World Tradewinds


April - May 2005 - Issue N. 128
A Publication of the Monterey Bay International Trade Association (MBITA)


MBITA CORPORATE SPONSORS:




Central Coast Angel Network

Victory

Lexus


MBITA PARTNERS & AFFILIATES:







UPCOMING EVENTS:

Trade Finance
and Online Resources

Luncheon
Fri Apr. 1, 2005
Santa Cruz, CA
China One
International Buffet


For more information
about this event visit
www.mbita.org/events/home.php


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

For more details on MBITA events, go to www.mbita.org/events/home.php

MBITA BOARD OF DIRECTORS:

President
Tony Livoti
MBITA

Vice President
Shay Adams
AIM Medical Sales

Members:

Dr. Edward Valeau
Hartnell College
Salinas

Marcelo Siero
IdeasSiero

Jim Faith
TradePort.org

Staff:

Cristina Polesel
General Manager

Emi Hirano
Marketing Assistant

Tomoko Takamura
Marketing Assistant

Lidia Thompson
Eastern European Consultant


725 Front St. Ste 104
Santa Cruz, CA 95060 U.S.A.
Phone: 1-831-469-0148
Fax: 1-831-469-0917
Email: info@mbita.org
Web: www.mbita.org

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
cristina@mbita.org



MBITA Members and Corporate Sponsors' Newsletter Links

CalTrade Report

Small Business Technology Review


World TradeWinds Sponsorship Information

World TradeWinds is a monthly eZine distributed to over 3,500 subscribers located statewide, nationwide and overseas. The newsletter is also distributed to eight Tradeport.org service centers located throughout California, representing over 30,000 small to mid-sized enterprises.
....

Call the MBITA office at
831-469-0148 for sponsorship rates and benefits.


 

  • IN THIS ISSUE:

MBITA's UPDATE


Over MBITA’s 20 year history we have hosted over 35 interns from all parts of the world. We find their internship is as educational to us as it is to them. These young men and woman have moved on to successful careers in international business and we hear from them periodically, and in some cases they have helped us with our trade promotion services in the company or country where they currently work. This issue of World TradeWinds features articles from two of our current interns who will soon move on to the challenges of their professional careers. Enjoy!

Please go to MBITA newsletter archives to see other MBITA Members profiles and visit MBITA's Export Promotion Services.

 
 

Tony Livoti
President
tlivoti@mbita.org
 




 


MBITA New Corporate Sponsor
Webmorpheus Technologies, Inc.




Ektron
and Webmorpheus Working Together to Offer Customers A Complete Web Solution

The emergence of online global logistics and supply chain solutions for Fortune 1000 companies have dictated new solutions for effective and efficient global trade. Small to mid-sized enterprises (SMEs) are now benefiting from these technological developments in their global trade operations. SME web-based solutions have emerged to interact as suppliers to larger multi-national enterprises, conduct more efficient methods for bi-lateral trade with other foreign SMEs while maintaining more efficient management methods for their own content and operations. Additionally, the localization of U.S. enterprise websites in foreign countries is rapidly becoming standard practice for any company's foreign market strategy.

MBITA welcomes its new corporate sponsor, Webmorpheus Technologies, Inc. which is located in Monterey, Ca., and is a Web development firm that specializes in creating user-centric Web-based initiatives designed to deliver a more enriched user experience. By combining dynamic technology skills, with blue-chip design, usability, accessibility and a unique business management process, Webmorpheus is able to deliver results-driven solutions including Web sites, intranets, Content Management Systems (CMS), portals and extranets.

Content Management is central to many of Webmorpheus' solutions and, following extensive research, Webmorpheus chose Ektron to be their primary Content Management platform for Web and intranet projects. Ektron provides software solutions that streamline business and publishing processes and allow anyone to author, manage and publish HTML and XML content for Web sites, intranets and Web applications. Their browser-based solutions are used in more than 13,000 integrations.

