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Amazon says it will invest $1 billion in India

(Image credit: Image Credit: Ken Wolter / Shutterstock)

Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon, told attendees at Amazon SMBhav that the company will be investing a billion dollars in Indian businesses.

At the event, hosted in Delhi, Bezos said the plan is to digitally enable small and medium-sized businesses, as well as enterprises and traders in the country.

The e-commerce giant believes the investment will enable $10 billion in cumulative exports by 2025.

"Our hope is that this investment will bring millions more people into the future prosperity of India and at the same time expose the world to the Make-in-India products," Amazon said in a statement.

During his stay in India, Bezos is also expected to review Amazon’s operations in the country, as well as to meet with local government officials.

However, Bezos’ message has not been received well in some quarters. 

Indian shopkeepers have voiced their dissatisfaction with Amazon, taking to the streets in protest following the announcement. According to reports, “hundreds of thousands” of small retailers across the country joined the protests.

The Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT), an industry body of over 40,000 trade associations representing 70 million traders nationwide, said the announcement is nothing more than blatant promotion and will bring nothing good to the country.

“It's not an investment, but promotional finance to Amazon India to crush retail trade and encourage his team in India to do more predatory pricing and deep discounting," it said.

Amazon and its rival Flipkart are being probed by the country’s antitrust agency for alleged violations to the country’s competition laws.