Indian bizmen more committed than Chinese in Africa: Sunil Mittal
Johannesburg: Indian businessmen are not aggressive as Chinese in Africa but they have long-term commitments for the development of the continent and have already invested billions of dollars, Bharti group Chairman Sunil Mittal has said.
From Indian side, Mittal co-chairs India-Africa Business Council. He was here for the second meeting of the council.
"They (Chinese) come and capture mines and resources in lieu of that, they will commit roads and projects. So yes, China can move very fast, their governments can take very quick decisions, because there is a national agenda there.
"In our case, there is free trade, promotion of trade, EXIM Bank is providing lines of credit. This is our regular way of business. We have invested now billions of dollars, and there is no lack of commitment from the Indian side." Mittal said.
He was replying to a question that why Indian investors are not as aggressive as Chinese in Africa.
Mittal said that there is increased respect of Indian businessmen in Africa.
"Indian investors are not colonial in their approach. They are not coming here to grab resources. In the many countries that I have visited, there is an increased respect for Indian way of investing as opposed to the Chinese way of investing," he added.
However, few local businessmen, who did not wish to be named, said that China is investing aggressively in African nations.
Airtel is among the world's top five telecom firms and has operations in 20 countries in Asia and Africa with total subscriber base of over 275 million. It has invested over USD 10 billion in Africa.
A large number of Indian steel and mining companies have also established their presence in Africa.
Indian corporates have invested over USD 50 billion in Africa and bulk of these investments has come in the last decade.