Suez Canal revenues to rise by 9% in current fiscal year: Minister

Ahram Online , Sunday 2 Aug 2015

The new waterway expected to speed up traffic along the canal will officially be opened on 6 August

Suez Canal
A cargo ship is seen crossing through the New Suez Canal, Ismailia, Egypt, July 29, 2015 (Reuters)

Revenues from the Suez Canal are expected to increase by 9 percent during the current 2015/2016 fiscal year , thanks to a new shipping lane due to be inaugurated later this week, minister of planning Ashraf El-Arabi announced on Saturday during a press conference.

El-Arabi added that around a million job opportunities will be created within 15 years through planned projects in the Suez Canal's industrial and logistics hub, reported state-owned news agency MENA.

Egypt's revenues from the canal declined 4 percent in June to LE431.6 million compared to LE449.6 million in the previous month, according to official figures.

The artificial waterway, which connects the Mediterranean and Red Sea, is the shortest marine route between Asia and Europe. It is one of Egypt's main sources of foreign currency, along with tourism and remittances from Egyptian expatriates.

Egypt's net foreign currency reserves stood at $20.1 billion in June, according to Central Bank data.

Last year, president Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi announced the digging of a new $8 billion waterway to enable two-way traffic in the canal.

The 72-kilometre shipping lane will be officially opened on 6 August in a ceremony attended by world leaders and public figures.

The upgraded canal is expected to speed up traffic along the waterway and to boost its revenues, projected to more than double from $5.3 billion at the end of 2015 to $13.2 billion in 2023, according to official estimates.

Built 146 years ago, the Suez Canal is one of the world's most heavily used shipping lanes, earning Egypt billions of dollars in annual revenues.

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