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Egypt's gift to the world: A two-way Suez

Expanded canal will cut ships' waiting time; immediate impact on trade flows unclear

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IMPRESSIVE FEAT: The New Suez Canal was crowdfunded from the Egyptian public, with US$8.5 billion raised in just six days. Some 43,000 workers carved a new 35km channel running parallel to the old route, and widened and deepened 37km of the original route - all within a year.

Ismailia, Egypt

WITH much pomp and pride, Egypt's military regime launched the New Suez Canal on Thursday in front of dignitaries from around the world in a project seen as more politically significant than economically so.

The expanded canal, dubbed by the authorities as Egypt's "