BEIJING, Oct. (Xinhuanet) — Acting as a gateway to the Mediterranean Sea and the Indian Ocean, the Suez Canal shortens the distance between the east and the west. It has great strategic and economic value. The Suez canal project will not only benefit Egypt, but also meets China’s ambitious “one belt, one road” initiative.
The Belt and Road Initiative is China’s trade and investment channel with Asia , Europe and Africa. Over 60% of the world’s transport of trade is by ships. That’s why the Maritime Silk Road, is an essential component of the Belt and Road Initiative.
Experts say the new Suez canal project, located in the centre of the route to the Middle East, North Africa and Europe, will play an integral role in the success of China’s initiative .
“The cost of production will drastically be reduced. Ships take a long time with a lot of expenses in their trips and waiting for their turn in the canal. All this increases the price of the products,” said Reda Eraky, Economic Dept. Head, Gomhurya Daily.
“The new canal will benefit trade by reducing the shipping period and will very much facilitate the transport of raw material and goods. They won’t have to take long in their route anymore”
Ahmed Sufy Abu Taleb trades with China. He says bilateral trade has increased 3 folds in the last 5 years reaching $10 billion. China signed investment MOUs this year worth $10 billion, in the energy and transportation sectors. But actual projects on the ground so far, don’t exceed one billion. Abu Taleb, says there is room for more after the opening of the new suez canal.
China had set up an industrial zone on the Suez Canal corridor. It is planning to establish at least 50 factories in the first 3 years.
The construction of the suez canal project coincides with the development of China’s maritime silk road. If all goes to plan, both projects will complement each other to become a win win situation for Egypt and China.