Inaugurating New Suez Canal is touted at the Egyptian and international levels as a great achievement presented as a gift to the world, the Egyptian consul in Shanghai said .
In statements to MENA Thursday, Khaled Youssef said this giant project will boost international trade through saving ships' sailing time.
Accomplishing this project in one year reflects the Egyptians' resolve and confidence in their nation, he said.
Egyptians have joined hands to collect funds for the project, he added
The government seeks to boost economy and improve people's standards of living in the coming period, he said.
He noted that New Suez Canal will lure more investments to Egypt, especially in the canal area.
Chinese companies will have a chance to pump more investments to Egypt, especially within the framework of the Suez Canal area development project, he said.
He cited several advantages which Egypt enjoys to be attractive to direct foreign investments, referring to its partnership with the EU, the Greater Arab Free Trade Area, COMESA deals in addition to its unique geographical location.
The new 72-kilometer waterway, built in less than a year at a cost of 60 billion EGP, runs part of the way alongside the existing canal connecting the Red Sea and the Mediterranean.
The legendary project was mostly financed by investment certificates sold to Egyptians. Over 60 billion EGP was collected in one week.
The new canal, which consists of 37 kilometer of new, parallel waterway and 35 kilometers of deepening and widening of the existing canal, will cut the waiting period for vessels from 18 hours to 11.
Its width is 400 meters and it is 24 meters deep.
A maximum 49 ships a day can pass through the canal in two directions present. The Suez Canal Authority says the expansion could almost double the number by 2023.
Large ships with submersibles measuring 65 feet will be also able to enter the waterway, thus increasing the Suez Canal income by 259 percent.
The construction of the new canal was initially scheduled to take five years. It was then first reduced to three years and finally ordered by President Abdel Fattah El Sisi to be completed in one year only, which is almost one third of the initial estimated period of implementation.
Built 146 years ago, the Suez Canal is one of the world's most heavily used shipping lanes and has been a key source of international trade.