Will Iranian sea corridor compete with Suez Canal?

Al-Monitor | Mohammad Hanafi: Iran has announced a sea corridor for commercial exchange with Russia and India as an alternative to the Egyptian Suez Canal, which raises questions about the impact this corridor will have on one of the main national economic resources in Cairo that has been severely affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

The Iranian Chabahar Free Trade Zone Organization announced July 5 that trade connections to Mumbai, Hamburg and St. Petersburg will be made through Astrakhan (in Russia), Anzali and Chabahar (in Iran) and Nhava Sheva (in India) instead of the Suez Canal. This raises questions about the impact the move will have on the revenues generated by the Egyptian canal, a key source in an economy that has been deeply suffering from the coronavirus pandemic.

The 193-kilometer (120-mile) Suez Canal is a major source of foreign currency for Egypt and one of the pillars of the national economy. It is considered the fastest maritime shipping corridor in the world due to its geographical location and ability to cut travel time between Asia and Europe by an average of 15 days.

The canal revenues declined in May by about 9.6% year-over-year due to the coronavirus repercussions on global trade.

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