Cargo ships cross Egypt's New Suez Canal in first test-run

By REUTERS
July 25, 2015 20:07

ISMAILIA, Egypt - The first cargo ships passed through Egypt's New Suez Canal on Saturday in a test-run before it opens next month, state media reported, 11 months after the army began constructing the $8 billion canal alongside the existing 145-year-old Suez Canal.

The new waterway, which President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi hopes will help expand trade along the fastest shipping route between Europe and Asia and give a boost to Egypt's economy, will be formally inaugurated on Aug. 6.

Sisi wants the canal to become a symbol of national pride and to help combat Egypt's double-digit unemployment. The old Suez Canal is already a vital source of hard currency for Egypt, which has seen tourism and foreign investment drain away in the years of turmoil since a 2011 uprising.


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