DUBAI: Egypt’s Finance Minister Mohamed Maait said part of the impact on Suez Canal revenue of the Red Sea attacks on vessels could be absorbed, thanks to previous growth which had been doing well before the incidents started.
Maait said the government was planning to rely more on the private sector in terms of project expenditure, adding: “If you look at (project spending) figures for the last 7 months, it has dropped by 10%,” he told Reuters on the sidelines of the World Governments Summit in Dubai.
The Red Sea warfare that has made one of the world’s busiest shipping routes hazardous for vessels poses an additional risk for Saudi Arabia as well, which has committed billions of dollars to developing a commercial and tourist center in Jeddah, on the sea’s eastern coast.
Authorities worry that if the weekslong shower of Houthi missiles and drone attacks is not contained, it could eventually drive away the investors and visitors that are key to the ambitious project.
The Houthi-related insecurity has contributed to noticeably heightened security around the Jeddah Islamic Port too, according to residents such as Khalid Ali, a Yemeni national with three decades of work experience in the Saudi city.
“We used to freely roam inside the port.
However, in the past couple of years, the kingdom has heightened security, and authorities now restrict movement without proper permission or a specific purpose,” he said in an interview.
The United States has made a point of highlighting the threat posed to the regional economy by the Houthi attacks on shipping, even as the Houthi fighters claim to be acting in the interests of the region.
The situation in the Red Sea is creating supply chain issues for German luxury carmaker Audi as well, impacting car deliveries to customers in India in the first quarter but recovery is expected in the coming months, according to a senior company official.
-With Agency Input