Head of the Suez Canal Authority (SCA) Mohab Mamish said that the Suez Canal Economic Zone is gaining interest from foreign investors, as the government is carrying out an ambitious plan to increase inflows of foreign currency.
Mamish added, on the sidelines of Akbahr Al Youm economic conference, that his authority’s aim is to create a sustainable industrial zone to attract foreign investment in accordance with the government plan to develop the Suez Canal Corridor.
“The plan will help transform the Suez Canal into a major trade and business hub in the region, given its strategic location and role as an artery for global trade,” Mamish said.
Over the past two years, Egypt has been seeking foreign investment for the Suez Canal Economic Zone, which is expected to include an international logistics hub and areas for light, medium and heavy industry, as well as commercial and residential developments.
The Suez Canal Economic Zone extends over 461 square kilometres across the three Suez Canal governorates of Suez, Port Said, and Ismailia, and will include six maritime ports, to be completed by 2045.
Meanwhile, Mamish said that revenues from traffic through the canal saw a year-on-year increase of 3.4%, reaching $4.34bn between January and October 2017.
“The traffic navigating through the Suez Canal from January to October registered a 3.1 percent increase in terms of the number of passing ships,” he added.
The SCA chief noted that 14,486 ships passed through the canal from January to October 2017, an increase from 14,053 ships last year.
He said that the SCA attentively follows up on the development of the maritime industry and the changes in world economic indicators, hailing his authority’s recent, flexible promotion policies that have managed to attract new navigators.
“Egypt is proceeding in making best use of the canal’s distinguished geographic location through carrying out the national development project of the Suez Canal region, which includes the development of six ports and the establishment of complete logistic and industrial zones,” he confirmed.
The Suez Canal is one of Egypt’s main sources of national income and foreign currency reserves, apart from tourism and foreign investment that have suffered a decline over the past few years due to political turmoil and related security challenges.