Moscoso has identified her administration with the inauguration of a "new era" for Panama's poor. Her social policies stand in direct contrast to the more economically pragmatic approach of her predecessors.
Diversification of the economy remains a need, as Panama is still overly dependent on canal revenues and traditional agricultural exports. As supplement to the income produced by the canal, the Panama Canal Railway has been refurbished so that it can now transport container cargo in less time than it takes for a ship to transit the canal (began operations in 2001).
As ships get bigger, Panama feels the pinch: A freighter on the Panama Canal passes through the Miraflores Locks. Most ships now under construction will be too large to fit through the locks.
President Bush talks with Panama's President Mireya Moscoso and Argentina's President Fernando de la Rua prior to the official group photo at the Citadelle during the Summit of the Americas in Quebec City, Canada.