What countries are responsible for the exploitation of Egyptian resources?

1 Answer
Apr 20, 2018

Egypt's main resources have been grain exports, its historic culture and the Suez Canal.


In the Classical Era, Egypt was a major exporter of grain -- particularly to Ancient Rome. One of the reasons why Julius Caesar and following emperors were so interested in keeping Egypt stable and productive was fear of what the Roman mob might do if they lost access to Egyptian grain.

Egypt, over the centuries, has slowly gained in population and, particularly in the 20th Century, has largely ceased to be a net-exporter of grain.

The Nile Valley has long been a natural transportation corridor (evidently since the Paleolithic), and was a second-hand route for trade in slaves and ivory until the British put a stop to the slave trade in the late 19th Century. It was Egypt itself, that had an imperial view of the Sudan, in the late 19th Century.

Egypt's historical culture was a significant resource for Egypt and still is, but it is hard to view the tourist trade as being that exploitative to Egypt, and it still is a valuable industry.

Egypt had long been a transit point for trade from the Indian Ocean to Europe; and this was subjected to exploitation by the Seljuk and Ottoman Turks to such an extent that the Europeans (led by the Portugese in the late 15th Century) found their own way to India and the Spice Islands. In the 19th Century the growing trade resulted in the production of the Suez Canal -- funded by British and French banks, and built through their efforts.

Ownership of the Canal was a sore point with Egyptian Nationalists, and Nasser's 1956 bid to nationalize the canal resulted in an Anglo-French invasion, but the US soon pressured the two to leave. The Canal has been in Egyptian hands since, when it wasn't a frontline with the Israelis in 1967-1973.