Benefits of Suez Canal to India
Brief history of the Suez Canal
The Suez Canal is a waterway which was constructed in the late 19th century. It is one of the most important trade routes because it connects the Indian Ocean to the Mediterranean Sea through the Red Sea. This Canal has been the source of various contentions because of different parties claiming control of it. However, Egypt which contributed the most in construction of the Canal currently has full control of the waterway and even gets taxes from users of this trade route.
Countries around the pacific, Asia and Europe have greatly benefited since the Suez Canal was first constructed. There were modifications on this waterway in the later parts of the 19th century and throughout its 3,600 years of existence it has been of importance to India. This is because during its construction, India was a protectorate of the British Empire. After gaining independence, India still uses the Suez Canal.
Importance of the Suez Canal to India
There are many reasons why India considers the Suez Canal to be of great importance. The following are some of the major important roles that this waterway plays in India’s bulging economy:
- Reduced distance to Europe. The construction of the Suez Canal reduced the distance between India and Europe significantly. It is said that this distance was 7,000kms before the construction of the canal. The reduced distance has led to faster transportation of Indian merchants. Goods can now be transported within 24 hours across Asia to Europe and this is because of the lesser distance between the two continents.
- Increased Trade flows for India. Prior to the construction of the Suez Canal, India had to transport its goods to Europe using the Cape of Good Hope. This was a much longer route and was a major hindrance to the trade between Europe and India. However, trade flows increased greatly after the construction of the canal. Ships and other vessels travel to Europe from India on a daily basis and trade flows have increased significantly because of this waterway. This has also contributed to the increase in world trade.
- Security Improvement. For India, one of the major benefits of using the Suez Canal in transporting goods is because it is a secure route compared to the other water routes. This is because the canal experiences less piracy activities as compared to the rest of the water trade routes. The canal has more security and personnel as compared to the other trade routes and merchants are assured of safety for their products.
- Increased employment opportunities. The Suez Canal has increased trade for India and its partners leading to provision of employment to those in the shipping businesses. There are also opportunities for those who can work as crew members in the water vessels. Ship builders as well as repairers and producers of different goods have a larger market because of this waterway.
India thus supports the canal and continues to benefit from the trade and other spillover effects that the canal has had on the country.
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