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AGI BLOG

AGI HOLDS 56th AGM IN KUMASI

Mon, 16 Jan,17

AGI HOLDS 56th AGM IN KUMASI

The Association of Ghana Industries (AGI) held its 56th Annual General Meeting (AGM) in Kumasi, the Ashanti Regional capital, at the Golden Tulip Hotel on Wednesday, 2nd November 2016. On the eve of AGM, the Regional Executives of the Ashanti Regional Branch organized a cocktail reception at the Lamerta Hotel for the National Council and members in the region..

The historic event was attended by great personalities, including Hon Seth E. Terkper, Minister for Finance and Professor Stephen Adei, a former Rector of GIMPA, Nana Adu Gyamfi, the Otumfuo’s Adontenhene, John Alexander Ackon, Ashanti Regional Minister.

Mr. James Asare-Adjei, President of the Association of Ghana Industries, praised the Ashanti Regional Chairperson, Mrs Afua Gyamfua Owusu-Akyaw, the Regional Executives and the Secretariat of the Association, for putting together such a great and historic event in the Ashanti Region. He indicated that “the  Annual General Meeting has come very far historically and over the past 55 years, we have consistently hosted the event in Accra, and we have taken a bold step this year (2016) in bringing it to the Ashanti Region, a move that will create a lasting memory in the minds of our industrialists and the business community”.

Mr. Asare-Adjei continued that, “as the theme for this ‘Growing Local Industries for Export Development and Job Creation', we wish to propose that more resources be channelled into developing the export sector to reduce the country's balance of trade deficit and shore up the country's currency”.

Meanwhile, he commended the government for the relative macro-economic stability. He, however, urged that sustainable measures should be instituted to foster the economic gains made for them to reflect in the general macro-economic outlook.

He also advised the government to review the utility tariff. He said “industry should no longer subsidise residential consumers in the payment of electricity tariffs, and so subsequent tariff adjustment should remove every subsidy on residential consumers being borne by industry. The manufacturing sector, just like other sectors of the economy, has been saddled with myriad of challenges leading to consistent decline in its contribution to GDP over the past years”.

The development, the AGI President said, should be a matter of concern to all, particularly given that the sector has twice experienced negative growth rate in the past four years. He noted that industry contribution to GDP declined from 28 per cent in 2012 to the current 25.3 per cent, according to figures from the Ghana Statistical Service.

Mrs Afua Gyamfua Owusu-Akyaw, Chairperson of the Ashanti and Brong Ahafo Regional Branch of AGI, who also addressed the occasion, stated that, “The influx of substandard foreign products on the Ghanaian market has led to the collapse of many industries and job losses. Industries, which are the bedrock of thriving economies across the world, are left to their own fate in our economy. They are unprotected and disincentivised, yet they are supposed to compete with foreign industries and products that have a lot of advantages.

Professor Stephen Adei, the former Rector of GIMPA, who was the Guest Speaker, said there is the need for strategic decision and action to grow industry for job creation. Commenting on the contribution of technical universities to the growth of industry, he noted that for technical universities to deliver their mandate, there must be a special collaboration among government, industry and academia.

Nana-Addo Dankwa Visits AGI to Present Manifesto Prior to Election

The New Patriotic Party (NPP) Presidential Candidate, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, and his team visited AGI to present the NPP Manifesto to the National Executive Committee on their vision, plans and programmes for industrial development in Ghana to accelerate growth in the economy over the next four years if given the mandate.

In his opening statement, Mr. James Asare-Adjei, President of the Association of Ghana Industries (AGI), said “it has become a tradition for AGI to engage with political parties just before the General Elections to brief industry on their vision, plans and programmes for industrial development in Ghana. It is therefore my pleasure, on behalf of the National Council of AGI and the entire membership”

He continued “AGI has written to other political parties for similar interactions. It is crucial for us to interrogate their manifestoes, particularly areas related to industrial development and economic growth before getting the mandate of the people of Ghana to govern”. He added that “earlier this year, NPP's Trade & Industry Committee, led by Mr. Alan Kyerematen, met AGI's Economic Affairs Committee to present, among others, NPP's 5-year Accelerated Industrial Development Programme which was due to be launched. He therefore noted that this gathering was a continuation of a dialogue we have already began. He remarked that some of the proposals under discussion will be captured in the MoU that the NPP will be signing with the AGI as a follow up to this meeting.

