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Egypt's President Abdelfattah el-Sisi a ceremony yesterday to a major extension of the Suez Canal. The original canal was in 1869 and took 10 years to . The new, $8.5 billion canal was in just under 12 months, beating all predictions by industry experts that it would five years. The canal a passageway between the Mediterranean and Red Seas. President Sisi up the canal in his presidential yacht, the El Mahrousa, wearing military fatigues to the inauguration. The El Mahrousa was the first ship to officially sail through the original canal nearly a century-and-a-half ago. President Sisi the new canal as Egypt's "gift to the world".

Egypt's government the new canal will provide a much-needed boost for the country's economy. The head of the Suez Canal Authority, Mohab Mamish, said the new canal was important to Egypt earns revenues from its waterways in the future. He told reporters: "If I can't this and it into revenue for the Egyptian treasury, alternative routes will ." He hopes revenues will from the current annual $5.3 billion to $13.2 billion by 2023. That means shipping traffic would to grow from 49 per day at present to 97 by 2023. This would a nine per cent increase in global trade. Some economists have doubt on whether these figures can be .

 
 

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