FILE- Suez Canal Economic Zone
CAIRO – 6 August 2018: The Suez Canal Authority, headed by Mohab Mamish, celebrated on Monday the third anniversary of the opening of the new Suez Canal.
“We were aiming to achieve a lower than expected income from Suez Canal revenues by 2023, but the figures indicate that perhaps before 2023, we will double the current revenues of the Suez Canal,” Mamish said in a press conference held at the Simulation Building on the occasion of the third anniversary.
He added that the cost of the new Suez Canal is about LE 20.417 billion ($23.3 million), and that this year's revenues are equivalent to the cost of digging the new canal, noting that last year witnessed the passage of more than 1 billion tons of goods.
Mamish explained that the economic zone is rising and that within a year it will be the first competitor to other economic zones, as there are 116 projects that are being studied with complete accuracy.
"We have been placed on the Silk Road for China as the fastest navigational channel, so we must be qualified to receive giant ships,” he said.
Mamish added that the Suez Canal is the locomotive of development in Egypt that will help push the Egyptian economy towards more investments, providing hard currency.
“We want to improve the investment in Egypt,” expressed Mamish.
The celebration was attended by Suez Canal’s board members and many Egyptian officials. The press conference will be followed by a cruise visit and a visit to the Suez Canal tunnels.
President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi had signed a document regarding the digging of the new Suez Canal back on August 5, 2014. Egyptian workers succeeded in achieving a breakthrough by managing to finalize the task in a year, which was the date set by the president for the engineering staff of the Armed Forces.
This is formally known as the Suez Canal Area Development Project and is one of the many mega projects the country is working on for the development of the economy after years of instability.
As the Suez Canal has always been a major source of connection in trade, this project aimed to increase the region's role in international trading alongside developing Ismailia, Port Said and Suez. Fish farms, industrial zones and a new Ismailia city were amongst the projects established.
Mamish explained that this new Suez project achieved an unprecedented increase in revenues in the financial year of 2017/2018. This was the highest annual financial revenue in its history with total revenues amounting to 5.6 billion dollars. Inevitably, the canal's revenues helped increase the value of the Egyptian pound.
The revenues during 2017/2018 amounted to LE 99.1 billion, compared to LE 73.3 billion during 2016/2017.
He also pointed out that the canal contributed to solving major problems that hindered navigation. Additionally, there is currently a new canal where malfunctioning ships are taken in, so that ship movement continues naturally without delays or losses.