AGI President was of the view that should NPP come into office, AGI will like to see clear commitment to a structured dialogue with industry, so AGI can consistently engage and resolve issues affecting industry on fast track basis to be able to achieve the industrial development objectives of this country. 

Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo emphasized his commitment to reduce the cost of doing business in Ghana by reducing taxes as a way to grow and promote industries. Nana Addo's team included Mr. Alan Kyerematen and Dr. Kofi Konadu Apraku (both former Ministers of Trade and Industry); Mr. R. Yofi Grant, Mrs Otiko Djaba, among others.

Nana Addo Dankwa elucidated the vision for industrialization and said his administration will create an enabling environment for business to accelerate economic transformation. He presented the Association with a copy of the Party's Manifesto, upon which he seeks to transform the economy. He re-echoed NPP's position to set up an Industrial Development Fund to support critical private sector industrial initiatives as one of the means to tackling the rising unemployment levels.

His agenda for job creation, he said, would be underpinned by, among others, pursuing aggressive industrialisation and value-addition to agricultural produce, providing tax and related incentives for manufacturing sectors such as agro-processing, light industries, pharmaceuticals, petrochemicals, garments and textiles, providing a reliable and cost effective mix of energy supply for businesses, providing the necessary incentives for private sector participation in and pursuing policies that would reduce interest rates.

A government under his leadership, would realign the focus of the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre to attract financing  into selected strategic industries and also eliminate the current system of political patronage and restructure existing state-sponsored micro-finance schemes such as MASLOC to provide credit for SMEs, while strengthening oversight responsibilities over privately- financed micro-finance institutions.

On Energy, AGI stated that should NPP Government come to power, it will work with the NPP to ensure the re-classification of electricity tariff, in order not to disadvantage Industry. In this regard, AGI  will be glad to work with the NPP to ensure effective implementation of the country's medium to long-term Strategic National Energy Plan (SNEP).

AGI Council Members who were at the forum included Mr. Humphrey Ayim-Darke, Vice President (SMEs); Nana Dr. Owusu-Afari, Immediate Past President; Mr. A. Appiah-Menka, Past President; Dr. Prince Kofi Kludjeson, Past President; Mr. Gopal C. Vasu, and also National Executive Committee.members, Mrs Nora Bannerman-Abbott.

 

AGI Pays a Courtesy Call on Otumfou

The National Council of the Association of Ghana Industries (AGI) and key members paid a courtesy call on Asantehene, His Majesty Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, at the Manhyia Palace as part of the activities of the 56th Annual General Meeting in Kumasi on Wednesday, 2nd November 2016.

The Vice President of the Association in charge of Large Scale, Dr. Yaw Adu-Gyamfi, expressed AGI's gratitude for the audience given to them despite the busy occasion of the Awukudae Festival, Wednesday which keeps Otumfuo busy receiving numerous guests from all over the world.

The leadership of Association of Ghana Industries (AGI) also expressed gratitude for delegating the Adontenhene, Nana Adu Gyamfi to attend and share ideas with AGI, earlier in the morning during the 56th Annual General Meeting Plenary Session at the Golden Tulip Hotel.

AGI appealed to Asantehene for land to construct an industrial park, which will facilitate industrial activities within the region. Dr. Adu-Gyamfi said, “Once we get this industrial park, we would be able to bring businesses and industries to Ashanti Region to create employment for the youth churning out of our schools”. Otumfuo Osei Tutu II promised to facilitate the release of land to AGI to promote industrialization in Kumasi.

According to Otumfuo, the practice by the chiefs over the past years has cost the region in which big companies like Kinapharma Ltd, etc., had not had land to establish their businesses as citizens.

 

SME Competitiveness Survey Report Launched in Accra

The Association of Ghana Industries (AGI), in partnership with International Trade Centre (ITC), has launched the SMEs Competitiveness Survey Report at the Coconut Grove Hotel in Accra.

The SME Competitiveness Outlook is an annual flagship research report, focusing on the factors influencing the performance of small and medium enterprises across global markets. The survey endorses findings of the AGI Business Barometer Survey which often identifies lack of credit and its high cost, among others, as the major challenges facing SMEs in the country.

