Ahead of the Suez Canal expansion celebration, some international media outlets shed light on the new inauguration. Some reported the facts, and threw in their own and experts views and opinions on it.
Daily News Egypt outlines a number of newspapers that talked about the event ahead of its official opening on 6 August.
“Today something strange happened in Egypt: it achieved a goal ahead of time,” an article from Forbes read, seeing it as a positive step economically. The article further concluded that, somehow, there is stability in the country after years of turmoil, whereby businesses have potential to grow, banks can provide loans, and “people can hope”.
Meanwhile a Bloomberg article indicated that the project lacks details, for instance saying: “The government hasn’t made public viability studies to show how it will gain a return on its EGP 64bn ($8.2bn) investment.”
CNN saw the targeted revenues of $13.5bn by 2023 with the new canal’s inauguration as “ambitious”, stating that global trade rises by about 5% annually.
Al-Ittihad, the Abu Dhabi-based Arabic-language newspaper, reported that Sultan Ahmad Al-Jaber, UAE Minister of State and Chairman of the Coordination Office for the UAE-funded development projects in Egypt said: “The new channel will have a positive impact in stimulating international trade and will promote economic growth and stability in Egypt, the region, and the world. In addition, it will also increase the number of ships transiting through the canal daily, which will increase the Egyptian treasury’s returns while cutting waiting time.”
Peter Hinchliffe, Secretary General of the International Chamber of Shipping, told British newspaper The Guardian that: “This is a huge undertaking on a world scale. It has been completed in a time that is frankly astonishing.”
An article from British newspaper The Independent argued that the expected revenues from the canal exceed the reality. This is due to the canal mainly depending on the trade of oil and liquefied natural gas (LNG), which are currently in decline globally.
“The main economic benefit will be from the industrial zone to be built around the channel, but in the short term, there are intangible benefits such as the feel good factor which comes from completing such a large project within a year,” Angus Blair, President of the Signet Institute, told the Financial Times.