E-commerce giant Amazon has attempted to address the Indian government’s issues with the company’s plans to set up shop in the country by promising to create 1 million new jobs in India by 2025.
Reuters reports that e-commerce giant Amazon has now promised to create 1 million jobs in India by 2025 just days after criticism from the country’s trade minister. The trade minister was reportedly not impressed with Amazon’s plans to invest $1 billion in the country’s small businesses.
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. So it’s not as if they are doing a great favor to India when they invest a billion dollars.”
Both Amazon and Walmart’s FlipKart have faced growing criticism from India’s brick-and-mortar retailers which have accused the firms of racking up billions of dollars in losses to fund deep discounts and discriminating against small sellers. Amazon has denied these allegations and company CEO Jeff Bezos has promised to create more jobs in the country stating: “We are investing to create a million new jobs here in India over the next five years.”
This week, the Competition Commission of India (CCI) launched an antitrust probe of the companies to investigate these allegations. Amazon plans to set up digital centers across 100 Indian cities and villages to help local businesses get online to sell their goods and plans to offer support in terms of marketing and logistics.
Amazon claims its $1 billion investment will bring more than 10 million Indian businesses online and will enable the export of goods manufactured in India worth $10 billion by 2025. Amazon described the initiative at a company event at a New Delhi stadium stating that it was “a first-of-its-kind mega summit” that would bring together more than 3,000 small businesses.
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, who appeared wearing a blue-colored traditional Indian jacket, stated: “The dynamism, the energy … the growth. This country has something special,” which was met with cheers from the audience. India’s e-commerce market revenues are expected to reach $120 billion in 2020, having grown 51% annually from 2017 to 2020 according to a study by the CCI. Amazon’s $1 billion investment will add to the company’s $5.5 billion of investments in India announced by the company since 2014.