New canal fin­ished on time

Business monthly (Egypt) - - FRONT PAGE -

Egypt’s new Suez Canal, a 72-kilo­me­ter stretch run­ning par­al­lel to the orig­i­nal wa­ter­way, was com­pleted on sched­ule, canal au­thor­ity head Mo­hab Mameesh an­nounced July 29. Mameesh com­pared the achieve­ment to the dig­ging of the first canal in the 1800s, which for the first time en­abled ships to travel from Europe to Asia with­out hav­ing to nav­i­gate all the way around the African con­ti­nent. Mameesh said a trial run with a small flotilla of cargo ships travers­ing the new canal was com­pleted July 25, and he equated their suc­cess­ful pas­sage with the “pass­ing of the na­tion from dark­ness to light,” ac­cord­ing to in­de­pen­dent news web­site Mada Masr. Pres­i­dent Ab­del Fat­tah el-Sisi un­veiled the pro­ject a year ago al­most to the day, on Aug. 5, 2014, and or­dered the pro­ject’s orig­i­nal timeline of three years sped up to just one. Although the ac­cel­er­ated sched­ule ne­ces­si­tated the hir­ing of for­eign dredg­ing firms in ad­di­tion to Egyp­tian com­pa­nies, work has been com­pleted in time for a gala open­ing on Aug. 6. Mameesh promised the event would be “daz­zling.” an­nounced that tourism was up 16.5 per­cent year-on-year in May, with 894,600 for­eign visi­tors ar­riv­ing dur­ing the month. De­spite the an­nual in­crease, how­ever, May num­bers were be­low those of April, which saw 923,900 tourist ar­rivals. in­vestors by giv­ing bet­ter value for the dol­lar. Many econ­o­mists be­lieve the pound is still over­val­ued and an­tic­i­pate it will ul­ti­mately de­pre­ci­ate to at least LE 8 to the dol­lar. Although not of­fi­cially pegged to the U.S. cur­rency, the pound gen­er­ally tracks its move­ments. As the dol­lar has strength­ened dur­ing the past year, the pound has risen with it, caus­ing it to out­per­form cur­ren­cies like the euro— the cur­rency of the Euro­pean Union, Egypt’s big­gest trad­ing part­ner.

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