Suez canal Egypt
A military helicopter flies above a container ship in the Suez canal near Ismailia port cityReuters

Egypt wants the Suez Canal project to eventually make up 30%–35% of its overall economy, according to Egyptian investment minister Ashraf Salman.

Egypt last year announced the biggest expansion of the canal for 150 years, which upon completion would see a new lane established to allow ships to pass in both directions at the same time.

In addition to widening the canal, Egypt plans to build an industrial and logistics hub at the same site.

"The main project that we'll show in the conference is the development of our Suez Canal, which will represent 30-35% of Egypt's new economy," Salman said on Thursday, without giving a timeframe.

The $8bn project, led by the Egyptian army, has been underwritten by Egyptian citizens who purchased canal investment certificates.

Cairo hopes that the investment could have as big an impact on the country's economy as the initial canal, which allowed ships to pass from Europe Asia without rounding Africa.

In the wake of Hosni Mubarak's ouster as president in 2011, Egypt has been embroiled in political and economic turmoil.

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, who assumed power last year following a military coup, has made reinvigorating the economy his administration's top priority.