NEW DELHI, January 30 – BUSINESS STANDARD – India-China bilateral trade hit a record $73.9 billion last year, but the ballooning trade deficit in Beijing's favour rose to over $27 billion, raising concern among Indian authorities. The bilateral trade registered a $12.2 billion increase in 2011, taking the total to $73.9 billion as against $61.7 billion in 2010, according to official trade figures for the last year. The trade deficit in 2011, however, piled up to $27.07 billion even though Indian exports to China went up to $23.4 billion registering a growth of almost 12.26% compared to the same period in year 2010. – FINANCIAL EXPRESS – India maintained its position as the fourth largest steel producer in 2011, despite 5.7 per cent output growth as against the world average of 6.8 per cent, the World Steel Association (WSA) said. Recording an increase of 6.8 per cent in 2011 over 2010, global steel production hit a record 1,527 million tonnes. On the other hand, India produced 72.2 million tonnes steel last year over 68.3 million tonnes in the previous year. WSA is the world's largest steel industry association and its members produce around 85 per cent of the global output. – FINANCIAL EXPRESS – Foreign direct investment in India is set to swell in coming years as investors’ stomach a lack of transparency, poor infrastructure and policy paralysis in their search for growth, professional services firm Ernst & Young (E&Y) said in a report. Overseas investment in Asia's third-largest economy rose for the first time in three years in 2011, the report noted, as global investors put their faith in rising salaries, an expanding middle-class and a large and cheap labor force. – FINANCIAL EXPRESS – German wholesale giant Metro Group plans to invest over 100 million euros (about Rs 650 crore) in India as part of strategy to spread footprint across the country. The cash and carry major that currently has nine stores at six locations in India at Bangalore, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Mumbai, Jalandhar and Ludhiana is eyeing to have 50 stores soon. Metro has over 700 stores in 30 countries, and is one of the leading international leading self-service wholesale operators and had sales of euro 31 billion in 2010. – FINANCIAL EXPRESS – Although India has decided to put FDI in multi-brand retail on hold, various experts feel that allowing foreign investments in this area will benefit domestic sectors more than the foreign players like Wal-Mart. Multi-brand retailers such as Wal-Mart have played a very important role in keeping prices down, while delivering tremendous value to the customers. So, Indian consumers will benefit from lower prices. This will also create a large number of jobs, not just in the retail sector but also in logistics, construction and manufacturing as well.