Executive Intelligence Review


Suez Canal and China Revitalize Mediterranean Region

Nov. 9, 2018 (EIRNS)—Three factors have put the Mediterranean back at the center of worldwide shipping routes, according to a report presented in Brussels by Intesa Sanpaolo Bank and the Center for Mezzogiorno Studies (SRM), in southern Italy. The report said these factors are the expansion of the Suez Canal, the evolution of the shipbuilding industry, and the growing role of China.

The Suez Canal has experienced record growth, closing 2017 with 909 million tons transported and more than 17,000 ships, an 11% growth on 2016 figures. Another determining factor has been the ability to create increasingly larger ships, which, in order to be economically viable need routes such as the Mediterranean, where there are various points for loading and offloading cargo.

China’s role is also essential, especially the New Silk Road, with Beijing’s investments in Mediterranean terminals and ports totaling € 4.5 billion.

This allows Europe to hold its leadership in the maritime sector, with European shipbuilding companies controlling 40% of the world’s mercantile fleet. Italian ports are growing and surpassed a half-billion tons in cargo transport in 2017. The international component of Italy’s sea trade last year increased by 12.4% compared to 2016.