Earlier this week, IKEA identified its first four future store locations in India. The Swedish furniture company is in the process of purchasing land in Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Haryana, and Karnataka. These locations are all near or within major cities which is strategically important to the company as it needs to be close to both main roads and public transportation.
“The company plans to spend 105 billion rupees ($1.72 billion) to open 25 stores across the country” (WSJ).
As usual, IKEA is joining forces with local suppliers to source its products. The company will diversify its product lines to match local tastes with items made of bamboo in addition to hand-loom fabrics and handicrafts. Sourcing from India will continue to increase during the next five years as the stores are being built.
Russia will become the 156th WTO member from August 23, a month after President Putin signed into law a protocol ratifying the country’s accession to the WTO. Then, Russia is expected to lower import taxes and open its market.
The news of Russia’s acceptance to the WTO was praised by U.S. government. According to Office of the United States Trade Representative, Russia’s membership in the WTO brings significant commercial opportunities for U.S. exporters in several sectors, such as agriculture, high-tech products, services, and retails. (www.ustr.gov) A House committee also approved legislation to ease trade relations with Russia. (www.businessweek.com, July 26, 2012)
How Russia will handle its WTO membership remains unveiled. But it is certain that Russia is paving its path toward a more rule-based system and a more open economy. United States Trade Representative Ron Kirk stated that Russia’s acceptance to the WTO marks a historical event in the evolution of the WTO and the global trading system. With the last country of BRIC entering the world trade arena, we are expecting to see a more integrated world economy that provides important opportunities for international business and trade.