EGYPT AIMS AT MAKING PROFIT FROM ITS WATER COURSES
In an attempt to revitalize its economy and create new jobs, Egypt seeks to take advantage of its strategic position between Africa, Asia and Europe. In this respect, the Suez Canal Economic Zone, which connects the Red Sea to the Mediterranean, aims at making the area as an industrial and logistics hub. The Financial Times reports it. With this, Egypt hopes to attract foreign investors and provide logistical services such as bunkering and transhipment of some of the 17,000 ships crossing the Canal every year.
“The Suez Canal’s economic zone will benefit from the reforms undertaken to secure a loan from the International Monetary Fund, including the liberalization, resulting in devaluation of the Egyptian lira, which has made the country very appealing to foreign investors. In an effort to avoid bureaucratic problems and attract investment, the area has emerged as an independent entity able to register companies and issue permits with minimal delays, a free zone that allows for repatriation of revenues.
Works are now underway to expand and develop the ports in the area, so as to handle larger ships and operations such as transhipment, while tunnels are dug below the canal to improve the connection between its two shores. Officials report that 23m sqm have already been leased for $ 15 billion worth investments to be made over the next five years. Customers include Siemens, General Electric, Asec-Capital Alliance, which includes major Saudi, Emirate, Egyptian and Lebanese companies.
The Suez Canal economic zone is in talks with a consortium comprising Toyota, the Japanese transport group NYK and Bollore, the French transport and logistics company for a roll-on / roll-off terminal at East of Port Said, which is part of the area. There are also negotiations with the Port of Singapore and the French CMA CGM transport group for a container terminal at East of Port Said. The Channel Economic Zone also hopes to create medium and light industries capable of generating jobs, such as the textile and pharmaceutical industries.