After nine years of construction work, the enlarged Panama Canal has been officially inaugurated.
A huge Chinese container ship passed through the strip of water as thousands of people looked on.
The country’s president was among the dignitaries present to celebrate the event.
The enlargement multiplies the canal’s capacity by three and is designed to boost trade between the USA and Asia – and divert trade from its competitor the Suez canal.
Already the 102-year-old canal carries five percent of the world’s maritime trade, especially between the US and China, Japan and South Korea.
Analysts say it should mean American consumers paying less for imports, reduced trade costs, while pollution should also come down as goods can be transported in larger but fewer ships.