Reliance Industries Chairman Mukesh Ambani on Tuesday expressed hope that his company Jio’s collaboration with social networking platform Facebook will contribute in the value creation for small businesses, reported Business Standard. The Indian entrepreneur made the remarks during a virtual discussion to kick off the social media platform’s Fuel for India 2020 event.

“And our partnership between Jio and Facebook, will actually demonstrate that it is great for India, Indians, and small Indian businesses,” Ambani said during the online session. “Through our partnership, we will become a value creation platform for our customers and small businesses, giving them a chance to digitise and be at par with anybody else in the world.” The two interacted on the partnership between their companies.

Ambani also thanked Zuckerberg for his investment in Reliance, which he said will “set the ball rolling” for India, attracting the largest foreign direct investment in its history amid the coronavirus pandemic.

“At Facebook, we are in the business of serving small businesses,” Zuckerberg said. “And nowhere is this more true than in India. With more than 60 million small businesses and millions of people around the country relying on them for jobs – these small businesses form a big part of what our partnership with [Reliance] Jio can serve here.”

In April, Facebook bought a 9.99% stake in Reliance-owned Jio Platforms for $5.7 billion, or Rs 43,574 crore.

At $35.73 billion (over Rs 26.31 lakh crore), India received the highest-ever total foreign direct investment in the April-August period, government data showed in October.

During Tuesday’s session, Zuckerberg spoke about how decisions made in India were crucial for changes in technology at a global level. “What happens in India is important for the whole world,” the Facebook boss said. “India’s building local capabilities and tech [technology] capacity to power innovative new business models and provide the citizens access to digital financial inclusion.”

Following the deal between Facebook and his company in April, Ambani had said that his company was focused on coming up with digital-based solutions for 60 million micro, small and medium businesses, 120 million farmers, 30 million small merchants. He had said that JioMart – Jio’s digital commerce platform, and Whatsapp, one of Facebook’s messaging platform – will empower nearly three crore small grocery shop owners.

Ambani said that WhatsApp’s online payments platform, WhatsApp Pay and JioMart “brings unmatched online and offline retail opportunity”.

Apart from Zuckerberg, Facebook’s Fuel for India 2020 event will see participation from top executives of the platform like Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg, along with Instagram head Adam Mosseri, WhatsApp Chief Executive Officer Will Cathcart, and others, according to the Hindu BusinessLine.

“We want to tell the real story of Facebook in India so that people understood the scope of what we are trying to do through people and institutions who have leveraged our platforms,” Ajit Mohan, Managing Director of Facebook India, told the newspaper.

India to be among top three world economies: Ambani

Ambani on Tuesday also made some uplifting economic predictions for India, claiming that the country will become one of the top three economies of the world in the next two decades, reported PTI. India’s middle-class, which is about 50% of the nation’s total number of households, will grow by 3% to 4% per year, the industrialist said.

“More importantly, it [India] will become a premier digital society, with young people driving it,” Ambani added. “And our per capita income will go from $1,800-2,000 per capita to $5,000 per capita.”

He said that Facebook along with several other firms and entrepreneurs in the world have a “golden opportunity” to be a part of this economic and social transformation of India “that will accelerate in the coming decades”.