The Suez Canal Economic Zone Authority will start stipulating the use of foreign currency in its utility contracts with investors, the head of the authority Ahmed Darwish announced on Tuesday.
Darwish said during a press conference at the AmCham in Cairo that it is highly likely the utility contracts in 2017 will be in USD after the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) granted permission to the Canal Authority.
Egypt is struggling with an acute dollar shortage that is hampering trade and its financing needs.
The statements by Darwish, who was appointed by Egypt’s President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi in November 2015, come as a delegation of US businessmen headed by US Ambassador David Thorne, the senior advisor to the secretary of state for economic issues, visits Egypt to discuss strategic and economic cooperation between the two countries.
The US delegation includes nearly 50 representatives from major US corporations.
A flagship project for President El-Sisi, the special economic zone will cover an area of 461 square kilometres across the three Suez Canal governorates of Suez, Port Said and Ismailiya, and will include six maritime ports once it is completed by 2045.