New Delhi: In the backdrop of increasing Chinese footprints in Africa, External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid sought to downplay China`s "commercial model" in the continent and said India had far better and "more promising partnership model."
"We have two seperate models. China broadly has a commerical model....Good for Africa. I don`t think we can complain, because we don`t offer anything similar. But what we offer is an interesting model," the Union Minister said.
"It is more promising...And that is the partnership model. The partnership model is what we are attempting to do", he said addressing a conference on `Africa- A Land of Opportunities` organised by PBD Chamber and MEA and attended by diplomats of over 30 countries from the continent.
Khurshid termed India`s policy as a "friendly neighbourhood shop" that "greets with a smile" while Chinese policy is more like an "ATM" which is very cold but "doesn`t smile".
"A friendly neigbourhood shop is where you get what you want, whenever you want....You are greeted with a smile and treats like a part of your family. An ATM is very cold, it looks beautiful but it doesn`t talk to you, it doesn`t respond to you, doesn`t smile to you", he said.
Referring to the Chinese model meant for doing business, the Union Minister said "other model is doing business for deal but that`s not partnership. Partnership is not about doing a deal. It obiviously helps both sides in doing the deal."
"But partnership is where you sit down and conceive what you can do together. Then we ask to the local population and local government as to what that they want to do."
He stressed on a relationship that is mutually benefical for both India and Africa.
"One is get yourself rooted in Africa, take nourishment from that soil and give back to the soil in terms of fruits that yeilds and become an important part of the landscape of Africa," he said.