Egypt invites Turkey to invest in Suez Canal
Egyptian Prime Minister Hesham Kandil called on Turkish businessmen to invest in the Suez Canal, one of the world's the most important waterways, as the Egyptian government wants to turn the canal into a "development corridor" by establishing industrial zones on the left and right banks of the canal. "The Suez Canal's contribution to the Egyptian economy only from fees from ships passing by is like 5.6 billion dollars a year. But with industries in the right and left side banks of the canal and plus with logistical services, we think we can go up to 100 billion a year," he said in an interview with the Hurriyet Daily News over the weekend. Kandil met Turkish businessmen at the Turkey-Egypt Business Council meeting May 10 after his talks with President Abdullah Gul and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The two governments and the private sectors of both countries boosted bilateral economic cooperation following the Tahrir Revolution in Egypt and now are seeking ways to expand this cooperation into third countries. Asking Turkish businessmen not to see Egypt as a single country with 85 million people but as the door to Africa's 2 billion people, Kandil thanked the Turkish government for supporting the political change in Egypt and issuing a 2 billion-dollar credit. "They have also encouraged Turkish businessmen to go and to invest in Egypt. They said, ‘This is a stable regime, this is a stable country in the making; go take advantage and invest in Egypt,'" he said. He added the two countries had agreed to expand ro-ro lines and also to allow Egyptian goods to be carried from Egypt to Turkey and to Europe. Another issue Kandil raised during his meetings was the possibility of the contribution of Turkish businessmen to the Suez Canal project of Egypt, to which two tunnels will be added.