Former Secretary of State Henry A. Kissinger said last night that private investment must increasingly be relied on to provide capital resources to development countries.
"The world community cannot ignore the affairs of business if it is successfully to shape a new political structure that serves peace and the well-being of mankind," he said in a speech scheduled for delivery to some 200 invited business leaders, academics and politicians.
Kissinger's speech at Kennedy Center was the opening address of "The Future of Business Project," which is being organized by Georgetown University's Center for Strategic and International Studies.
Speaking of Latin America, Kissinger said: "In the era of the Alliance for Progress in the early sixties, of Latin America's external capital was public; today, more than 80 per cent of it is from the private sector."
Kissinger rambled round the globe in his observation about trade.
He noted that there are two schools of thought on East-West trade. One holds that trade and finance serve to restrain Soviet policy. The other says that any trade strengthens that economy and ultimately its military potential.
"I believe both approaches to be one-sided," Kissinger said. "Only if the balance of power is maintained and Soviet adventurism is resisted can economic relations be expected to have an impact on Soviet conduct."
Among the "principles" he offered to "guide" East-West trade:
It cannot be "free," but must be tied "to some political control and some political conditions."
Governments must "make certain that these controls make sense."
"Conditions should be related in general to foreign policy actions and not to demands that sovereign nations will never accept as a result of public pressure from foreigners."
Kissinger said "such a strategy requires a high degree of discipline and public understand," adding: "American business must reflect these qualities, which I am frank to say it has not always done."
While he was Secretary of State, Kissinger wrote a letter to the court requesting that, for foreign policy considerations, the names of foreign officials who received questionable payments from Lockheed Aircraft Corp., among others, should not be revealed. The court case grew out of the investigation of Lockheed by the Securities and Exchange Commission.
In his speech, Kissinger voiced the opinion that U.S. agencies should not meddle in foreign affairs. "One need not condone bribery or ignore the need to improve international business ethics to prefer a system of domestic business regulation which avoids such assaults on the interests and domestic structures of our closest allies."
Kissinger also said that experience has shown developing countries capable of disciplining multination corporations "by either negotiation, persuasion or compulsion."