The Suez Canal is expected to post revenues of $2.1 billion in 2000 — a record high since the canal was opened in 1879, officials said in remarks published here Wednesday.
"Canal revenues hit $1.97 billion from the beginning of the year until Tuesday," the chairman of the Canal authority, Ahmed Fadel, told the government Al-Ahram newspaper. "It is expected this figure will increase to $2.1 billion between now and the end of December," he added. "These are the largest revenues ever obtained by the canal in its entire history," he said.
Fadel said the authority did not plan to raise toll fees because "the price-stabilization policy followed for eight years brought concrete revenue results and increased the number of ships using the waterway every year." He did not say how many ships traveled through the canal, which links the Mediterranean Sea with the Red Sea.
Suez canal revenues, one of the main sources of foreign currency in Egypt besides oil and tourism, hit $1.8 billion in 1999, up $60 million from 1998. The increase was due largely to a revival of business in Southeast Asia, according to the canal authority. Canal receipts stood at $1.7 billion for the 1998 calendar year, down 2.1 percent from 1997. — (AFP, Cairo)
© Agence France Presse 2000