India's opposition candidate Modi signals shift in favour of big retail
NEW DELHI (REUTERS) - Indian opposition candidate for prime minister Narendra Modi said on Thursday the country's millions of family-owned traders must learn to work with large modern stores and online retailers, in comments that could signal a shift in thinking.
Mr Modi's Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) opposes a policy to allow foreign supermarkets to open in India, which it says is a threat to millions of grocery stores and traders who are a backbone of the party's support.
Sketching out his economic views ahead of a general election likely to be held in April and May, Mr Modi declined to reiterate that stance or oppose a proposal to allow foreign investment in online shopping, which is growing rapidly in India.
Instead, he said small traders should put an emphasis on the quality of their products to compete better. He said they could enter into contracts with big online retailers to create "virtual trade".