Economy

Amazon investment ‘welcome’, Piyush Goyal says earlier statement taken out of context

Amazon investment ‘welcome’, Piyush Goyal says earlier statement taken out of context”

"We have just made a decision to double down on our Prime Video investments in India", said the CEO of the global e-commerce giant at the event that was attended by a slew of celebrities such as Vidya Balan, A R Rahman, Kamal Haasan, Vishal Bhardwaj and Farhan Akhtar. Bezos, who recently announced to invest $1 billion to digitise the medium and small enterprises, delivered a package to a kirana store (corner store) on Saturday as part of his expanding e-commerce business.

Amazon's plans to invest in e-rickshaws in India is a significant step, given that the market is largely dominated by unorganized players peddling ultra-cheap vehicles of questionable build quality with unsafe batteries.

However, the pledge by Bezos came against the backdrop of mass protests against Amazon, organised by the country's powerful retail lobby in 300 cities across India, and following news that the company is being investigated by India's fair-trading watchdog for violating India's strict laws around foreign business practices. "So it's not as if they're doing a great favor to India when they invest a billion dollars". The company would use its global footprint to export $10 billion worth of "Make In India" products by 2025, he added.

"In the 21st century, the most important alliance will be formed between India and the U.S., the world's oldest and the world's largest democracy", he said.

The American businessman added: "I fall more in love with India every time I return here".

The jobs will be across industries, including information technology, skill development, content creation, retail, logistics, and manufacturing, and are in addition to the 700,000 jobs Amazon's investments have enabled over the last six years in India.

Bezos has praised India during his ongoing visit, saying the 21st century will be the Indian century and that the dynamism and energy in the country was "something special".

Goyal clarified today that what he had meant was any investment coming into the country from the right source and in line with the country's laws were welcome. "Our government wants to ensure that unfair competition is not created for crores of small traders and retailers of the country". In 2018, India introduced laws barring foreign-owned e-commerce businesses from selling their own inventory and requiring them to be neutral marketplaces, forcing companies such as Amazon to only sell third-party goods from independent sellers. He told The Indian Express: "While Mr Bezos is so positive about India and its democracy, I want to say that he should give the same message to his people at Washington Post".

Meanwhile, BJP leader Vijay Chauthaiwale on Friday lashed out at Amazon and the Bezos-owned Washington Post.

"The Washington Post's editorial policy is highly biased and agenda driven", the official explained, without highlighting any examples.

"I am not opposing Amazon as a company, in fact I am a regular customer".



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