The World Today

The World Today
Earth in 2013

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

The Suez Canal

The VOC’s role in the construction of the Suez Canal was minimal. With so much of its holdings in rail, any new canal was potential competition. However, when a group of British and Dutch business interests and government organs gathered together to form the Suez Canal Company, the VOC’s Board of Holders saw yet another opportunity. The VOC did buy into the SCC, eventually taking upwards to 29% of the shares at the height of their investment. They were not the largest investor, for with its securing the lands for the canal, the British government amassed 40% of the SCC shares.

The Canal was even more vital to the Dutch than the British who proposed it. It offered a shortcut from the United Provinces into India. It would also open up trading posts of the old VOC to development. The VOC reopened long forgotten trading posts, including one in Mogadishu, which would serve as regional headquarters for the Company. The new flow of trade opened up the Somali coast to great commerce and development. It also opened the Red Sea to one of maritime commerce’s oldest banes.

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