Amazon plans $1bn investment in India despite trader backlash

19 Janvier, 2020, 14:47 | Auteur: Auguste Feret
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"So, it is not as if they are doing a great favour to India when they invest a billion dollars", the Minister said at a public gathering.

Goyal added that there are some rules governing e-commerce in India and that whatever investments come in within the framework of the law were welcome.

Indian trade minister Piyush Goyal told a security conference in New Delhi on Thursday: "They may have put in a billion dollars but then if they make a loss of a billion dollars every year then they jolly well have to finance that billion dollars".

Vijay Chauthaiwale, the chief of the BJP's foreign affairs department, removed any doubts when he told Reuters that there was "a lot of problem" with The Washington Post's coverage of India.

The US$1-billion investment will "digitise micro and small businesses in cities, towns, and villages across India", he said, vowing Amazon would export US$10 billion of Indian-made products annually and create one million new jobs by 2025. Goyal said that Amazon was not doing a favour to the country by the investments and questioned how the online retailing major could incur such "big" losses but for its predatory pricing. "This process is followed across the world", the commerce minister told reporters on Friday afternoon.

Small businesses say they've been hit by Amazon and Walmart's Flipkart which flout regulations and burn billions of dollars to offer steep discounts.

Amazon boss Jeff Bezos on Friday promised to create a million new jobs in India in a farewell love letter to the country, after ending a tough visit that reportedly included a snub by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

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According to the letter, "Amazon is invested in sustainable growth and is the first company to sign the Climate Pledge - with a commitment to meet the Paris Accord ten years early". "Commerce Minister first snubbed Nobel victor Dr Abhijit Banerjee". "Don't try to find loopholes when clearly we have articulated what the e-commerce model is".

He also predicted that the 21st century was going to be the Indian century.

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

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

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos is leaving no stone unturned to woo the small and medium-scale traders in India.

Chauthaiwale has in the past criticised foreign media's reporting, including on the disputed Kashmir region claimed by both India and Pakistan, saying coverage has been biased against Modi. "If we don't create a level playing field or have a thriving marketplace, we would not have seen so many sellers on our platform", said Gopal Pillai, the vice president for seller services at Amazon India.

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