Amazon boss Jeff Bezos has announced a major investment in India, saying the country is a key growth market.
Mr Bezos said his firm will invest $1bn (£770m) in digitising small and medium businesses – allowing them to sell and operate online.
Speaking at a company event in New Delhi, he also said the 21st Century is “going to be the Indian century”.
He said “”I predict that the 21st century is going to be the Indian century,” Bezos said on stage, while wearing traditional Indian attire. “The dynamism, the energy … this country has something special. 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.”
The e-commerce billionaire’s three-day visit to India is expected to be marred by protests.
Thousands of small traders across 300 cities have planned demonstrations against what they see as Amazon’s negative impact on the local retail market.
They allege Amazon is driving them out of business by offering sharply discounted products and favouring a few big sellers on its platform.
In addition to his appearance at Smbhav, Bezos has also sought a meeting with India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi and celebrities from the Bollywood movie industry, according to Bloomberg. On Tuesday, Bezos also paid his respects to a memorial of Mahatma Gandhi in New Delhi