Lieut. –Gen. Osama Rabie, Chairman of the Suez Canal Authority, received today, Wednesday, a high-level delegation of ambassadors of a number of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) member-states, headed by Maj. Gen. Reda Ismail, Head of the Maritime Transport Sector, and Ambassador Serenad Jamil, Deputy Assistant Minister of Foreign Affairs for International Political Relations, at the new Marina building in Ismailia.
The delegation comprised the ambassadors of 30 countries, including the United States of America (USA), Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Panama, South Africa, Guinea, Uganda, Cameroon, and other countries.
The visit aims to discuss ways of joint cooperation between the member-states of IMO and get acquainted closely with the developments of the projects of the Suez Canal.
At the beginning of the meeting, Lt-Gen. Rabie welcomed the delegation in the Suez Canal Authority and expressed his pride in the fruitful partnership and cooperation relations with the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and all its members who share common interests to serve the global trade movement supported by the Suez Canal as the most important navigation facility in transporting trade movement from the East to the west.
Rabie sent a message of reassurance regarding the regularity of the navigation movement in the Canal and the increase in the number and tonnage of ships transiting the Canal despite the global challenges caused by the pandemic of the emerging Coronavirus.
He noted that the navigation movement in the Canal in the period from January to October 25, 2021, witnessed the transit of 16,661 ships compared to 15,310 ships during the same period last year, an increase of 8.8%, while the net tonnage transiting the Canal increased during the same period of this year by 8.5%, with one billion and 29 million tons, compared to 948.4 million tons. tons during the same period last year.
The head of the authority of the Suez Canal indicated that the revenues of the Suez Canal witnessed a remarkable increase, as navigation statistics during the period from January to the day of October 25 of this year achieved $5.1 billion, compared to $4.53 billion during the same period last year, an increase of 12,6%.
Rabie stressed that the past few years witnessed an unprecedented development boom in light of the interest of President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, the President of the Republic, in improving the business environment, in Egypt to attract investments, and implement giant infrastructure development projects that contribute to serving the maritime transport sector.
He explained to the visiting delegation that the new Suez Canal and the series of giant tunnels at the bottom of it are successful models that reflect the leading Egyptian experience in implementing infrastructure projects and the Egyptian vision in the field of sustainable development.
During the meeting, the head of the authority of the Suez Canal reviewed the axes of the authority’s 2023 development strategy and the accelerated steps it witnessed in developing both the Canal’s navigational course and the authority’s marine fleet, in addition to activating the trend towards digital transformation and maximizing the benefit of the authority’s assets.
He affirmed the continuation of the authority’s supportive efforts to build strong relationships with customers through the adoption of flexible marketing policies that suit the various variables witnessed by the maritime transport sector, in addition to activating the applications for electronic services available on the authority’s official website, most notably the electronic reservation service and long line discounts, as well as the launch of Green marketing campaign.
He gave a detailed explanation of the measures taken by the authority to handle the crisis of delinquency of the giant Panamanian container ship EVER GIVEN.
He revealed that the success of the authority’s efforts with its own capabilities to float the ship in record time without causing any damage to the ship’s hull or the cargo carried on it has won many international acclaims, most notably the praise came from the International Maritime Organization (IMO), which reflects the confidence that the Suez Canal Authority enjoys with the navigation community that proves the importance of the Canal to the shipping industry.
He affirmed that the authority is working to benefit from the lessons related to the EVER GIVEN ship crisis, by working to develop rescue departments, including tugs, devices, and equipment, as well as establishing a marine compensation and investigations unit, in addition to using the accident scene to train and refine the skills of the pilots at the simulation center, and expedite the implementation of The project to develop the southern sector of the canal.
The visit included the delegation taking a cruise in the new Suez Canal, visiting the site of the Tahya Misr (Viva Egypt) tunnels next to Ismailia and Agathe Church to see the size of the achievement on the ground.