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It is one of the most famous canals in the world, a 77 km man-made channel of water that connects the planet's two biggest oceans, the Atlantic and the Pacific.
Initially constructed by France before the project was completed by the United States, the Panama Canal opened on 15 August 1914 and now celebrates its 100th anniversary.
Around 14,000 ships cross the canal every year, carrying over 200 million tonnes of cargo, about five percent of the world's shipping.
Peter Hinchliffe, Secretary-General of the International Chamber of Shipping, explains how the construction of the Panama Canal carved out a new era for global trade.