At the launch attended by various stakeholders, including the Ministry of Trade and Industry, Federation of Associations of Ghanaian Exporters (FAGE) and members of the Association of Ghana Industries, Mr. Humphrey Ayim-Darke, Vice President of AGI for SMEs, said “the information on our SMEs is very critical to planning, but as a country, we have not been able to keep pace with the need for industrial data for economic development let alone on our SMEs, despite the significant proliferation of SMEs in our economy. The SME Competitiveness Outlook should give our planners and policymakers a better insight into our SMEs and prospects for improving their competitiveness, but the country has not used industry data effectively for economic development”.

“It must be updated regularly to maintain its relevance and I am happy that ITC intends making this an annual survey for Ghana. May I seize this opportunity to make an appeal to all our SMEs that we all have a shared responsibility as business people to volunteer information about our businesses to facilitate the ITC survey administration process in Ghana in subsequent years. Perhaps the challenge may be to find ways to convert information into a public asset without compromising private rights and values,” he noted.

The Director for Industry at the Ministry of Trade and Industry, Papa Kow Bartels, said “SMEs, which constitute over 80 per cent of businesses, are very important to the country”.

The Ministry, he said, “is putting together a policy for the sector which will help promote its development. To become competitive, SMEs should inject technology and innovation into their operations, which could cushion them without necessarily having to rely on government protection. In all that we do, we should look at injecting technology and innovation into our operations”, adding that the government would do its part to support the growth of SMEs.

He continued that, “As the coming year unfolds, we are going to work closely with industry to have regional and national industrial fairs which will be on a yearly basis. And we will encourage SMEs which are innovative to showcase what they have, which is what will push this country into the middle-income status we are talking of.”

Mr. Anthony Sikpa, President of the Federation of Associations of Ghanaian Exporters (FAGE), said the country, indeed, had not done much to diversify its exports. “I see several items that we can take to the export market and we are not doing that. New market development is not cheap at all. That is why in most places it is the state that leads. I have seen it done in Kenya and I have seen it being done in Ethiopia and elsewhere.”

Mr. Sikpa added that, today, our pineapple industry is on its knees thanks to what happened in Costa Rica. That country was led by a big company – Chiquita.

 

MCE for STMA calls for Greater Collaboration with Private Sector for Economic Growth

The Metropolitan Chief Executive Officer, Sekondi-Takoradi Metropolitan Assembly (STMA), Hon Charlotte Otuwa Odum, has called for collaboration between public and private actors for the total development of the nation. She made this call in a speech read on her behalf by the Presiding Member of the STMA, Mr. Yusuf Kofi Gyampson, at the 13th Regional Annual General Meeting of the Western/Central Regional Branch of Association of Ghana Industries (AGI) in Takoradi on 13th October 2016 on the theme “Public-Private Sector Collaboration for Development”.

According to the MCE, the private sector is rightly described as the engine of growth because it is undoubtedly endowed with financial and human resources to complement the planning and administrative roles of the public sector to bridge the infrastructure and social service deficit. On account of this, Hon. Odum said with concerted efforts and the right synergies, there was a lot that the public and private sector practitioners can achieve to improve the socio-economic conditions of Ghanaians and for that matter the people of Sekondi-Takoradi.

She highlighted some projects the Sekondi-Takoradi Metropolitan Assembly had undertaken to buttress her call for greater partnership between the public and private sector, to provide sustained socio-economic development. Notable amongst these projects were the construction and management of the Kojokorom Transport Terminal in Takoradi under Build Operate and Transfer (BOT) agreement. The rest included waste collection services by private waste contractors, revenue collection on business operating permits, property rate, outdoor advertising and on-street traffic management.

Encouraged by the successes chalked up over the period under Public-Private Partnership (PPP) initiatives, the MCE invited private sector actors, particularly members of the AGI in the Western Region, to partner the STMA to undertake a number of landmark projects earmarked to be executed under PPP arrangements. The projects include reconstruction of the Takoradi Central Market, redevelopment of the Takoradi City Centre into ultra-modern residential and commercial buildings, construction of an ultra-modern city car park at Takoradi Ebirewfom and a haulage transport terminal at Sofokrom.

