Egypt’s “New Suez Canal” extension project opened amidst great fanfare today. The $8.5B, largely self-financed project offers both symbolic and substantive hope for Egypt. The Wall Street Journal reports:
The 120-mile canal is already the fastest route between Asia and Europe and accounts for 8% of the world’s sea trade, according to the Suez Canal Authority. The canal’s improvements, including the building of a 23-mile parallel channel, will allow two-way traffic for the first time and reduce waiting times by as much as eight hours for ships traversing the waterway.
As the Journal makes clear, however, not everyone agrees on the long-term economic impact, largely due to disputes over the future volume of global shipping.