Egypt Tries to Spend Its Way to Stability
The biggest Arab country and operator of the Suez Canal is awarding many large, debt-financed contracts to foreign firms. The spree is driven by the political insecurity of the military government.
With a growing population of about 110 million people, Egypt is the most populous country in the Middle East, North Africa, the Arab world, and the Mediterranean. It is also the location of the 200-kilometer-long Suez Canal, one of the largest pieces of physical infrastructure in the world that international trade and globalization rely on. The canal provides the shortest maritime route between Asia and Europe in either direction, bypassing the much longer alternative route around Africa. About 12% of global trade with an estimated value of over $1 trillion passes through the Suez Canal each year.1 Egypt has been ruled by former military officer Abdel Fattah el-Sisi since he took power in a military coup in 2013.