17:49 GMT21 January 2021
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    The New Suez Canal, parallel to the one originally built 146 years ago, is due to be officially inaugurated on Thursday. The new waterway is expected to cut the transit time for ships from 22 to 11 hours, and create more jobs in Egypt.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — The new 44.7-mile shipping channel between the Mediterranean and the Red Sea will not only be beneficial for Egypt’s economy, but it has managed to boost public morale, the country’s minister of planning and international cooperation said on Thursday.

    "Research shows that we can easily double hard currency revenue from the Suez Canal within five years, in a short time,” Ashraf El-Araby told RIA Novosti.

    The New Suez Canal is part of a plan to develop the surrounding area into an industrial, commercial and logistics hub that will include the construction of additional ports and improved shipping services.

    However, the official is quick to point out that the New Suez Canal is not just an economic project to generate additional profits.

    "We need further development, solidarity of the people around its political leadership, around the government. I think [we are waging] a real war against diseases, poverty, and we need to have high morale to fight it, and that's what the construction of the New Suez Canal gave us," El-Araby stressed.


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