Amazon to make devices in India for the first time

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Amazon will begin making Fire TV sticks in India, the US tech giant said Tuesday, its first device manufacturing line in the country as it fights for a share of its booming e-commerce market.

Amazon is locked in a battle for dominance with Walmart-backed Flipkart and Reliance, owned by India's richest man Mukesh Ambani, as well as thousands of local traders who have accused the US firm of driving them out of business.

Its latest announcement comes as Prime Minister Narendra Modi ramps up his flagship "Make in India" drive, aimed at urging to manufacture goods in the South Asian nation and reduce imports.

"We are delighted to announce Amazon's first manufacturing line in India to produce hundreds of thousands of Fire TV Stick devices every year catering to the demands of the Indian customers," Amit Agarwal, head of Amazon India, said in a statement.

"This further reiterates our commitment to the Government of India's 'Make in India' initiative," he added.

The announcement followed last year's pledge by Amazon owner Jeff Bezos to invest $1 billion in the country and create a million .

The firm will work with a subsidiary of Taiwanese manufacturer Foxconn to begin production of Fire TV sticks at a factory in the southern city of Chennai later this year.

Communications minister Ravi Shankar Prasad welcomed the announcement, saying it would "enhance domestic production capacities, and create jobs as well".

"India is an attractive investment destination and is poised to become a major player in the in the electronics and IT products industry," he added.

The nation of 1.3 billion people has seen huge job losses due to the coronavirus pandemic, with a months-long lockdown causing the economy to contract by nearly a quarter between April and June last year.

As infections have slowed however, hopes of an economic recovery have taken hold, with New Delhi forecasting 11 percent growth in the 2021-22 financial year.

© 2021 AFP

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