The Ministry of Commerce in India has reportedly liberalised its foreign direct investment (FDI) rules - allowing brands to open their own stores in the country, reported the Financial Times.

According to the FT, the world's most powerful retail groups demanded the programme of economic reforms. International retailers, such as Reebok, Louis Vuitton and Gucci, will no longer have to operate in India through franchise arrangements with local partners when the FDI rules are liberalised.

India's commerce minister Kamal Nath told the newspaper: "This is the first time in 15 years that FDI has been reviewed in an integrated manner to remove anomalies and inconsistencies.

"Companies will be allowed to sell goods sold internationally under a single brand. Retailers of multiple brands, even if they are made by the same company, will not be allowed."