Ektron Supports Rapid and Efficient Globalization Strategies on the Web

--Powerful new tools in Ektron's CMS300 and CMS400.NET enable content managers to better handle end-to-end site translation and localization processes - (Please see link below)


ektron.com/corporate.aspx?id=1948&fragment=0&SearchType=AND&terms=globalization

Webmorpheus delivers consulting services to effectively implement the Ektron CMS, from installation and configuration to the design and launch of the project, to on-going support. Webmorpheus provides Ektron content management solutions as a Web-based service (software as a service) and priced as a subscription model (pay as you go), which makes it easy to implement and use.

Ektron CMS customers are provided with training and consulting programs that provide the optimum foundation for maximizing the business tools available within the system. Business users, both technical and non-technical are guided with hands on experience under the auspices of Webmorpheus expert staff. As business needs and the flow of communication are dynamic waves of progression, requirements for on-going support are made available by Webmorpheus.

CMS Applications include:

  • Integrated Document Management - New!
  • Empower non-technical contributors
  • Make information more searchable
  • Publish multilingual Web content *Convert your website in multi-languages
  • Develop sites and applications quickly

    Special discount to MBITA members:
    Webmorpheus as a new corporate sponsor is currently offering to install the Ektron CMS into your company's website and reduce the cost of Licensing by 50%, and in some cases eliminate the Licensing fees completely. Please call for details.


    Sign up for online demo!

    Contact

    Reyno Gallery
    Webmorpheus Technologies
    Monterey, CA 93940
    Tel. 831 644-9691 - Fax: 1-831-644-9692
    Web: www.webmorpheus.com
    e-mail: rgallery@webmorpheus.com

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MBITA Hosts Humphrey Fellows Delegation from Eleven Developing Countries
by Monica Figa, MBITA Intern

On Monday, February 21st, MBITA welcomed eleven Hubert H. Humphrey Fellowship Scholars currently studying at the Michigan State University. Tony Livoti, President of MBITA, held a presentation for the fellows at the Monterey Institute for International Studies on the growing importance of e-business in the international economy.

The Humphrey Fellows are all accomplished professionals from developing nations around the world. They have been nominated by the U.S. government or bi-national education commissions to study at various academic institutes across the United States. These fellows have been chosen based on their commitment to public service, economic development and trade as well as their potential to become future national leaders of their countries.

The visiting Humphrey Fellows were: Kulthum Amani from Tanzania, Paul Bagabo from Uganda, Mamadu Dian Bah from Guinea, Jaafar Elaouani from Tunisia, Darshan Gangolli from India, Shujie He from China, Adriana Niedoszewska from Poland, Talantbek Sakishev from Kyrgyzstan, Marco Scanu from Venezuela, Abdul Tokhy from Afghanistan, and Lea Uhrinova from the Slovak Republic. Bios of the visiting fellows can be viewed below. These nations are all undergoing economic developmental processes. The following are brief descriptions of each country.

Tanzania

Tanzania is one of the poorest countries in the world. It is a Republic with a democratically elected government2. The next elections will be held in October of this year. With a population of 37,187,939 (July 2002) , Tanzania consists of over 120 ethnic groups with Islam and Christianity as the primary religions . Also, the economy is heavily dependent on agriculture, which accounts for half of GDP, provides 85 percent of exports, and employs 80 percent of the work force. Tanzania is currently rehabilitating its economic infrastructure through a series of loans and macroeconomic policies.

Uganda

Uganda's population of 24,699,073 (July 2002) encompasses various ethnicities including the Baganda and Karamojong. The primary religions are Roman Catholicism and Protestantism. Uganda's government is categorized as a "movement" system, with limited operation of political parties2. Agriculture is the most important sector of the economy, employing over 80 percent of the work force. Ongoing Ugandan involvement in war, corruption within the government and its slippage in determination to press reforms raise doubts about the continuation of strong growth. However, Uganda has maintained a growing GDP since 2002.

Guinea

The Republic of Guinea has a population of 7,775,065 (July 2002) where 70% is composed of the Peuhl and Malinke people. The dominant religion is Islam and French is the official language. The country possesses over 30 percent of the world's bauxite reserves and is the second largest bauxite producer. Currently, various steps are being taken to stabilize the country as a result of fighting along the Sierra Leonean and Liberian borders.

