In today's modern world, the opening of the enlarged canal on the 6th of August is more than a political statement of the incumbent Sisi regime, as it wishes to highlight the speed and efficiency with which the work has been completed on it- in just one year, save three that was initially estimated. Post Arab Spring is a testing time for the country. With Morsi removed, the leaders had to show that they were serious about the economy.
In August of 2014, Egypt's President Abdel Fatah Al-Sisi flagged off the adventurous project in hope it would boost the economy in dire straits due to the political turmoil of the preceding years. With Hosni Mubarak's overthrow, later Morsi's election and his disposing, a lot has transpired in such a short time.
The new 72 km of waterways as channel and bypasses would allow the canal to be used in two-way traffic. The ships being able to traverse through it would double in number to 97 from the current 49. Furthermore, south bound transit would be slashed from 18 to just 11 hours.
The Suez Canal has had a colourful history throughout its 145 years of existence. From seeing the end of Britain as a superpower when Gamal Abdel Nasser nationalized the canal and the UN Security Council being invoked to look into the issue (and the last time that France and Great Britain simultaneously exercised their veto powers) to the blockage during the Six Day War that lead to the canal being closed until 1975, the canal has been central to Egypt, the regional itself and world trade.
If all goes well, Al-Sisi should play the scene as one of economic dependability of the Egyptian nation and one of a glorious national achievement. The Egyptian public raised 8.5 billion dollars in just eight days. The projected revenues in the next eight years more than double the current revenue, a much needed garner of foreign currency for Egypt. Al-Sisi has outlined several projects along the length of the Suez canal that shall see new jobs being created and furthering the income. Some of these include the creation of an industrial and commercial hub alongside port construction and shipping services.
If this new venture shall be successful in the long term remains to be seen. The money from the new canal could have been diverted to much need cash required to repair the power, transport and rail infrastructure in the country. It could have been used to revamp the existing metro system, or maybe strengthen its borders in the wake of terrorists entering the country from its west and south or furthermore develop tourism along the famed beaches- but these are tangible in their impacts on the economy and the country.
If Al-Sisi has decided upon completing the project in not three, but one year and has it done within the specified time frame, it shows resolve and that Egypt is surely on its way to being a dependable trading partner.