The MCE said on the backdrop of what had been achieved by the STMA through PPP initiatives, the benefits of public-private collaboration cannot be over-emphasized. According to her “it ensures higher quality and timely provision of public services, brings private sector expertise and experiences to bear, ensures effective public sector resources management and achieves greater efficiency than traditional methods of public services”. She said her call on private business organisations and public institutions to pool resources was the best way to serve the interests of citizens who are end-users and beneficiaries of such collaboration.

 

Western/Central AGI Organises 13th RAGM

The 13th Regional Annual General Meeting (RAGM) of the Western/Central Regional Branch of the Association of Ghana Industries was organised on 13th October 2016 at Akroma Plaza Hotel in Takoradi. The well-attended RAGM, which was organised on the theme “Public-Private Sector Collaboration for Development”, draw member-participants and other invited business owners and managers from both regions.

In his address, Mr. Joseph Bawuah, the Regional Chairperson of the Western/Central Regional Branch of AGI, said the theme for the RAGM - “Public-Private Sector Collaboration for Development” - was carefully chosen to ostensibly create a platform to move the engagement of the private sector in the development efforts of the country from mere discussions to real action. He acknowledged efforts made in the past to make the private sector a capable partner to the government for national development and said that he believes that it is about time to fully operationalize the position of the private sector as the engine of growth of the country. He also drummed home the point that beyond the desire for Public-Private Partnerships, which is not in doubt, the range, level of competence, sincerity, all-inclusiveness and accountability that must accompany the process to guarantee success and mutual benefits must be openly defined with certainty.

Mr. James Asare-Adjei, the President of the AGI, in his address, bemoaned the state of collaboration between the public and private sector, particularly in the Western Region after the discovery and exploration of oil in commercial quantities, noting that the expectation of a boom in industrial activities in the region has so far not been met. He therefore urged the Sekondi Takoradi Metropolitan Assembly and all other state authorities to do more in creating the needed friendly business environment to enable industrialists to grow to higher height in the Western Region in particular and the Nation as a whole. The President further challenged members and other business owners and managers to strive and put systems in place to ensure that their businesses lived up to second and third generation owners. He expressed displeasure over the fact that many companies in the Western Region which hitherto did excellently collapsed after the demise of their owners.

The National Treasurer of AGI, Mrs Leticia Osafo-Addo, tasked members of the Association to invest in research and development to ensure product consistency to enable them to compete well on the market. She further stressed the need for companies, especially the SMEs, to work hard, do more to meet international standards, and do due diligence in conducting all its activities.

The Regional Trade & Industry Officer of the Ministry of Trade & Industry and the Western Regional Chairman of the Ghana National Chamber of Commerce who were present also gave few remarks at the forum. Speaking on the theme for the RAGM, Mr. Isaac Yankson of MoTI, said with strong implementation directives in public-private collaboration arrangements and the promotion of subcontracting among industrialists, a pool of resources could be generated to help boost industrial development in the country.

On his part, Mr. Stephan Miezan, the Regional Chairman of the Ghana National Chamber of Commerce, said as members of the Private Sector, which is the engine of growth in every economy, the GNCC would continue to urge the government to provide an enabling environment for growth, “because our contribution to GDP cannot be over-emphasised”. 

 

 

5th AGI Ghana Industry Awards: Pioneer Food Cannery is the Overall Best Awards Winner

The 5th AGI Ghana Industry Awards held on Saturday, 5th November 2016, had seven award categories and 21 sector awards. Some of the sector awards were Beverage, Automobile, Agribusiness, Electricals and Electronics, Oil and Gas, and Pharmaceuticals.

The highest and the overall Best Industrial Company of the Year  went to Pioneer Food Cannery Limited in Tema while Jospong Group won the Best Employer Award.

The glamorous event, held at the State Banquet Hall, State House, in Accra, was on the theme: "Growing Local Industry for Export Development and Job Creation".

It was instituted to honour companies that had performed excellently in various sectors of the economy during the year under review.

Mr. James Asare-Adjei, the President of the Association of Ghana Industries, who gave an address, indicated that Ghana risked losing its industrial base “if the government does not step in to address challenges confronting the manufacturing, agricultural, processing, textile, and other key sectors.

