World Tradewinds

July-August 2003 - Issue N. 119
A Publication of the Monterey Bay International Trade Association (MBITA)


Jones & Tregenza Communications Group

East West Bank

Pacific IDS

Central Coast Angel Network

SOV Interactive Media







Fri, September 5th, 2003
Rethinking Eurasia: Spotlight on Central Russia, Armenia and the Republic of Georgia


Monterey Institute of International Studies (MIIS)
Monterey, CA
Time: 10:00am - Noon
Admission: $20
(For more info and online registration click here)

To register for MBITA luncheons, call 831-469-0148 or email including the event specifics you are signing up for in the subject line.

For more detail on MBITA business events, go to


Tony Livoti

Vice President
Shay Adams
Digital Tech Displays

Dr. Edward Valeau
Hartnell College

Victor Cordell
Monterey Institute of International Studies (MIIS)

Marcelo Siero

Jim Faith

Cristina Polesel
Membership/Event Manager

MBITA Contact Info

725 Front St. Ste 104
Santa Cruz, CA 95060 U.S.A.
Phone: 1-831-469-0148
Fax: 1-831-469-0917

If you would like to have an article published on this newsletter please contact the editor by email.

This newsletter has been created by MBITA's editor
Cristina Polesel

MBITA Partners' Newsletters Links:

CalTrade Report

Small Business Technology Review


GoTo-Silicon-Valley Business Directory


MBITA is planning a major conference in Northern California in November of 2003 with co-sponsor CalTradeReport on how California's trade promotion community can 'pick-up-the-ball' for the soon to be defunct California Trade Technology Agency (CTTA).

A focus for this conference will be on how the re-launch of owned by the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce (LACC) and the Bay Area Economic Forum (BAEF), and managed and operated by MBITA, can act as a vehicle to unify California's trade promotion business community behind new online technologies for global trade collaboration and logistic solutions.

We are now seeking sponsors, collaborators and supporters for this event. Please contact the MBITA office for more details.

Tony Livoti
Executive Director

MBITA New Corporate Sponsor: Associated Foreign Exchange, Inc. (AFEX)

MBITA would like to introduce its new corporate sponsor, Associated Foreign Exchange, Inc. (AFEX). International trade involves the exchange of different currencies. The trading and settlement of these currencies, or more usually bank deposits denominated in particular currencies, takes place in the foreign exchange (FX) market.

Today the Foreign Exchange Market is by far the largest marketplace in the world, operating 24/6 - twenty four hours a day, six days a week - with average volumes exceeding $1.5 trillion per day, as compared to $25 billion per day traded on the New York Stock Exchange.

Associated Foreign Exchange has been providing its clients an economical and efficient means of managing international payments since 1979. AFEX is based in Encino California with offices in Beverly Hills, San Francisco, New York, Washington DC and London. AFEX is licensed in 45 states and bonded by the California Department of Financial Institutions. Unlike other financial institutions where foreign exchange may be supplemental to their core business, AFEX specializes in the business of foreign currency conversion and global remittances.

The price of one currency in terms of another is called the exchange rate, which directly affects the economy and our daily lives. When the US dollar becomes less valuable relative to foreign currencies, foreign products, services and travel become more expensive. When the US dollar rises in value, foreign products, services and travel become cheaper. Knowledge of exchange rate mechanics can increase profits for both exporters and importers. For example, billing in a foreign currency can make a product more attractive to foreign buyers or paying in a foreign currency can reduce the cost of an imported product.

