Amazon to invest $1B in digitising Indian SMBs: Jeff Bezos

The company will use its global footprint to export $10 billion worth of Make In India goods by 2025, Bezos said at the Amazon SMBhav summit.

15th Jan 2020
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Amazon chief Jeff Bezos on Wednesday said the e-commerce major will invest $1 billion (over Rs 7,000 crore) in digitising small and medium businesses in India.


The company will use its global footprint to export $10 billion worth of Make In India goods by 2025, Bezos said at the Amazon SMBhav summit which will focus on discussions around how technology adoption can enable Small and Medium Businesses (SMBs) in India.


He also stated that the India-US alliance will be the most important in the 21st century.


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Bezos is in India this week and is expected to meet top government functionaries, business leaders, and SMBs. In a tweet, Bezos shared a video of his visit to Raj Ghat.


"Just landed in India and spent a beautiful afternoon paying my respects to someone who truly changed the world. Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever. - Mahatma Gandhi," Bezos said in his tweet.


The top executive's visit comes at a time when India's antitrust body, Competition Commission of India, has ordered an investigation into alleged violations of competition laws by Amazon and Walmart-owned Flipkart.


Thousands of small-scale traders' union under Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) are planning to hold protests around the country during Bezos' stay in India.


Last year, the government had tightened rules for ecommerce marketplaces with foreign investment. These rules barred such platforms from offering products of sellers in which they hold a stake, and banned exclusive marketing arrangements among other clauses.


Following this, Amazon restructured its joint ventures to ensure compliance.


Earlier in November 2019, Amazon India has signed four agreements with the Himachal Pradesh government that will enable sellers, MSMEs, artisans, and weavers from the state to benefit from online selling through the ecommerce giant's platform.


The four MoUs signed include tie-ups with the HP State Handicrafts and Handloom Corporation Ltd (HIMCRAFTS) and the HP State Handlooms & Handicrafts Development Cooperative Federation (HIMBUNKAR), and are aimed at enabling handloom sellers and artisans to sell on Amazon.in.


Under the tie-up with the HP Department of Industries, Amazon India will conduct training and on-boarding workshops at pre-identified product cluster locations of Baddi, Solan, and Shimla in order to familiarise MSME exporters with creating a seller account and listing their products on the Amazon site.


(Disclaimer: Additional background information has been added to this PTI copy for context)


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