Suez Canal charges are likely to be reduced
The transit fees for ships using the Suez Canal next year "are still under study", Suez Canal Authority Chairman Ahmed Ali Fadel said.
The new fees will take into consideration the latest developments and the slowing of growth rates due to the international financial crisis, Fadel said in statements.
Fadel has not ruled out cuts in transit fees for specific ships. Yet, he also said that a modest increase could not be excluded.
The assessment of the 2009 transit fees is taken up by technical committees that possess long experience in evaluating the developments of international navigation, he said.
However, he attributed the potential fee changes to other factors.
Oil and gas prices, growth rates, the shipbuilding market are also factors that could affect the assessment process, he said.
Fadel also voiced concern over the impact of the growing phenomenon of piracy, calling for international cooperation to terminate the threat.
He said the steps taken internationally to combat piracy in the Gulf of Aden were 'not enough' and that nations affected could 'lose a lot' if they did not co-operate.
He was particularly keen to see nations prevent the spread of piracy into the Red Sea area, warning this would make the threat 'more dangerous'.
The Suez Canal saw record revenues this year, earning $4.57 billion in first ten months of this year, making it the nation's third highest source of foreign currency.