AFEX offers the following services:

  • Exchange Rates - the most current and competitive rates of exchange
  • Outgoing Wire Transfers - using direct bank-to-bank transfers or via SWIFT (Society for Worldwide Financial Telecommunications). Sending funds in foreign currencies ensures that payments will arrive in a timely manner
  • Incoming Wire Transfers - allow clients to deposit foreign currency directly into one of over thirty correspondent banks worldwide. AFEX will then convert and remit the funds directly via US dollar draft or wire transfer
  • Bank Drafts - issued in foreign currencies and drawn on correspondent banks. AFEX will send the drafts to clients or their beneficiaries
  • Forward Contracts - allow clients to lock-in rates for future payables or receivables and therefore minimize exchange rate risk

AFEX is represented in the Silicon Valley and Central Coast by Jim Faith, MBITA member since 1994 and currently serving on MBITA’s Board of Directors. Jim’s experience with currencies and foreign exchange began while doing graduate Economic study on payment systems. He showed that online payment systems would increase the velocity of money and therefore decease the level of money stock required to service a given level of economic activity. Jim spent over 8 years in software engineering and management positions with cryptography and data security vendors before joining AFEX. Jim holds a BS in Physics from the University of Washington, a BS in Economics from the University of San Francisco and an MS in Economics from San Jose State University.

Jim Faith
Account Executive

Associated Foreign Exchange, Inc. (AFEX)
221 Sansome St.
San Francisco, CA 94104
Tel. 800-616-2339
Fax 831-425-7255



MBITA New Corporate Sponsor: Kaspar Computer Consultants

MBITA would like to introduce its new corporate sponsor, Kaspar Computer Consultants. In the world of international trade, the internet is becoming an essential tool for small and large businesses alike. To take full advantage of the technology and information that the internet has to offer and stay competitive in the global marketplace, it is critical to have a reliable computer system or network of computers.

KCC is a full service computer shop serving the needs of the local Santa Cruz County market. KCC can bridge the gap between business and the internet by providing and maintaining the most current hardware and software at a reasonable cost.


KCC is full computer service provider serving the needs of Santa Cruz County and beyond that offers:

  • Onsite and In-house Computer Diagnostic and Repair
  • Free Network Evaluations for Small Businesses & Home Users
  • Network Setup, Administration and Maintenance (Service Contracts Available)
  • PC/Laptop Repair Specialist
  • Custom Computer Builds
  • Software Training Incl. Dragon Natural Speaking
  • Midi/Digital Audio
  • DSL installation and setup
  • Student and senior discounts
  • Credit for referrals to new customers
  • Data recovery and back-up
  • Barter available

KCC keeps their services up with industry developments and the ever changing needs of their customers. KCC focus on custom services designed to meet the unique needs of their customers, whether individuals or small businesses. KCC is offering a 30% discount to local Santa Cruz County businesses that would like to become new KCC contract customers. The three month trial customer support contract discounts their normal service pricing by almost 30%. Regular onsite service is $70.00/hr. With this promotional offer it is just $50/hr. This rate is cheaper than their regular home user rate. Business days are Monday through Friday, excluding holidays. 24 x 7 emergency service is available if needed. KCC would also like to offer a 35% discount to MBITA members for a six month trial contract period.

Please visit Kaspar Computer Consultants web site for details about Support Contracts Plans and KCC Services.


James Kaspar
Kaspar Computer Consultants
725 Front St. Ste 104
Santa Cruz, CA 95060
Cell. 831-345-9319 - Tel. 831-459-8928
Fax 831-459-8928 (call first)


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MBITA New Member: Feather River Resource Conservation District

The Feather River Resource Conservation District (FRRCD) is excited to have become a new MBITA member and hopes for a mutually beneficial relationship in the future.

The FRRCD is one of 103 Resource Conservation Districts in California whose boards of directors are unpaid volunteers either elected or appointed by county supervisors. These districts were established under state law and authorized by federal legislation to work with private landowners in concert with the Natural Resources Conservation Service, an arm of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, on a broad variety of conservation issues that benefit the environment and the wider American society.

Resource Conservation Districts (RCDs) here in California receive no funding from the state unlike many other states/districts in the country and we are forced to search for grants and/or other sources of funding to carry out many conservation activities. One of their major goals was to try and establish a dependable revenue source that could be sustainable and relied upon in the future to carry out conservation projects.

