Indian government to open outlets in the country, making it perhaps the first major foreign retailer to set up its own stores in the region.
The Swedish furniture retailer was cleared by the Foreign Investment Promotion Board, according to a statement by Commerce Minister Anand Sharma. The approval is a turnaround for the Indian government which last year barred Ikea from operating cafes and limited retail wares it could sell in stores.
IKEA still awaits approval from the Indian Cabinet to proceed with its plan to invest up to $2 billion to set up stores, according to the report.
“We consider this as a very positive development,’’ Juvencio Maeztu, IKEA's manager for India, told Bloomberg in an emailed statement. ‘‘We are now waiting for approval from the Cabinet and subsequently a notification so that we can initiate the process of establishing Ikea stores in the country.”
IKEA has announced it would open 25 stores in India.