11:50 GMT05 August 2021
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    Cairo is calling on Russian companies to join an initiative to develop a future Russian industrial zone in the Suez Canal area, the country’s minister of planning and international cooperation said on Thursday.

    ISMAILIA (Sputnik) — 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.

    The Canal is a 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.

    "We take a great interest in cooperation with Russia, and are optimistic that these ties will become even stronger in the coming period. We hope that this zone will become attractive for Russian direct investment in Egypt," Ashraf El-Araby told RIA Novosti.

    He urged Russian investors to take into account the potential of the Egyptian economy, which, according to El-Araby, is steadily developing and promises significant returns on investment.

    "I think that all this should reassure Russian and other investors that by investing in Egypt, they will be able to earn more than they would have earned in other industrial zones in the world," El-Araby stressed.

    On Monday, Egypt's Ambassador in Moscow Mohammed Badri told Sputnik that Russian shipbuilding, logistics, petrochemical and agricultural companies had shown interest in helping to develop industrial zones along the Suez Canal.

    Egyptian authorities intend to transform the area of the Suez Canal into one of the world's largest freight transit hubs, Ashraf El-Araby told RIA Novosti.

    "We have a road map for the 15 years to come, according to which by 2030 most of the Egyptian economy will be based on the provision of services. The Suez Canal will be a hub, a great logistics center."


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