Tunisia

Tunisia is a single-party dominated Republic2. Arab-Berbers compose 98 percent of the population of 9,815,644 (July 2002) with Islam as the dominant religion. The government is continuing its slow process of privatization. Tunisia's future is still greatly tied to other nations in the Middle East and events that are beyond Tunisian control.

India

India, one of the most densely populated areas of the world, has a population of 1,045,845,226 (July 2002). 72 percent of the country is Indo-Aryan and 81.3 percent is Hindu1. It is a federal republic in which the central government emulates Britain's parliamentary system2. India's economy encompasses traditional village farming, modern agriculture, handicrafts, a wide range of modern industries, and a multitude of support services. About a quarter of the population is too poor to be able to afford an adequate diet.

China

China has a population of 1,284,303,705 (July 2002) of which 91.9 which are Han people and 96 percent practice Taoism, Buddhism, or Confucianism. Although Mandarin is the official language, there are hundreds of different dialects throughout the region. Since 1978, China has adopted an open-door policy in order to move from its centrally planned economy to a more market-oriented system.

Poland

Poland's population of 38,625,478 (July 2002) has almost an entirely homogenously ethnic composition of Poles. Also, 95 percent of Poles are Roman Catholic1. It is a republic with a democratically elected government2. Poland has steadfastly pursued a policy of liberalizing the economy and today stands out as one of the most successful and open transition economies. In 2004 Poland joined the EU and hopes to further develop economically.

Kyrgyzstan

The Republic of Kyrgyzstan is a small, poor, mountainous country with a predominantly agricultural economy. 52 percent of Kyrgyzstan's population of 4,822,166 (July 2002) is Kyrgz and 18 percent is Russian with Uzbek, Ukrainian, German and other ethnicities composing the rest of the population. 75 percent of the population is Muslim. Kyrgyzstan has been one of the most progressive countries of the former Soviet Union in carrying out market reforms1 and the upcoming presidential elections in October 2005 hope to bring even more progress.

Venezuela

Venezuela is a federal republic with Hugo Chavez as the current democratically elected president2. It is composed of Mestizo (67%), white (21%), black (10%) and Amerindian (2%) ethnicities. Roman Catholicism is the dominating religion in this country of 24,287,670 (July 2002) people. The petroleum sector dominates the economy, accounting for roughly a third of GDP, around 80 percent of export earnings, and more than half of government operating revenues.

Afghanistan

The "Islamic state"2 of Afghanistan has 27,755,775 (July 2002) people and is mainly composed of the Pashtun (44%) and Tajik (25%) people. Sunni Muslims (84%) are the dominating religious group with Shiite Muslims (15%) following them. Although money has poured into the country, little progress has been forthcoming. Rival warlords and political infighting will keep foreign investors at bay for some time to come.

Slovakia

Slovakia is a parliamentary republic that recently passed a constitutional amendment permitting direct election of the president2. The majority of the 5,422,366 (July 2002) in Slovakia are Slovaks and 10.6 percent are Hungarian. Roman Catholicism is the dominant religion in the country1. Although still in the shadow of its Czech cousins, Slovakia forges ahead with economic improvements and finally entered the EU in 2004.

Click here for the Humphrey Fellows bios and contact information.


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The California Brand in Japan
by Tomoko Takamura, MBITA Marketing Assistant

Last November Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and the California Commission for Jobs and Economic Growth visited Tokyo, Japan during a four-day trade mission. Governor Schwarzenegger is very popular in Japan and is known affectionately as the big American movie star ("Shuwa-chan"). This trade mission was designed to build on the historical success of trade between Japan and California, and to leverage the Governor's popularity in Japan to help expand Japanese tourism in California, increase California agricultural exports to Japan and encourage Direct Foreign Investment (DFI) and job creation by Japanese companies in California.

Japan is the second-largest importer of California products and services after Mexico, and the number one source for direct foreign investment (DFI) in California. However since 9/11, Japanese tourism and agricultural purchases have declined and DFI has remained flat in recent years. On the other hand, China's economy continues to grow especially in the telecommunications, information technology and agricultural industries and trade with Japan in these industry sectors also continues to grow rapidly.

