President Lee Myung-bak has floated the idea of establishing English-learning centers at military bases to prepare service members for job opportunities in the Middle East, an official said Friday.
After a trip to the Middle East last week, Lee has repeatedly said he saw good business opportunities in Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates, countries with large amounts of oil money, and urged South Korean companies to take advantage of those opportunities.
Referring to a construction boom in the region in the 1970s, Lee has said there will be a “second Middle East boom” as countries there plan massive construction and infrastructure projects.
Lee recently raised the English education center idea with Defense Minister Kim Kwan-jin, saying such facilities would be helpful for young service members seeking job opportunities in the Middle East after completing their military service, according to the official.
“I hope more young people will head to the Middle East and it would be good to create an environment for this,” Lee was quoted as saying.