Iranian President Mohammad Khatami on Wednesday took a swipe at a US-oriented global economy, while promising to take legislative measures to boost foreign investment in his country.
"Economic globalization cannot and must not be wielded as a weapon by those who fantasize about the establishment of a unipolar world system," Khatami said in a speech at a luncheon with Japanese business leaders.
"Globalization should be defined in broader terms than just a greater access to large markets," Khatami said on the second day of his four-day visit to Tokyo.
"To survive and flourish, a viable and dynamic world economic order must devise its strategies on the basis of shared attitudes and values," said the Iranian president. "Japan and Iran ... can assume a vital role in giving a more humane and equitable direction to the process of economic globalization," he said.
Khatami arrived in Tokyo Tuesday for the first official visit to Japan by an Iranian leader in 42 years to hold talks with Japanese Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori. He told his business audience that Iran was now making every effort to encourage foreign investment.
"At present, we are trying hard to bring about appropriate, secure and equitable conditions conducive to the expansion of the volume of foreign investment," Khatami said. "And to that end, legislation of transparent, updated and comprehensive rules and regulations is on the agenda of the government and parliament," he said.
In his speech, Khatami called on Japanese companies to expand their business in Iran, and stressed Tokyo's role in the west Asian economy. "Japanese capital, technological know-how and management skills on the one hand, and Iran’s economic potentialities such as diverse, rich natural and human resources ... on the other hand, can fuse to ignite the engine of a sustainable and equitable development in west Asia," he said.
"Japan, as one of the major world economic powers, can play the leading part in coordinating and organizing the Asian economic pole," Khatami said. "To assume this role, you need to minutely assess the economic potentials of the West Asian region," he added.
In another speech to the House of Representatives, the lower house of Japan's parliament, Wednesday afternoon, Khatami called on Japan to join Iran in creating a new global system designed to recognize various countries' interests not just one.
"If a unipolar system ignores the variety and independence of each country's government, I do not regard it as a system providing peace and stability for the world," Khatami told Japanese lawmakers. "In order to rebuild an international order, we have to stress the importance of participation by many countries," the Iranian president said.
"I would like you to work together (with Iran) to promote the growth of various countries, develop Iran-Japan relations further, and create and strengthen a safe and peaceful system for Asia and the world," he said. — (AFP, Tokyo)
© Agence France Presse 2000
By Shingo Ito
© 2000 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)