Minister of Investment Ashraf Salman and Suez Canal head Vice-Admiral Mohab Mamish signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) regarding the establishing of the Suez Canal economic zone.
The signing took place on the third day of the Economic Summit in Sharm El-Sheikh, for a zone which, it is planned, will account for 30%-35% of Egypt’s economy in 10 years’ time. The summit has already seen the signing of several MoUs featuring agreements worth billions of dollars in investments.
The economic and logistics zone will be constructed near the waterway, with the Egyptian army taking on the task of digging a channel parallel to the present canal. The new waterway, the digging of which began last year and is set to be completed this year, will allow larger ships through and increase maritime movement in Egypt.
“This project will be the centrepiece of the Egyptian economy in 10 years,” Salman told attendees. “It’s the project that will make Egypt a global hub, and will consist of businesses and industries of all types.”
The canal’s expansion, set to cost $8bn, is expected to raise canal revenues to $13bn a year, from a current $5bn, by 2023.
“Investors have been expressing interest in the project since before the completion of its master plan,” said Mamish. He added that interest in the zone has soared following the summit, in which workshops with expertise in all sectors addressed investors’ questions.