US-based online retailer Amazon said on Tuesday its India unit’s export sales crossed the $1-billion mark as the number of local merchants selling to the international market rose 56%, with the country’s top executive projecting exports to touch $5 billion in four years under its global selling program.
The ecommerce behemoth also said it was closely working with the government on policy changes that would enable ecommerce exports to scale up. “We believe that growing ‘Make in India’ exports will be an integral lever for India to grow,” said Amit Agarwal, senior vice-president and country head, Amazon India.
Agarwal, who just completed 20 years at Amazon, said the government was playing a crucial role in creating a conducive policy framework for exports by reducing documentation, digitising the entire customs clearance process and adding more foreign post offices across India.
Amazon launched its Global Selling Program in 2015 as part of efforts to get more small and medium-sized businesses on board and giving them access to Amazon’s worldwide customer base of 300 million active users. There are 50,000 exporters live on Amazon’s platform catering to both B2C and B2B orders globally.
In fact, Amazon’s global rival Walmart also directly sources products from India across categories including textiles, apparel, home furnishing and pharmaceuticals, and India has emerged as one of the largest sourcing hubs for the retailer.
The bullishness on seller exports by the global retail biggies comes at a time when the Indian government has been aggressive about more than doubling the country’s share in world exports, from 1.6% to at least 3.4%.
India’s exports in the current fiscal are set to surpass the record exports achieved during the previous United Progressive Alliance government, even as headwinds such as an economic slowdown and protectionist measures announced by the US have hit global trade.
With the April-February export figures at $298.5 billion, experts estimate that the year-end rush could easily take cumulative exports well past the $314 billion achieved in the last year of the UPA government, ET reported in March.
“In 2019, we look forward to leverage our global experience in cross-border ecommerce, resources and localised professional services to help many more small businesses upgrade and optimise in order to develop an international footprint by leveraging the massive demand for their products across the globe,” said Eric L Broussard, vice -president and head International Seller Services at Amazon-.com.
Separately, commenting on the revised ecommerce policy, Agarwal said, “All of these things are being looked at under the right industry bodies. We share our inputs.”
Source :- Economictimes.indiatimes.com