The coming period will witness a major change in Egypt-Sudan commercial and economic relations, Egypt's Minister of Transportation Mounir Fakhry Abdel Nour said (Photo: Mai Shaheen)
A new road known as Qostul-Ashkeet linking Egypt and Sudan has officially opened and will be in operation on Wednesday.
The road was opened in the presence of several officials from both African states including the two ministers of transportation.
According to Abdel-Rahman Nassef, head of the media bureau at the Egyptian embassy in Khartoum, the new road is one of three currently under construction.
"The opening of the Qostul-Ashkeet passageway is not only in the interest of Egypt and Sudan but for the whole Arab region and African continent," said Nassef in a press statement. He added that it will bring economic, cultural, social and political benefits.
He also explained that it will decrease the cost of shipping and land transportation, in addition to ensuring a smoother trade movement.
"What we really hope for is that the road serves as an answer to a dream we have long had," he said.
"This is the dream of Arab-African cooperation which first expressed itself in the Arab-African summit that took place in Cairo in 1979," he added.
Trade exchange between Egypt and Sudan has reached approximately LE6 billion (around $850 million) in 2013 according to Al-Ahram’s daily newspaper. The new road is expected to increase trade exchange to a figure between LE14 and 21 billion ($2 to $3) annually within two years.
Last week, trade and industry minister Mounir Fakhry Abdel-Nour said on the sidelines of meetings of the Sudanese-Egyptian joint commercial and industrial committee in Khartoum that the coming period will witness a major change in Egypt-Sudan commercial and economic relations, especially after the opening of the border."
Talks on the road connecting the countries first started under the rule of former president Mohamed Morsi in 2012