EU urges for higher FDI limits in Indian media

By agencies   |   Tuesday, 29 November 2005, 08:00 Hrs
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NEW DELHI: Charging the Indian government with "protectionist thinking," European Union today asked the government to hike the FDI cap in media from the present level of 26 percent.

"The Indian government should change this protectionist thinking...Broadcasting sector is still very closed," European Commissioner for Information Society and Media, Viviane Reding, said adding the present FDI cap was "too low."

the government allowed facsimile edition of foreign newspapers earlier this year, it has barred them from carrying any advertising or content specifically targeted at Indian audience.

Foreign Direct Investment in the media sector, both print and electronic, is currently restricted at 26 per cent and foreign newspapers are not allowed to have Indian editions.

Reding, who is slated to meet Information and Broadcasting Minister Priyaranjan Dasmunshi and Communications & IT Minister Dayanidhi Maran, lauded the raising of the FDI cap in telecom to 74 per cent from 49 per cent.

"It is a good signal and will bring European investments in India," she said, and pointed out that for 2004, FDI inflows to India were around five billion Euros against 55 billion Euros to China.
"This is an opportunity," she said.

Reding said there was a need for more dialogue between the business community of India and EU and facilitative atmosphere should be created for that.

She said India and EU can explore ways to enhance cooperation in research for new technologies and in the education sphere.

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