Even with China's internal problems such as the farming-based poverty sectors in inland areas of China, the inefficiencies of government run companies and the possibility of a 'too-hot' economy with inflationary tendencies, China continues to move its economic machine forward in the global economy becoming a serious competitive force to the U.S. for the Japanese marketplace. Also, the Beijing Olympics coming in 2008 will surely add more fuel to the Chinese economic juggernaut.

Japan currently imports most of its agricultural products from China and the U.S. Because of Japan's aging society and the shortage of labor, accompanied with the decline of domestic agricultural production, the demand for imported fruits and vegetables will continue to increase for Japan. Where will Japan import its agricultural needs, China or the U.S.? China has the advantage of lower shipping costs and better price, yet, quality is a critical issue for the Japanese consumer who became weary of Chinese agricultural imports after the illness and deaths that occurred in China in 2002 because of residual chemicals found in agricultural products. China has now made every effort to grow its produce with less pesticides and also has increased its organic produce production for the Japanese consumer, which paints another competitive picture for the future of U.S. agriculture exports to Japan.

How can California's exports compete with China in Japan? Many great success stories, such as California wine, surfing equipment and sportswear, skateboarding equipment, 'street' and 'L.A.' Fashion and the entertainment industry gives California a competitive advantage with China in the Japanese marketplace. Japan appreciates and continues to have a strong affection for California 'life-style' products.

The success of Tokyo Disney Land (TDL) and Universal Studio Japan (USJ) are good examples of successfully promoting the 'California Brand' in Japan. Why did they succeed? TDL is like Disneyland-California and USJ is also just like Universal Hollywood. History has now proven that the Japanese consumer appreciates and supports authenticity and quality, yet, how do they continue this success? Tokyo Disney Sea which opened in 2001 maintains the 'California brand' but has been customized ('Japan-ize') to appeal to the Japanese consumer. Extensive research was conducted at Universal Studios in Hollywood and Florida by the Japanese to determine what were the most popular attractions to Japanese tourists, and then they brought those attractions to USJ in Japan. Thus, it is very important when promoting the 'California Brand', to 'Japan-ize' the 'California Brand'.

Today the Food theme park Industry has become very successful in Japan. Entertainment parks like "Curry Museum", "Ramen (Noodle) Museum", "Ice Cream City", "Sweets Forest" are thriving. The success of these ventures is not just eating the food but to learn the history of these foods. Perhaps, the emergence of 'California cuisine' in restaurants throughout California might be successful in Japan?

 


Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger at "The Taste of California" food show in Tokyo, Japan, November 11, 2004. The Governor is tasting the food cooked by chefs Mary sue Milliken of the Border Grill - on the left - and Emily Luchetti of Farallon - on the right -. The two Californian chefs were competing against two Japanese chefs in an 'Iron Chef' like competition using all California-grown ingredients.

The opening of Universal Studio Japan in 2001 began with the 'cutting of the ribbon' by a famous international celebrity, Arnold Schwarzenegger. California has a great opportunity now to further promote the 'California Brand' in Japan under the leadership of 'Shuwa-chan'.

Click here for Tomoko Takamura's resume.


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MBITA and TradePort will participate in the ‘Bridging International Business Between the U.S. and Spain’ conference at Harvard University.

May 15-18, 2005
Cambridge, Boston, MA


"BRIDGING INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS OPPORTUNITIES BETWEEN THE U.S. AND SPAIN" is the Third Edition of the Executive Program that will be held at THE HARVARD FACULTY CLUB (Cambridge, Boston, MA) from May 15-18, 2005. The four-day program aims to help bridge the cultural gap that divides the U.S and Spain, a key trading partner in Europe.

This unique program targets American and Spanish managers who are currently working in both markets or looking to explore opportunities in either country. It is specifically designed to help understand the pitfalls and privileges of doing business in either market. The Executive Program will offer specific knowledge of how the corporate culture of each country differs from the other and how to make those differences work to their company's advantage.

The mix of executives from both nations offers an excellent opportunity for managers to learn from each other's varied experiences as well as from the faculty, who bring a wealth of international business talent to the program.

