Alibaba Cloud, the cloud computing arm of the China-based Alibaba Group, on Wednesday announced to open a new data centre in India that will help nearly 51 million Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) to begin their Cloud journey.
The Alibaba data centre, set to open in Mumbai in January, will begin a new competition for the existing players like Microsoft and Google in the country.
Microsoft sees Alibaba as the third competitor in the Cloud business in India, apart from Google and Amazon Web Services (AWS).
“We are excited to be officially opening our new Mumbai data centre in early 2018, enabling us to work closely with more Indian enterprises,” Simon Hu, Senior Vice President of Alibaba Group and President of Alibaba Cloud, said in a statement.
“These local enterprises are innovative and operating in growth sectors, and we look forward to empowering them through our Cloud computing and data technologies,” Hu added.
As a key market in the company’s cloud’s globalisation strategy, India offers a business opportunity for rapid economic growth and scope for enterprises to expand beyond the country.
“Our vision to empower enterprises to go global is extended to our Indian clients with cloud products, including computing, storage and big data processing capabilities,” the company said.
The data centre will also enable Indian businesses to run their applications on the company’s Cloud platform.
The data centre’s service offerings include computing, database, storage and content delivery, networking, analytics and big data.
Alibaba Cloud has tied up with Global Cloud Xchange (GCX), a subsidiary of Reliance Communications, that enables direct access to Alibaba Cloud Express Connect through GCX’s “Cloud X Fusion” service.
The company had earlier also announced a partnership with Tata Communications to provide direct access to Alibaba Cloud Express Connect through Tata Communications’ IZOTM Private Connect Service.
Alibaba Cloud has 33 zones in 16 economic centres worldwide, with coverage extending across China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Japan, Australia, West Asia, Europe, India and the US.
“As we build the cloud network globally, India is another important piece that is firmly in place.
“This continues our commitment to India, helping it to develop trade opportunities with other markets in the region and beyond,” added Hu.
Alibaba Cloud would have a local team of consultants to provide service planning, implementation and after-sales support, helping Indian companies move to the cloud.
“This will extend what Alibaba Cloud is already doing to service thousands of customers from India globally,” the company said.
Set up in 2009, Alibaba Cloud is among the largest providers of public cloud services in China and one of the largest Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) providers in the world. IANS
The Chabahar Port is of great strategic importance for India
It is in Iran and is being built and operated by India
This port will increase India’s trade with Central Asia and Europe
The Chabahar Port is a seaport in Chabahar, which is on the Gulf of Oman, near Iran-Pakistan border. Chabahar is the trans-shipment and logistics hub for the Makran Coast and Baluchistan province of Iran.
The tension between India and Pakistan is nothing new. There are several instances where both the countries have tried to obstruct each other’s political or economic agendas. This obstruction, along with other strategic reasons, resulted in the India and Iran’s deal on the Chabahar Port, which is crucial because of several reasons.
Here are few things about it you may not have known before :
Under the Trilateral Transit and Transport Agreement of 2016, the Chabahar port is the gateway to the Transport Corridor between India, Iran and Afghanistan, which allows multi-modal goods’ and passengers’ transport.
The agreement also states that India will develop and operate two berths in the first phase of the port. The contract is for 10 years and extendable. This time period excludes the first two years as they will be used for construction.
The Chabahar Port’s first phase, which was developed by India, and inaugurated by Iran on 4th December 2017, is of great strategic importance as it makes it easier for India to conduct trade with Central Asia and Europe.
Iran’s Chabahar port is also important for India’s trade because of Pakistan’s reluctance in allowing India to send goods to Iran and Afghanistan through its land territory.
The development of Chabahar Port will increase the momentum of the International North-South Transport Corridor whose signatories include India, Afghanistan and Russia. Iran is the key gateway in this project. It will improve India’s trade with Central Asia as well as Europe.
The Chabahar Port has also reduced Afghanistan’s dependence on the transit road, which went through Karachi. Now, trade can be conducted via Chabahar Port too. Islamabad has accused India of trying to use this development as a means to destabilise Pakistan.
The Chabahar Port also acts as a counter to the barely 100 km away, Gwadar port in Pakistan, which is developed by China. However, Iran has defended that Chabahar is not a rival to Gwadar and Pakistan is invited to join in its development.
In October 2017, India sent its first shipment of wheat to through Chabahar to Afghanistan, in order to test the viability of the route.
India will also construct a 900-km Chabahar-Zahedan-hajigak railway line that will connect Port of Chabahar to Hajigak in Afghanistan. It will also connect Mashad in the north, providing access to Turkmenistan as well as northern Afghanistan.This project is worth $1.6 billion.
It is being said that India will supply $400 million of steel rails to Tehran. There are also possibilities of setting up a fertilizer plant through a joint venture with the Iranian government.