Yet again! Amazon's move sparks protest! You might be aware that the Gujarat government on Tuesday has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Amazon to boost e-commerce exports from the state’s MSME units.
To simplify it for you,
Amazon will train and onboard MSMEs (micro, small and medium enterprises) from the state on Amazon Global Selling as part of the MoU, allowing them to market their distinctive ‘Made in India’ goods to millions of Amazon customers in more than 200 countries and territories.
Sounds like the deal has ticked all the right boxes. But that’s not all. It has received criticism too.
What’s the fuss about? Read to know!
All Things Rosy
As part of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), exporters from MSME clusters in Ahmedabad, Vadodara, Surat, Bharuch, Rajkot, and others will be able to access clients on Amazon's 17 international marketplaces through training, webinars, and onboarding workshops. The training and workshops are intended to provide MSMEs with the information and resources they need to launch their brands and expand their businesses globally utilising Amazon Global Selling.
Not to forget, Gujarat's thriving gems and jewellery, apparel and textiles, and handicraft industries, which are supported by thousands of MSMEs.
The pandemic has hastened the shift to e-commerce, with a growing number of people shopping online more frequently. And, with the festive season around the corner, it is more likely that the sales may rise.
According to Amazon, e-commerce exports by over 70,000 MSMEs via Amazon Global Selling totalled over $3 billion, resulting in the creation of nearly 1 million direct and indirect jobs in India. Amazon announced in January 2020 that by 2025, it would digitally enable 10 million MSMEs in India, allowing $10 billion in exports and 1 million new jobs.
Why Hate Though?
The Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) slammed the Gujarat government on Tuesday for signing the deal with Amazon, accusing the e-commerce behemoth of engaging in anti-competitive tactics. While Amazon has announced that it has reached a deal with Gujarat's Industries and Mines Department to help the state's e-commerce exports.
“Besides the traders of Gujarat, the traders across the country felt cheated at the hands of the Gujarat Government for shaking hands with a known law offender company. The CAIT will oppose such MOU," CAIT said in a statement. It further added, “It is highly regretted that the lawyers of the central government are exposing Amazon in various Courts including Supreme Court, but on the other hand the State Government of Gujarat is entering an MOU with Amazon.”
The BJP's J P Nadda and Union Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal would be briefed on the political implications of the Gujarat government's action, according to the confederation.
Not Just Gujarat
Similar agreements have previously been signed with Karnataka, Punjab, and other states to assist local MSMEs in exporting their products through Amazon's Global Selling platform.
The Amazon Global Selling programme, which was launched in India in 2015, has already helped over 70,000 Indian exporters, many of whom are first-generation entrepreneurs, reach $3 billion in cumulative exports and develop global Indian brands. The relationship with the Gujarat government, according to Abhijit Kamra, Director (Global Trade) at Amazon India, is a step toward lifting lakhs of MSMEs throughout the state to a global level.