April 18, 2019
Admiral Mohab Mameesh, Chairman of the Suez Canal Authority and the General Authority of the Canal, confirmed that the Authority deals with the challenges of the competitive market and alternative roads professionally. This is done through continuous development of the navigation course, and thanks to the Authority’s flexile marketing policies to attract new shipping lines; this guarantees that the Canal will always remain the fastest, safest, and most economical route.
Mameesh noted that the canal accommodates 100% of the container trade between Asia and Europe. In the last eight years the average transit trade rates achieved an average annual growth of 5.4% which is higher than the world trade growth rate (3.4%). This indicates the increase in the number of vessels and tonnage crossing the canal and the canal’s revenues, which are reflected on the improvement of the national economy. He added that the Canal achieved its highest annual revenue in 2018, recording 5.7 billion dollars, an increase of 450 million dollars and 8.5% annual growth.
This came up during Mohab Mameesh’s meeting with a high-level diplomatic delegation compromised of comprising the ambassadors of a number of IMO member countries, namely China, Vietnam, Korea and Thailand, in cooperation with the ministries of transport and foreign affairs. The meeting was held in order to enhance ways of cooperation and view the latest development projects in the new Suez Canal and investment opportunities in the Suez Canal Economic Zone. The meeting was held at the Authority’s Center for Simulation and Maritime Training in Ismalia. The delegation was accompanied by a representative of the Ministry of Transport, Major General Reda Ismail, head of the Maritime Transport Sector, and from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Hala Al-Ghannam, Assistant Minister for Foreign Affairs.
At the beginning of the meeting, the Admiral welcomed the diplomatic delegation and expressed his appreciation for the partnership and cooperation with these friendly countries which play a key role in the global navigation community. They share common interests to serve the international trade movement supported by the Suez Canal as the most important shipping facility in the transport of trade from the East to the west.
The Chairman of the Authority pointed out that the country adopted a strategy to maximize the utilization of the Canal’s unique geographic location by digging a new channel parallel to the original, in order to increase its efficiency in dealing with emergencies, and its ability to receive giant vessels turning the eyes of International shipyards towards their industry to take advantage of economies of scale.
He stressed that the new Suez Canal has not only gained its importance from technical and economic feasibility, but also from the fact that it was the first of the giant development projects under the era of President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, which is moving Egypt towards a return to political and economic leadership in the region. Admiral Mameesh indicated that the value added by the New Suez Canal has placed Egypt on a Silk Road map as part of the “Belt and Road” initiative, and has rightly made it “Egypt’s Gift to the World”.
Admiral Mameesh explained that the new Canal has succeeded in creating a new life in the region through the establishment of new urban communities such as the new city of Ismailia and the launching of a development project from Port Said and El Arish in the north to Suez in the east. The development project includes many industrial and logistic zones supporting six promising ports which will provide services based on the concept of value added and logistic distribution on goods transported through the Suez Canal, which exceed one billion tons annually, making the project the focus of investors around the world, especially in light of the investment incentives and facilities provided by the region to all investors.
During the visit, the audience listened to a presentation on the Suez Canal project and the canal development project, which included a series of documentary films that tell the history of the Canal and explain its leading position in the service of the international trade movement.
Admiral Mohab Mameesh then presented Ambassador Hala Al-Ghannam, Assistant Minister for Foreign Affairs. He then accompanied the guests on a field tour to know the size of the achievement on the ground, including the work of a cruise in the new Suez Canal and inspection of the location of the tunnels under the Suez Canal.