India rejects competition with China in Africa

Thursday, October 28, 2010

NEW DELHI - Rejecting any competition or rivalry with China in Africa, India Thursday said its relations with the continent “stands on its own feet” and highlighted its plan to jointly combat terrorism and scale up bilateral economic ties.

“India’s relations with Africa stands on its own feet. We are not in competition with anyone, Vivek Katju, secretary (west) in the external affairs ministry, said at a seminar on India-Africa partnership.

The day-long seminar, organised by the Observer Research Foundation, a New Delhi-based think tank, focused on the economic resurgence of Africa and explored different models of engaging the resurgent continent that boasts of some of the fastest growing economies in the world.

“It’s an old relationship, very mature and very productive. It has worked for us and it has worked for them, Katju stressed.

He, however, took an oblique dig at China’s approach towards Africa, which is seen by some critics as neo-colonial and exploitative”.

“An exploitative relationship is something that is ephemeral. It’s intrinsically ephemeral, he said.

India’s bilateral trade with Africa is around $40 billion compared to China-Africa trade which has already exceeded $100 billion.

Stressing that capacity building and human resource development are at the heart of India’s engagement with Africa, Katju added that India and Africa will jointly combat new threats of piracy and terrorism and cooperate in pushing reforms of international institutions, including the UN.

Underlining key features of India’s development-centric partnership with Africa, Katju said the two sides which fought against colonialism are now engaged in a common struggle against poverty.

“We are engaged in a common struggle - which is perhaps more challenging - in the common task of development and of lifting people of poverty, he said.

Filed under: Diplomacy

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