For its part, the Suez Canal had a very good results, with income of $4.16 billion (US) for the fiscal year that ended in June. That figure was up 17% over 2005-2006. As the new fiscal year began and the first month’s official data was released, July showed a healthy 22.5% jump year-over-year, with income of $406.3 million.
Ahmed Fadel, Suez Canal Authority chairman, noted that the climb in income could be attributed the rise in global trade, particularly with the volumes of freight moving out of China. According to the Canal Authority, 7.5% of all global trade passes through the Suez. Its revenues represent the third largest source of income in foreign currency for Egypt (tourism and emigrants’ remittances are the first two).
Work has now begun on the expansion of the Panama Canal that’s aimed at doubling the waterway’s capacity by its projected completion in 2014. As the Panama Canal Authority (ACP) notes, it serves more than 144 different transportation routes for the entire globe, connecting major trading arteries, providing safe, time-saving and secure passage for all vessels.
The $5.2 billion project will allow passage of longer, wider vessels than are now able to transit the Canal. The first construction project is a dry excavation that marks the beginning of creation of the new Pacific Locks access channel.
The Panama Canal was opened in 1914 and was built at a cost of $375 million. During its construction, some 25,000 lives were lost. In reflecting back, Alberto Alemán Zubieta, ACP administrator/CEO, said, "It is truly an honor to lead this great organization. We all know about those who risked so much and tried so hard to build the Canal more than 100 years ago. As we dig, as we build, as we expand the Canal, we will be thinking of those pioneers while also looking to the future.”