Jeff Bezos says Amazon will invest $1 billion in small businesses in India (Updated)

Jeff Bezos says Amazon will invest $1 billion in small businesses in India (Updated)

Update (17/01/2020): Amazon announced today it’s planning to create an additional 1 million jobs in India by 2025. The company said it already has 700,000 jobs in the country. Yesterday, Union Commerce Minister, Piyush Goyal said Amazon is not doing any favors to India by investing $1 billion.  

At a company event in New Delhi today, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos said the ecommerce giant is investing $1 billion to digitize small businesses in India. He added the company aims to export goods worth $10 billion by 2025 via the country’s ‘Make in India‘ program.

The company said there are over half a million sellers on Amazon India with over 60,000 manufacturers are exporting their goods using the ecommerce platform.

The news comes just after the Competition Commission of India (CCI), started an investigation into anti-competitive practices of Amazon and its Walmart-owned rival Flipkart earlier this week.

During his visit, Bezos will also meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi. He had previously met Modi at an event in Washington back in 2016, and later said the company would invest over $5 billion in India in the coming years.

Today, members of the Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT), a union of small traders, are set to hold a protest against Amazon in 300 cities, alleging the company of flouting the country’s Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) rules. 

At the protest, Sumit Aggarwal, national secretary of CAIT, said the union wants Amazon to stop predatory pricing so small retailers can sustain their business:

In past six months, more than 50,000 small retailers have shut shop across India. We are happy to work with eCommerce companies with fair policies. But, we can’t allow companies like Amazon and Flipkart to violate FDI rules and create a negative effect for over 70 million small business owners with their heavy discount and predatory pricing schemes.

Last year, the Indian government introduced a law that restricted eCommerce firms from selling their own products. Plus, the new norms asked these companies to cut down on discounts and cashback promotions.

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