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India economy & business news in brief for Sept 4: Amazon to make initial investment of $3m in India nature-based projects

Representational Image (iStock)

By: Shubham Ghosh

HERE are news in brief related to Indian economy and business for Monday, September 4, 2023:

E-commerce giant Amazon on Monday announced it will make an initial investment of $3 million (£2.37 million) in nature-based projects in India. The allocation is part of the company’s $15 million (£11.8 million) fund it has allocated for nature-based projects in Asia Pacific (APAC). “The first USD 3 million from the fund’s APAC allocation will support nature-based projects in India. “For its first project, Amazon will be working with the Centre for Wildlife Studies (CWS) to support communities and conservation efforts in the Western Ghats, which is home to more than 30 per cent of all of India’s wildlife species, including the world’s largest population of wild Asiatic elephants and tigers,” the company said in a statement.

German automaker giant Volkswagen on Monday said it was in the middle of advanced discussions with Indian maker Mahindra & Mahindra on the use of key electric components of the former’s open platform for electric vehicles (EVs), called MEB, Reuters reported. The Indian company plans to use central MEB components such as the e-drive and unit cells for its models, its German counterpart said in a statement. Volkswagen has developed a modular, open vehicle platform for EVs, called MEB, which is used to build its cars and those of other group companies including Skoda and Audi. It also allows Volkswagen to be a supplier of electric technology and parts to other automakers.

The Indian commerce ministry’s arm DGFT (directorate general of foreign trade) on Monday said it has suggested banking and financial institutions to extend pre- and post-shipment export credit in foreign currency to e-commerce exporters based on the guidelines of the RBI. Any issues in availing such credit may be brought to attention by e-commerce exporters or banks to the DGFT. This assumes significance as the new foreign trade policy 2023 is also aimed at promoting exports through the e-commerce medium. The DGFT in a trade notice said that consultations were held with industry representatives, exporters, and nodal departments on outstanding issues pertaining to exports through e-commerce.

Swedish furniture maker Ikea is looking for omnichannel expansion with diverse retail formats besides kicking off online operations in India’s Delhi-NCR by the end of next year as it enters the second phase of growth in the Indian market. According to the company’s India CEO Susanne Pulverer, Ikea is now planning to expand its operations by adding more stores to its network and considering new locations such as Pune and Chennai and increasing local sourcing making products more affordable here. Ikea, which has completed five years of retail operations after opening its first store in Hyderabad on August 9, 2018, plans to increase its employee count to 10,000 from 3,000 in the coming years.

The Unified Payments Interface (UPI) has brought revolutionary changes in India’s digital payment ecosystem and played a pivotal role in driving financial inclusion by bringing millions of unbanked individuals into the formal financial system, Shaktikanta Das, governor of India’s central bank said in New Delhi on Monday. The Reserve Bank of India’s chief was delivering the keynote address at the Grand Finale of the G20 TechSprint 2023.“A landmark example of our commitment to innovation is the UPI, which has been a game changer for India’s Digital payment ecosystem. It has helped to drive financial inclusion by bringing millions of unbanked individuals into the formal financial system,” he said.

(With agencies inputs)

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