Today, as never before, U.S and Spanish interests are closely intertwined. The countries' foreign policies and national objectives track closely, they share similarly sized Spanish-speaking population -the number of Spanish-speakers in the U.S. is currently 35 million, just below Spain's population of 40 million -and business ties are booming. Consider these statistics:

Last year, the vibrant Spanish economy -the eighth largest economy in the OECD and the fifth largest in the European Community -exported nearly 6 billion dollars in goods and services to the U.S. A decade-long economic boom, marked by bullish business confidence, has lured more than 600 U.S. companies to establish subsidiaries in Spain. Add that to 200 Spanish companies with subsidiaries in the U.S and the more than 13,500 companies that have relevant economic and trade ties with the U.S.

 

John Quelch, the Associate Dean of the Harvard Business School -in the middle- with two managers of "Natura Bissé" company

For U.S. companies, Spain offers a wealth of opportunities and a chance to gain foothold in one of the world's most important economic zones, the European Union. For Spanish companies, the U.S. continues to offer the enticing challenge of doing business in the world's largest single market.

The Executive Program is supported by Real Colegio Complutense at Harvard, the American Embassy in Spain, the American Chamber of Commerce in Spain, as well as others financial institutions.

The Real Colegio Complutense is non-profit organization established in 1990 by Complutense University of Madrid, in cooperation with Harvard University. The organization was created to foster scientific and academic exchanges between Harvard and Complutense as well as other prominent universities in Spain.


MBITA will be participating in this conference at Harvard
as part of TradePort's California/Spain initiative.

For more information contact:

Marisa del Pozo
Executive Program Director
Tel: 011-34-639-22 06 35
Web: www.servicomspain-usa.com
e-mail: marisadelpozo@servicomspain-usa.com








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Africa: Diamond in the Rough

by Monica Figa, MBITA Intern

As a global economics student at the University of California- Santa Cruz and an intern at MBITA, I have had the opportunity to study emerging markets and economic development around the world. I was asked by MBITA to choose an area of the emerging world where I felt there was great opportunity for American business. I chose Africa.

 


Africa has long been the 'forgotten' continent. Plagued by war, political instability and disease it has become one of the poorest areas of the world and consequently, its economic potential has been vastly overlooked. Africa has stuck out as an area with great economic potential and resources to offer the rest of the world.However, reconstruction and reform of Africa's societies, economies and politics are extremely necessary in order to be able to take advantage of its economic potential.

The United States took the initiative to tap into Africa's resources and implement economic policies that will potentially help develop the African economy. This initiative was converted into the "African Growth and Opportunity" Act (AGOA), a free trade agreement to foster prosperity between sub-Saharan African countries and the United States.



In 2000, AGOA was passed by former President Clinton and was later pushed once again by President Bush. AGOA facilitates free trade between the United States and sub-Saharan African countries. For eligibility to participate in the act, African countries must work towards a market-based economy and political stability, eliminate trade barriers to the U.S., work against human rights violations and implement poverty reduction programs. This is determined by U.S. inspectors and authorized by the U.S. President. Currently there are 37 sub-Saharan African countries eligible to trade benefits under AGOA.(1)

The objective of the act is to promote free trade between the granted countries in order to alleviate countries of poverty and foreign debts and combat AIDS, human rights violations, and terrorism. This is done through lowering and abolishing trade barriers between the countries, granting duty-free treatment, establishing free trade zones and continuously granting access to U.S. inspectors in order to assess their state.(1)

In 2003 exports from the AGOA African countries to the U.S. increased by 55 percent (2), whereas American businesses increased their exports to sub-Saharan African countries by 15 percent.(3) Also, 80 percent of AGOA imports to Africa were petroleum products with an increase of over 50 percent in textile apparel imports. Crude oil, diamonds, platinum and motor vehicles were AGOA countries primary exports to the U.S.(3)

Although these measures seem to be very beneficial to the AGOA African countries, most of which are in destitute poverty, some critics are concerned about the risk infringement of sovereignty in these countries. Eligibility laws are harsh enough on African countries to amend their economic policies and laws in ways that might not necessarily be beneficial.(3)

Also, some critics believe that economic development is more successful when trade policies are established for countries based on their individual economic and political situations rather than implementing a general 'economic formula' for all countries in a region. This criticism stems from previous free trade acts with Latin America under the IMF and WTO that were not as successful as initially promised.(2)

Several years must pass before the long-run effects on economic progress are visible in these countries. Particular attention must be paid to how countries' economies and political arenas individually react to these trade policies in order to determine if the AGOA is right for them or not. However, sub-Saharan markets are finally beginning to expand with a stronger stance in global trade and more opportunity for American companies.

