x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

More UAE-South Korea exchange students will boost economic growth

Cooperation forum speakers say learning more about each other's culture is essential to future developments.

SEOUL // The UAE and Korea should exchange more students to secure economic growth between the nations, the forum heard.

The two nations must work together to train the diplomats, business leaders and academics of tomorrow, said Humaid Al Hammadi, chairman of the Emirati-Korean Friendship Society.

“There is a big interest from both sides in exchanging students and having a view from each other’s countries,” said Mr Al Hammadi.

He said the society was preparing for more student exchanges and to accommodate more East Asian studies into the UAE’s curriculum.

“In 2010 there was no Korean classes in the UAE at all. By 2012, five UAE universities have Korean classes,” Mr Al Hammadi said.

“The interest on both sides is increasing, we just need an opportunity to nurture this.”

Relations between South Korea and the Middle East is a matter of pressing urgency, he said.

“The world is growing and changing,” Mr Al Hammadi said. “There will be 9 billion of us in 2050, while the number of people over 80 will increase five-fold.

“Meanwhile, by 2030 global energy consumption will increase by a third. We have to prepare for the coming time when we run out of oil. The next generation of jobs is very important.”

South Korean foreign minister Yun Byung-se said: “I believe that our younger generations are invaluable assets that will one day become the catalysts of a more prosperous future together.”

jbell@thenational.ae