According to him, Ghana over the years has lost its once vibrant sectors such as glass manufacturing, vehicle assembling, textiles and agro processing.

 

"Industry continues to shrink and we risk losing our industrial base if government policies do not address the challenges within the economy to revive the industrial sector," he said.

Mr. Asare-Adjei stated that the high unemployment rate in the country would reduce if industries experience sustainable growth. He said such growth was particularly crucial in the private sector as it was the vehicle through which the country could achieve development.

Mrs. Nora Bannerman-Abbott, the Chairperson for the AGI Awards Committee and an Executive Member of the Association, appealed for government's intervention to cushion businesses against harsh economic conditions. "Government must sit up and focus on addressing pressing issues of businesses rather than increasing taxes, which does not help us in any way," she suggested.

She also took the opportunity to admonish small and medium enterprises (SMEs) which will want to be considered for awards to ensure that they had at least a standard company profile, audited accounts or management accounts, among other requirements.

 

Dr. Abdul Nashiru Issahaku, the Governor of Bank of Ghana, said 2015 was a challenging year for the country's economy due to macroeconomic instability as a result of domestic and external factors. He indicated that the central bank and the government had, through effective measures, been able to stabilize the situation.

“Indeed, the business community will acknowledge that from the beginning of this year, there has been stability in all the relevant economic indicators due to prudent measures instituted by the Bank of Ghana and the Ministry of Finance. We are confident that the stability will be long term,” Dr. Issahaku stated.

For his part, the Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, Mr. Murtala Mohammed, commended the AGI for its immense contribution to policy formulation, which had helped in shaping the country's development. He added that the government would continue to work with the Association because it recognises the significant roles that it plays in addressing unemployment in the country.

           

Other awardees were the Accra Brewery Limited, Vodafone Ghana, Stanbic Bank, Blue Skies Limited, CFAO Ghana Limited, Tropical Cable & Conductor Limited, Nallem Clothing and Holiday Inn. The rest were Tullow Oil Ghana Limited, Wire Weaving Limited, Dannex Limited, Unilever Ghana Limited, B5 Plus Limited, Qualiplast Limited, Adwinsa Publications, Sekaf Ghana Limited and Invest In Africa.

 

 

SAMBA Foods Story: Entrepreneurial Lessons For All

 

Samba Foods Company Ltd, founded by Mrs Leticia Osafo-Addo, was initially named Processed Foods & Spices Limited until 2015 when the name was changed to Samba Foods Ltd after listing on the Ghana Stock Exchange.

 

Mrs Osafo-Addo started the enterprise when she returned from Germany as an Anaesthetic and Intensive Therapist. And she shares her story as follows: “I saw the demand for the local hot pepper sauce 'shito' at the time, but there was no readymade one on the market. I saw the market niche to produce shito in commercial quantity for distribution and my company was the first to package shito and place it on our market shelves.

 

It all started when I had an outstation clinic in Dawhenya, where there is an irrigation project. I acquired an acre of land and used the irrigation system to cultivate pepper. After harvesting the pepper, I processed it into shito and bottled it. My first clients were friends, relatives and associates. They gave me their feedback and from then, in 1983, I increased production and supplied to Kingsway Stores in Accra.

 

Initially, I just started with the idea to produce with no business plan; I was using my own concept, 'just produced, get jars and bottle it and supply it without considering proper packaging and labelling'. I was able to identify a company that produces jars locally so I started buying the jars from them until I had a major setback. After I supplied with the new plastic jar to Kingsway on a Saturday, I was called on Monday to the shop only to find out that the whole floor of the shop was spilled with the shito. The containers were not suitable so they blasted. I was broken down; I lost every investment in the supply, moreover, all the raw materials were bought on credit. The setback was as a result of lack of research and development, innovation and planning.  

 

One good mark of a real entrepreneur is persistence, it is said. Persistence breaks resistance. Through the setback, I had pieces of counsel from the Kingsway Shop Manager and others so I started looking for quality containers for my products and it became the turning point of my business. I was introduced to 'recycled' containers from Togo, and I got perfect jars, not only  for the shito, but also for spices as well. Challenges always present opportunities, the flip side of challenge. Later on, I was able to discover perfect glass jars from France through the help of CFAO and that was really a breakthrough. The contact person at CFAO helped with all the necessary information on ordering and importing the glass jars. The lesson here is that if you wish to order a product beyond your jurisdiction, you need to get a contact and reliable person who understands issues and can provide accurate and reliable information on the product you intend to order.

