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Reliance and bp launch ‘Jio-bp’ partnership for fuel retailing.

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Reliance BP Mobility Limited aims to expand from Reliance’s current fuel retailing network of over 1,400 petrol pumps to up to 5,500 over the next five years.

Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) and British Petroleum (BP) on Thursday announced the start of their new Indian fuels and mobility joint venture, Reliance BP Mobility Limited (RBML).

Following initial agreements in 2019, BP and RIL teams have worked closely over the past few months in a challenging environment to complete the transaction as planned, a joint statement said.

BP has paid RIL $1 billion for a 49 per cent stake in the joint venture, with RIL holding 51 per cent.

“Operating under the “Jio-BP” brand, the joint venture aims to become a leading player in India’s fuels and mobility markets. It will leverage Reliance’s presence across 21 states and its millions of consumers through the Jio digital platform,” the statement said.

BP will bring its extensive global experience in high-quality differentiated fuels, lubricants, retail and advanced low carbon mobility solutions, added the statement.

BP and RIL expect the venture to grow rapidly to help meet India’s fast-growing demands for energy and mobility.

RBML aims to expand from its current fuel retailing network of over 1,400 retail sites to up to 5,500 over the next five years. This rapid growth will require a four-fold increase in staff employed in service stations, growing from 20,000 to 80,000 in this period. The joint venture also aims to increase its presence from 30 to 45 airports in the coming years.

Mukesh Ambani, Chairman and Managing Director of RIL said: “Reliance is expanding on its strong and valued partnership with BP to establish a pan-Indian presence in retail and aviation fuels. RBML will aim to be a leader in mobility and low carbon solutions, bringing cleaner and affordable options for Indian consumers with digital and technology being our key enablers”.

Bernard Looney, CEO of BP said that India has been leading the way with innovations in digital technology, value engineering and new energy solutions and it will require more energy for its economic growth and, as it prospers, its needs for mobility and convenience will accelerate.

“BP has a proud history in India spanning over a century. We are honoured to be a strategic partner with Reliance – India’s most valuable company – and pleased that our partnership has grown in both substance and spirit over this past decade. Reliance’s digital capabilities, technical expertise and reach complement our international fuels and service offers,” he said.

RBML has received the marketing authorization for transportation fuels, amongst other necessary regulatory and statutory approvals. The joint venture will begin selling fuels and Castrol lubricants with immediate effect from its existing retail outlets, which will be re branded to “Jio-BP” in due course, the statement said.

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Government of India Blocks Import Of Chinese Made Wireless Devices to Support Local Producers

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India is indirectly forcing companies to make in India and reduce its reliance on Chinese imports by not allowing approvals for the import of Wi-Fi modules being manufactured in China for months, resulting in several tech companies in India delaying their product launches.

This was revealed by two industry experts in a conversation with Reuters. Authorities are specifically delaying imports from china of electronics goods such as Bluetooth headsets, speakers, smartphones, smartwatches etc — all that are known to contain Wi-Fi modules.

The report has highlighted that Indian Communications Ministry’s Wireless Planning and Coordination (WPC) wing has not granted approval for some products dating all the way back to November last year.

The list includes over 80 applications by US, Chinese and Korean companies. It has even withheld applications from several Indian companies too.

The government earlier allowed companies to self-declare wireless equipment. However, newer rules from March 2019 made it compulsory for companies to seek government approval.

The ministry hasn’t really responded to this situation with any comment. Sources have revealed that the government had still to respond to representations made by industry lobby groups and individual companies.

One of the sources stated, “The government’s idea is to push companies to manufacture these products in India. But tech companies are caught in a difficult situation – making in India would mean big-ticket investments and a long wait for returns, on the other hand, the government-imposed hurdle on imports means a potential loss of revenues.”

The report also states that the delay caused in receiving these approvals also highlights the nation’s strategy in slashing China’s influence in its tech economy after border tensions that were experienced last year.

Just this week, Huawei was removed from the list of participants for 5G telecommunications trials that are going to be conducted in India while permitting South Korean and European players.

 

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