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These many countries will soon have access to MSME products from Himachal Pradesh as Amazon inks MoUs

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Trade, Imports, Exports for MSMEs: Jeff Bezos Amazon' India business will onboard small businesses from the mountain state Himachal Pradesh to help them export their products to Amazon's customers in more than 90 countries through its programme called Amazon Global Selling Program — for international sellers. The online retailer, which competes with Walmart-owned Flipkart in the Indian e-commerce market, announced signing a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Himachal Pradesh Department of Industries to conduct workshops to help state's MSMEs export globally. Amazon also signed three other MoUs to support the state's development of handloom, handicraft, and horticulture.

Amazon will conduct workshops at pre-identified clusters based in Baddi, Solan, and Shimla to help them create their seller account and list their products on Amazon's marketplace. The channel will help take Made in India to global audiences, Amazon said in a statement. Similarly, the company also partnered with Himachal Pradesh State Handicrafts & Handloom Corporation Limited (HIMCRAFTS) and Himachal Pradesh State Handlooms & Handicrafts Development Cooperative Federation (HIMBUNKAR) to help Himachal's weavers and artisans sell their products in India. The units from clusters in Manali, Sainj, Ropa, and Sera will sell shawls, pullan, footwear, jewellery, handicraft woven on handlooms, woodcraft, leather, embroidery etc.

Also read: IBC: Why ineligibility norms concerning defaulting promoters should be relooked for MSMEs

Himachal Pradesh is mainly an agricultural state where around 71 per cent of its population employed directly in the agriculture sector that has nearly 30 per cent share in the state's total domestic product. Amazon signed an MoU with Himachal Pradesh Department of Horticulture to help the state's community-based organizations such as farmer producer organisations, cluster level federations and primary agriculture cooperative societies through e-commerce.

"We see a catalyst role for us in three key areas-jobs, MSME empowerment and Exports," said Amit Agarwal, SVP & Country Manager, Amazon India. Amazon has "close to 2000 Sellers from Himachal Pradesh," according to Gopal Pillai, Vice President, Seller Services, Amazon India, and with new tie-ups, the company is looking to boost its number of sellers on its marketplace from the current over 5 lakh.

The company had in August this year launched its programme for Indian artisans called Amazon Karigar by engaging with government and handicraft bodies, training craftsmen and getting them on its platform to sell. The Karigar store according to Amazon in August showcases more than 55,000 products from 20 states. In 2017, Amazon launched Amazon Saheli programme to help women entrepreneurs expand their reach in India.