 

In our effort to improve our quality, we got a contract from the Ghana Armed Forces to supply shito to their Base Supply Depot for onward supply to peacekeeping operations centres throughout the world - Cambodia, Liberia, Rwanda, etc. This boosted our business. Our packaging gave us the competitive edge as we started supplying to all major shops in Ghana.

 

We invested a lot in packaging, labelling and branding to give the company a professional touch; we involved professionals to provide first class service and products.

 

I wish to point out that diversification in business is important but you must be aligned with your allied product portfolios. We added groundnut paste and today we are the leading peanut-processing company in Ghana, the only company that is well resourced by way of an automated peanut-processing plant.

 

Another challenge that hit the company was cash flow, because the biggest and only client, Ghana Armed Forces, delayed our payment for two years, which actually brought us almost to the verge of collapse. My bankers in whom I reposed much confidence and trust also failed us. They refused to bail us out. The lesson here is that, you do not have to depend solely on one source for your cash flow.

 

Fortunately for us, it was around the same period that we won the Marketing Woman of the Year award from CIMG in 2001, and that added goodwill to our efforts.

 

We later added fruit jams and marmalades to our product portfolios.

 

SAMBA has come a long way and we currently supply shito to KFC and also produce groundnut paste as a raw material for Cocoa Processing Company for the production of Choco Delight. 

 

SAMBA Foods has won twenty two (22) awards, and the key ones are:

1. CIMG Marketing Woman of the Year 2001

2. Star of the Volta - awarded by the late ex-President J.E.A. Mills

3. Another Award from Cote d'Ivoire

4. Hall of Fame Award

5. The Women's Excellence Award by the Ministries

6. West African Nobles Award

7. The Best Listing Company of the Year  

8. The Most Influential African Business Woman in Business and 

    Governance

9. An Award from India

10. GIPC awarded Samba Foods with a Vehicle for being a

    Member of Ghana Club 100

 

 

Reroy Cable Ltd, A Member of AGI Enlisted onto Club 100

 

 

Reroy Cables Limited, an indigenous giant cable manufacturing company set up in 1992 in Tema, has been enlisted on the Ghana Club 100 ranking at the 15th edition of the Club 100 Awards ceremony held in Accra recently. The company is an ISO 90001 certified.

 

The Ghana Club 100 (GC 100) is an annual compilation of the top 100 companies in Ghana to give due recognition to successful enterprise building; it was launched in 1998 by the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC). The GC 100 is about corporate excellence. Companies making it into the GC 100 are to serve as role models for the private sector and provide a forum for Corporate Ghana to interact with Government at a high level.

 

Reroy Cables Ltd is a Member of the Association of Ghana Industries and the Chief Executive Officer, Mrs Kate Quartey-Papafio, is the Chairperson of the Electricals & Electronics Sector and the Vice Chairperson of the Tema Regional Branch of the Association. The company currently operates at the Tema Heavy Industrial Area for its manufacturing business but has offices at the Kwame Nkrumah Interchange area, The World Trade Centre and Opera Square.  The company produces electrical cables and accessories, conductors, etc., predominantly for the international (export) market and has significant domestic market presence as well. Recently, the company completed the construction of a new manufacturing plant, making it the largest electrical cable manufacturing plant in Ghana.

 

The company has since grown to become one of the leading and successful cable manufacturers in the country and the West African sub-region. The company is focused on helping to develop the country's power sector using modern research methods to transform its brand.

 

Mrs Quartey-Papafio said Reroy Cables Ltd, which is the flagship brand in the company, was rolling out new products onto the Ghanaian and the sub-regional markets in the not-too-distant future. Aside its latest feat, Reroy was awarded the Manufacturing Company of the Year 2014 at the Chartered Institute of Marketing, Ghana (CIMG) Award Ceremony in 2015. The company and its CEO have won various awards, which include the Best Entrepreneur, Best Woman Entrepreneur 2012, Entrepreneur of the Year, Marketing Woman of the Year 2013, Osagyefo Entrepreneurship 2014 and Business Woman of the Year 2016.

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