China should provide more support to private enterprises rather than relying on state-run firms and learn from India’s approach to making overseas investments, a commentary in a Communist Party-run newspaper said on Tuesday.

The Indian approach of “giving full play to private enterprises” had lessons for China, argued Liu Zongyi, a scholar at the Shanghai Institutes for International Studies, in an article published by the Global Times newspaper.

“China should make up for its deficiencies here,” he said, arguing that India’s overseas investments were “more market and resource oriented”. The Indian approach explained why “India suffers less political prejudice and accusations of promoting ‘new colonialism’ as China does.”

“India is good at using non-governmental influence in safeguarding and expanding overseas investments. India has a relatively mature civil society, and there are a lot of non-governmental units such as chambers of commerce, NGOs and think tanks, which have a close relationship with the international society and India’s authorities,” Mr. Liu said.

“China’s private enterprises,” he argued, “are less developed than India’s,” calling for the government to “actively support the development of private enterprises and non-governmental forces, encouraging them to invest in foreign countries.”

He said India had adopted “different measures from which China can learn valuable lessons.” “China should make up for its deficiencies here,” he said. “Currently, China is still unable to use non-governmental organisations as an important means to protect overseas interests. China's private enterprises are less developed than India's, the country's public diplomacy is just starting and it hasn't established a real civil society.”

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