For more information on AGOA, visit: www.agoa.gov, www.tradewatch.org, www.watradehub.com and www.export.gov


1. African Growth and Opportunity Act. <www.agoa.gov>
2. Export.Gov. US Department of Commerce 2001. <www.export.gov>
3. West African Trade Hub. Carana Corp. 2003-2004. <www.watradehub.com>
4. Global Trade Watch. Public Citizen 2005. <www.tradewatch.org>

2nd Annual 'Global California-Expanding Opportunities' Conference.
A Resounding Success

February 10, 2005
The Waterfront Plaza Hotel - Oakland, CA

The 2nd annual 'Global California-Expanding Opportunities' conference was held on February 10, 2005 at the Port of Oakland in CA. The event was produced by the Monterey Bay International Trade Association (MBITA), TradePort.org and the CalTrade Report.






Over 140 participants participated in the day-long trade conference with over twenty experts speaking on five different panels discussing the various opportunities, challenges and future of California's global trade industry. Panel experts included representatives from economic development organizations, trade promotion service organizations, industry groups, chambers of commerce, trade associations and companies from a variety of industry sectors. Panel topics were as follows:

Panel One, Pulling SMEs Into the Free Trade Loop, moderated by Michael White, CalTrade Report,
featured:

  • Howard Shatz, Public Policy Institute of California
  • Ingrid Rosten, International Trade Consultant
  • Linda Kotzot, German-American Business Association
  • Jeremy Potash, California-Asia Business Council.

Panel Two, Issues and Challenges Facing California's Transportation Infrastructure, moderated by Sean Randolph, Bay Area Economic Forum, featured:

  • John McLaurin, Pacific Maritime Association
  • Jon Haveman, Public Policy Institute of California
  • Tom Teofilo, Port of Long Beach
  • Jock O'Connell, The ClarkStreet Group

Panel Three, Security and Trade in a Post-9/11 World, moderated by Don Masters, Homeland Security Industries Association, featured:

  • Beth Peterson, Beth Peterson Enterprises
  • Bruce Aitken, Homeland Security Industries Association
  • Jerry Bridges, Port of Oakland
  • Bruce Berton, Stonefield & Josephson Inc.

Panel Four, Marketing the California Brand and Sacramento's New Role in Trade Promotion, moderated by Janice Cooper, California Pacific Resources, Inc., featured:

  • Jose Duenas, Bay Area World Trade Center
  • Mark Mosher, California Jobs Commission
  • Mary Delmege, U.S. Commercial Service
  • Jeffery Gersick, Gersick Associates

Panel Five, Forging Strategic Alliances, moderated by Michael Liikala, U.S. Commercial Service, featured:

  • Richard Soyombo, Centers for International Trade Development
  • Moises Cisneros, Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce
  • Bruce Ackerman, Economic Alliance of the San Fernando Valley
  • Roderic O. Ballance, Global Trade Center of the Inland Empire

Some of the major points discussed during the conference were the looming infrastructure crisis that exists in the L.A./Long Beach and Oakland port regions with their lack of freight train routes and traffic-free highways, and the need for a more coordinated effort to better serve small and mid-sized enterprises between the State Government and the public-private sector trade promotion service industry.





TradePort, managed by MBITA, also gave a presentation on some of its new features and its alliance with the ground-breaking online trade finance website, Trade Export Finance Online (TEFO). TradePort also announced its participation in the 'GlobalCalifornia.org' project funded through a grant from the Economic and Workforce Development (EWD) program through the Chancellor's office of the California Community Colleges.

The goal of the GlobalCalifornia.org program is to create a 'click & mortar' web portal to provide seamless and transparent interaction between exporters, importers, vendors and participating trade service providers to better serve small to mid-sized enterprises in the Monterey Bay and Silicon Valley region. The program will be launched in April of 2005 and accessible at www.globalcalifornia.org. Stay tuned for more details about this new project for MBITA and TradePort.

 

 

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