Baku, August 13 AZERTAC
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi has ordered the creation of a special economic zone surrounding the Suez Canal, part of a long planned ambitious project to develop the area adjacent to the strategic waterway into an industrial hub.
The decision was issued on Tuesday in the country's official gazette.
The estimated-$8.2 billion newly-opened extension included the construction of an additional 35-kilometer channel running parallel to part of the existing 145-year old canal, the shortest sea route between Asia and Europe.
It also included the deepening and widening of 37 kilometers of the existing waterway.
Officials hope the project will cut waiting period for vessels by seven hours, and more than double annual revenues from $5.3 billion in 2014 to $13.23 billion in 2023.