Lee Myung-bak Calls for ‘Second Middle East Boom’
Grand National Party presidential front-runner Lee Myung-bak on Tuesday said Korea should ignite “a second Middle East boom” to achieve economic growth through creative leadership. Lee, who is in Dubai, told reporters that the first Middle East boom helped Korea overcome the oil shock in the 1970s, a time when he was the chairman of Hyundai Engineering and Construction.
Lee said Dubai has become a hub of logistics, tourism and services through creative and imaginative leadership, although it produces less oil than other petroleum exporters. He said Korea can also overcome the lack of natural resources and its geographic disadvantage of being sandwiched between China and Japan, and make a second great economic leap forward with leaders who capitalize on creativity. As a way to kindle a second Middle East boom, he proposed attracting oil money from the Gulf to massive development projects in Korea’s Gyeongsang and Jeolla Provinces, and to encourage Korean companies to undertake yet more plant construction in the Middle East.
After visiting Korean company Hyundai
Mobis’ logistics center in the Jebel Ali
Free Zone Authority, the former Seoul mayor
will meet with Dubai ruler Sheik Mohammed
bin Rashid al-Maktoum who is largely
credited for the Dubai “miracle.” Lee said
that he will ask the Dubai ruler to take an
interest in Korea, adding he and the sheik
have something in common as “globally