Egypt to raise Suez Canal fees
Egypt will raise toll fees by 5% for oil tankers and petrochemical products and 2% for container ships and car carriers, said the Suez Canal Authority (SCA).
In 2012, the SCA effected a 3% rise for all ships passing through the canal.
TheSuez Canal, which connects the Mediterranean and RedSeas, preventing ships from having to go around the Cape of Good Hope at the southern tip of Africa, is one of the country’s main sources of foreign currency revenues, along with tourism, oil and gas exports, and remittances from Egyptian expatriates.
Suez Canal revenues have become more important because the country’s foreign currency reserves have shrunk from $36bn on the eve of the 25 January Revolution to $13.5bn.
The new fees will be applied starting 12 am on Tuesday, said an official from SCA to Reuters.
On Tuesday the Chairman of SCA Mohab Mameesh landed in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to attend the International Forum of Regional Investments for the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA).
The Forum is to be held in Jumeirah in the UAE and will be sponsored by Sheikh Mohamed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the UAE’s vice-president and prime minister. The two-day Forum will be held on Wednesday and Thursday.
COMESA is a free trade area with twenty member states stretching from Libya to Zimbabwe. COMESA was launched in December 1994, replacing a Preferential Trade Area which had existed since 1981.
In a recent interview with Al Jazeera, President Mohamed Morsi laughed off rumours that Qatar was going to buy the Suez Canal, saying there are no secret deals between the two countries.
Egypt received $398.5m in revenues from the Suez Canal in March, according to a recent statement made by the SCA.