Amazon to invest $1B in India

'When something works you should double down on that,' Jeff Bezos said

NEW DELHI — Amazon founder Jeff Bezos said Wednesday that his company plans to invest $1 billion in digitizing small and medium businesses in India.

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Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon and Blue Origin at the John F. Kennedy Library in Boston, Massachusetts, June 19, 2019. (REUTERS/Katherine Taylor)

Bezos, who is on a three-day visit, also said that Amazon is going to use its size, scale, and global footprint to export $10 billion in goods made in India by 2025.

He addressed representatives of small and medium businesses in New Delhi. Amazon.com launched e-commerce in India through Amazon India in 2013.

"We are super excited about this. We are making this announcement now because it is working. When something works you should double down on that,” he said.

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There are more than 550,000 sellers on Amazon India and more than 60,000 Indian manufacturers and brands are exporting their products to customers worldwide through Amazon, according to the Press Trust of India news agency.

Bezos’ visit comes at a time when the government-appointed Competition Commission of India is investigating alleged deep discounts, preferential listing and exclusionary tactics adopted by Amazon India and its e-commerce rival Flipkart.

The Confederation of All India Traders, an association of about 70 million brick-and-mortar small store owners, says that online retailers were driving small businesses out by offering sharply discounted products.

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“I predict that the 21st century is going to be the Indian century,” Bezos said. “In this 21st century, the most important alliance is going to be the alliance between India and the United States, the world’s oldest democracy and the world’s largest democracy.”