Last year FRRCD was approached by a resort owner on the major water supply to Greenville, Round Valley Lake, because his livelihood was being squeezed by an aquatic plant, water shield (Brasenia schreberi), that was rapidly filling up the shorelines around the lake. This native plant had so proliferated in twenty-five years that the resort owner was forced to cut through it with a mechanical harvester in order to provide "lanes" for his fishing clientele to get out to deeper parts of the lake. The FRRCD became interested in the problem and began researching it.

Water shield proved to be a highly interesting plant, to say the least. It has been consumed as human food in East Asia and, more specifically, in Japan where it has been used as a food for nutrition for eight centuries and is known as 'Junsai'. During the course of FRRCD research, the resort owner said that deer readily eat this plant and this raised our interest level. Since cattle are ruminants (multiple stomachs) much like deer, FRRCD sent a batch of the material for a nutritional analysis to the laboratory at the University of California at Davis and they reported back that the water shield could be another source of livestock feed.
Further literature searching alluded to the plant's cancer-prevention properties which was interest-heightening, as an understatement. This highly intriguing reference still has to be tracked down, fully understood, and documented.

The FRRCD's plan sounds simple but they are aware of its complexity: FRRCD has signed an agreement with MBITA to market this plant both as a human food and livestock supplement and ultimately find out whether Junsai does indeed possess any cancer-preventing elements. If any or all of these factors bear fruit, the FRRCD hopes to develop a revenue stream that will enable them to carry out many more conservation projects than they have had in the past and environmentally improve their area of the northern Sierra Nevada mountains.

FRRCD hopes to hear from any of MBITA's vast list of members to develop a much firmer understanding of water shield.

John Schramel, President
Feather River Resource Conservation District
P.O. Box 677
Greenville, CA 95947
Tel. 530-284-1300

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MBITA Signs MOU with Korean Techno Park

MBITA and the Incheon, Korea-based Songdo Techno Park have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to identify cooperative business and technology development projects.

According to Tony Livoti, Executive Director of MBITA, the trade group and the Songdo Techno Park will initially establish a business referral and sales lead qualification process between exporters and importers in California and Incheon, Korea with trade opportunities routed between both parties.

"MBITA will identify and qualify California companies that match a Korean inquiry seeking an export, import, license, partnership, or investment opportunity," said Livoti. We'll then coordinate, support and facilitate the actual business transactions."

When appropriate, the MBITA group will distribute the Korean business opportunities to partner TradePort Service Centers located throughout California.


Those organizations will cooperate with us to provide trade promotion services to the California company that is matched with the Korean business opportunity inquiry," said Livoti. "Songdo will distribute California business inquiries to qualified companies in the Incheon metropolitan region."

The entire process will be "click and mortar" through the TradePort site, said Livoti. "TradePort will be the starting point and platform for future cooperative ventures in global eCommerce between California and Incheon, Korea," he added.

The MBITA and Songdo will jointly develop the database technology that will qualify vendors according to company and financial history, as well as experience in global trade. Further database development will distribute the qualified leads to companies and potential partners in both the MBITA and Songdo networks.

The agreement also calls for both groups to jointly develop eCatalog technology for Tradeport that will allow visual presentations of products and services along with online solutions to faciltate all of the logistical and banking requirements for a successful global trade transaction, Livoti said.

The MOU, signed by Livoti and Dr. Young-Soo You, President of the Songdo Techno Park, stipulates that both intend to seek funding from private and public-sector sources to support the initiative.



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Rethinking Eurasia: Spotlight on Central Russia, Armenia and the Republic of Georgia

MBITA and the Monterey Institute of International Studies (MIIS) in cooperation with the US Export Assistance Centers in San Jose and Monterey and the Business Information Service for the Newly Independent States (BISNIS) of the U.S. Department of Commerce (USDOC), cordially invite you to attend the conference
“Rethinking Eurasia: Spotlight on Central Russia, Armenia and the Republic of Georgia”.

Friday, September 5, 2003
10:00 –12:00 a.m.
411 Pacific, McGowan 102
Monterey Institute of International Studies (MIIS)
Monterey, California 93940
(one-on-one meetings available following program)
Cost: $20
For more information and online registration click here.



