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Egypt wants to turn 29,000 square miles around the canal into an international industrial and logistics hub, reviving economic development after more than three years of economic and political turmoil.
The Suez Canal is the fastest shipping route between Europe and Asia and brings in around $5bn a year, a source of hard currency whose importance has risen since a popular uprising in 2011 scared off tourists and foreign investors.
"We must move dynamically ... Investors must find service here at an international level because if they do not find it here they will go some place else," Mohab Memish, head of the Suez Canal Authority, said at a press conference in Ismailiya.
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