New masterplan for Suez Canal

Consortia are being invited to bid to develop an international industrial and logistics hub around the Suez Canal according to a Reuters report.
Egypt wants to attract more ships and revenue and it is hoped the area – 76,000 sq km (29,000 sq miles) – will revive economic development after three years of economic and political turmoil.
Reuters quotes Mohab Memish, head of the Suez Canal Authority, as stating: 'We must move dynamically … Investors must find service here at an international level because if they do not find it here they will go some place else.'
The approved consortia will be able to buy bidding documents until January 23.
A winning consortium will then be selected within three months with a further six months to develop a master plan.
The masterplan will be presented to the cabinet within nine months followed by an international conference for investors. Infrastructure work will begin early 2015.
The Suez Canal project was a key feature in the campaigns of the most prominent candidates in the 2012 election.
According to Reuters, the project will be put to the public for national discussion before it is adopted as opposition groups have accused the Mursi administration of attempting to seize and sell public land to foreign countries.
The Suez Canal is the fastest shipping route between Europe and Asia and brings in around $5 billion a year.

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