BISNIS representatives Polina Belkina (Moscow, Russia), George Isayan (Armenia), and Alexander Lotuashvili (Republic of Georgia) along with Washington-based international trade specialist Joan Morgan will make presentations. Tony Livoti, Executive Director of MBITA will also make a presentation on the new Global eCommerce Trade Portal (GTEP) project in the Russian Far East. He will also be available for one-on-one meetings with companies interested in specific projects or with questions related to the region. Speakers will discuss:

> How U.S. companies in key sectors can capitalize on opportunities in the region
> Key considerations for doing business in the region: challenges and prospects
> Opportunities across multiple sectors such as agribusiness machinery and food
processing and packaging, construction, pharmaceuticals, tourism, and more.
> USG resources to aid your business activities and development in Eurasia

U.S. Department of Commerce BISNIS Program

BISNIS is the U.S. Government's primary market information center for U.S. companies exploring business opportunities in Russia and other Newly Independent States. BISNIS provides U.S. companies with the latest market reports and tips on developments, export and investment leads, and strategies for doing business in the Newly Independent States (NIS). Since opening in 1992, BISNIS has facilitated more than $3.2 billion worth of U.S. exports and overseas investments.


Polina Belkina (BISNIS, Moscow, Russia – stationed at the U.S. Embassy in Moscow)
George Isayan
(BISNIS, Yerevan, Armenia – stationed at the U.S. Embassy in Yerevan)
Alexander Lotuashvili
(BISNIS, Tbilisi, Georgia – stationed at the U.S. Embassy in Tbilisi)
Joan Morgan
(BISNIS, Washington, DC)
Jim Lucchesi
(Manager, Eximbank, San Francisco, Ca Branch)
Tony Livoti,
Monterey Bay International Trade Association (MBITA)

Speaker Biographies:

Polina Belkina (BISNIS, Moscow, Russia – stationed at the U.S. Embassy in Moscow)
Ms. Belkina covers the City of Moscow, Russia's capital city and premier growth center, also
central Russia. She advises local companies on how to work with U.S. businesses, to find U.S.
partners, and also counsels U.S. companies on different issues of doing business in Central
Russia and Moscow. Ms.Belkina graduated from the Concordia University, Montreal, Canada,
with bachelor degree in economics. Prior to joining BISNIS Moscow team, Ms. Belkina worked
for Commercial Service of the Swiss Embassy in Moscow. During 2000 to 2002 period, Ms.
Belkina was actively supporting Swiss companies doing business all across Russia, which
resulted in multiple export successes. Her industry experience include food processing and
storage, and work as an Associate Analyst at the Research Department of a prominent Russian
investment company ATON Investment Bank, followed by a position of a Researcher in a
mutual fund management company.

George Isayan (BISNIS, Yerevan, Armenia – stationed at the U.S. Embassy in Yerevan)
George Isayan has been working as the BISNIS representative in Armenia since January 1998.
George has accompanied delegations of Armenian companies to a number of trade shows both
in the US and Europe, including the International Builders Show in Dallas in 1999 and 2000,
Comdex computer show in Las Vegas in 2000, BILISIM IT show in Istanbul, Turkey, and
SviazExpoComm IT and Telecom show in Moscow in 2002.

Alexander Lotuashvili (BISNIS, Tbilisi, Georgia – stationed at the U.S. Embassy in Tbilisi)
Alex Lotuashvili became the BISNIS representative in Georgia in January 2000. As a BISNIS
representative he is responsible for promoting U.S. exports and investments in Georgia. Alex
has guided a delegation of Azeri, Armenian and Georgian farmers/food processors to a Trade
Development Agency sponsored orientation visit in the United States. He also guided a
delegation of Georgian IT companies to the BILISIM IT trade show in 2002. Alex has written
numerous reports on agribusiness, construction, pharmaceuticals, and financial services.

