File Photo: Egypt's Planning minister Hala El-Saeed (Photo: Al-Ahram)
Egypt plans to raise the Suez Canal’s contribution to the GDP in the current FY2021/2022 by 5.6 percent so that it may reach EGP 99.3 billion (in fixed prices), up from EGP 93.9 billion in FY2020/2021, Minister of Planning and Economic Development Hala El-Said announced on Sunday.
This comes within the ministry’s strategy to develop the Suez Canal Zone in the current FY2021/22, which is the fourth year of the medium-term plan for Egypt’s sustainable development (2018/19 - 2021/22).
El-Said noted that the ministry’s target is to increase the revenues of the Suez Canal by developing the economic zone and turning it into a high-tech industrial and logistical zone, making it a major centre for global trade.
The comprehensive view of the development of the canal area is based on the adoption of new development projects that will bring about an economic boom, with which the region and its surroundings will turn into a pole of growth, changing the canal’s function from a mere waterway to a development area that includes transit and re-export areas, according to the minister.
This involves two main pillars: accelerating the pace of digital transformation to link all parties concerned with investing in the economic zone electronically and issuing licenses in a unified manner through an integrated digital system, according to El-Said.
She elaborated that this requires the establishment of a website for each sub-zone of the Suez Canal economic zones and the provision of various services electronically to facilitate the work of companies and provide information about the zone, its services, and the privileges offered.
El-Said noted that the Suez Canal is the main artery of the global seaborne trade movement, providing passage to about 10 percent of all global trade, 25 percent of all imported goods, and 100 percent of all global trade containers transported by sea between Asia and Europe.
She added that the canal is characterised by its high capacity to accommodate all types of ships, as it can accommodate 100 percent of the global fleet of container ships, about 93 percent of the fleet of dry bulk vessels, and about 62 percent of oil tankers and their derivatives.
“At the level of the national economy, the activity of the Suez Canal is one of the main sources of foreign [currency] exchange, as it achieves — at present — an annual revenue in the range of $5.84 billion,” El-Said explained.