The Panama Canal swelled the country's coffers by a record $1 billion in the 2010-2011 fiscal year, bringing the total earned since control of the waterway was handed over by the US to some $6.6 billion.
The waterway which links the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans handles 5.0 percent of world trade annually, and was handed over to Panama's control by the United States on December 31, 1999.
"This historic contribution shows that the Panamanians took the right decision in the management model which they chose to run the canal, and that we have been able to do so efficiently and profitably," said Minister for Canal Affairs Romulo Roux.
The key 80-kilometer (50-mile) conduit has brought in more for the Central American country's economy in the past 12 years than it did in the 85 years that it was under US administration after its historic inauguration in August 1914.
"The canal's success is a success for all Panamanians, reflecting the 10,000 men and women who make up the workforce of the Panama Canal Authority, and whose dedication we recognize for contributing to the country's development," said the waterway's chief executive Alberto Aleman Zubieta.
The canal is currently undergoing a major $5.25-billion project to expand its choked capacity, set to be completed in 2014, and which will allow some of the world's largest ships to pass through.
Vessels carrying around 14,000 containers rather than today's 5,000 will be able to cross the isthmus, and traffic is expected to double.