Joan Morgan (BISNIS, Washington, DC)
BISNIS international trade specialist Joan Morgan provides information and counseling to U.S.
companies interested in business opportunities in the Siberian region of Russia and the
countries of Georgia and Turkmenistan. She also covers several industry sectors across
Eurasia including: agribusiness, food packaging and processing, fisheries, and tourism. Ms.
Morgan has conducted outreach programs in Russia and Georgia as well as in the United

Jim Lucchesi (Manager, Eximbank, San Francisco, Ca Branch)
Jim Lucchesi joined the Export-Import Bank of the United States in January of 1999 as Manager of
Eximbank’s first satellite office, in San Jose, Ca. The office was relocate to San Francisco in August
2000. Mr. Lucchesi joined Eximbank after twenty-five years as a commercial banker, all in the areas of
International Trade & Structured Trade Finance.
Mr. Lucchesi spent five years with Bank of America, preceded by ten years with The First National
Bank of Chicago (Bank One) and ten years with Wells Fargo Bank. He held positions in San Francisco,
Los Angeles, Tokyo, Teheran, Istanbul, Toronto and New York. Mr. Lucchesi holds a BA Degree from
the California State University at Chico and an MBA from Golden Gate University, San Francisco.




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MBITA Santa Cruz Chapter Luncheon ‘California Homeland Security & Global Trade – What to Expect’

On June 20th, 2003 MBITA had a very successful Santa Cruz chapter luncheon meeting at El Palomar Restaurant. The topic was “California Homeland Security & Global Trade’.

The first speaker, Franca Gargiulo, Western Region Representative of the US Council for International Business (USCIB) ( gave a presentation on how USCIB works on a variety of fronts to smooth the way for American commerce abroad, promoting practical business services such as international commercial arbitration to resolve disputes swiftly. Ms Gargiulo also discussed the ATA Carnet system provided by USCIB for temporary duty-free imports of many goods and Homeland Security issues involved in the process.

Tony Livoti, Executive Director of the Monterey Bay International Trade Association (MBITA) moderates the Santa Cruz chapter luncheon.


The second speaker, Michael White, Publisher/Editor of the CalTrade Report, gave a presentation about California's current role in the global economy and Homeland Security issues that face the international trade community in the sixth largest economy in the world.

John Leyden, Interim Port Director with the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), San Francisco, Department of Homeland Security, was the third guest speaker. Mr. Leyden discussed the creation of the U.S. CBP and its new mission: "to prevent the entry of terrorists and the instruments of terror into the U.S. while ensuring the speedy, orderly and efficient flow of lawful traffic and commerce." To this end, Mr. Leyden explained how CBP is accomplishing these goals though initiatives such as CSI, C_TPAT, and the 24 hour rule, which pertain to importing and exporting.


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MBITA Monterey Chapter luncheon ‘Global Trade Incubation’, Featured Presentations by New MBITA Members and Marina Business Incubator Clients

On July 31st, MBITA had its Monterey Chapter luncheon at the Marina Business Incubator (MSBI), MBITA new corporate sponsor.

This luncheon provided a forum for new MBITA members and MSBI clients to present their company's objectives to the MBITA and the incubator’s global and local networks.

Speaker: Robert DeFeo, President of DeFeo Gehri Associates

The following companies gave presentations at the luncheon:

DeFeo Gehri Associates, specialized in aerospace and defense marketing/business development

Highland Soil & Water & Western Applied Technologies providing growers and managers with products and services to change from conventional management systems towards systems that are more sustainable, environmentally friendly, efficient and economical.

USAbalone located in Santa Cruz, Ca, the second largest abalone grower in the U.S. and the number one producer of abalone pearls in the world

Anzu Technology, importer of packaging machinery from Italy and Japan

California Coastal Rural Development Corporation , a California chartered Financial Development Corporation providing loan capital and other financial services to businesses and farms located on the Central Coast

MBITA and MSBI are planning quarterly virtual incubator meetings, where their members and clients can showcase their company products and services, obtain new trade leads and develop outreach to the business community through their respective networks.




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