The Suez Canal Area Development and the Second Suez Canal Projects are the most important drivers of economic recovery in Egypt and mark a turning point for a country that has been marred by continuing instability. These two projects will transform several cities along the canal, as well as construct a new Suez Canal, and importantly will create hundreds of thousands of jobs over the next three to five years. 

The Suez Canal Area Development Project aims to attract private investment to the area surrounding the canal, transforming several cities into a regional—and hopefully global—logistics hub.  Investments have already been pledged by companies in the maritime, infrastructure and tourism sectors to finance the urban transformation. 

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The original Suez Canal first opened for navigation in the 19th century and has survived Egyptian government transitions, two World Wars, and regional instability by remaining an essential part of world trade networks. Today, the world still relies on this Egyptian waterway as 7 percent of world trade runs through it, according to the State Information Service. In order to realize the full potential of this important regional waterway, the Egyptian government has recently begun construction on a second Suez Canal that will run parallel to the original canal. The government also will deepen and widen the existing canal to accommodate super-sized vessels.  The Suez Canal Authority expects the new canal to double the number of ships passing through the canal daily—which is currently around 50— by 2023, and to generate an estimated $12-13 billion of increased revenue over the same period. As a result, the expanded canal will enhance Egypt’s global visibility and its economic standing worldwide. 

When determining how to raise the capital to finance the Second Suez Canal project, Egypt unconventionally turned to its people for the support and issued bonds. NBC News reported that individuals, as opposed to institutions, made up about 82 percent of the investments in the canal. In just one week the government raised an unprecedented $8.5 billion dollars. 

The overwhelming support of both of these projects signifies the belief of the Egyptian people in their country and confidence that the New Suez Canal and the transformed urban areas along the Canal will bolster the country’s economic future. The improved fiscal health and job growth will go a long way to stabilize the economy.   However, these are not the only notable projects Egypt has undertaken. In March 2015, Egypt will host a major economic summit aimed at encouraging international corporations to invest in the growing economy. Minister of Investment Ashraf Salman and Minister for International Cooperation Naglaa Al-Ahwany are expected to unveil at the summit $10-12 billion of investment opportunities for 20 projects in a number of different sectors. 

It is hard to ignore the growth and development occurring in Egypt that will, in turn, lead to restoring economic health to the country. While serious economic challenges remain, we should bear in mind that this is the same nation that delivered 7 percent GDP annual growth between 2006 and 2008. 

It is clear that both for the citizens of Egypt and for the world, the Suez Canal Development Project and the Canal expansion have sparked renewed optimism in Egypt. The world should take notice of the monumental investment the Egyptian people have made in their own country and to view Egypt as a promising investment destination for the future. 

Marshall is founder and president of Transnational Strategy Group LLC, an international business and government affairs consultancy.