Posts Tagged ‘#citizenshipbyinvestmentprograms’

Saint Lucia hails the 12th Annual IREX Citizenship and Residency Conclave a success

CaribPR Wire, Castries, St. Lucia, Sept. 13, 2022: The Citizenship by Investment Programme of Saint Lucia participated in the 12th Edition of the “IREX Citizenship and Residency Conclave” over the past weekend. The two-day event took place in New Delhi, India, from the 9th to 10th September 2022 at the Le Meridian Hotel.

The Saint Lucia Citizenship by Investment Programme was launched in 2016, making it the newest in the Eastern Caribbean region and it also happens to be one of the fastest growing programmes. It was recently recognised as the world’s third best programme according to the CBI Index 2022, published by the PWM Magazine of Financial Times. St Lucia received a total of 78 marks ranking it third out of thirteen countries that were evaluated for the 2022 CBI Index

The “IREX Citizenship and Residency Conclave” is hosted annually to promote residency and citizenship programmes offered by various countries from across the globe to High Net Worth Individuals (HNWIs). Presentations from several citizenship consultants, real estate developers and investment firms took place throughout the first day.

According to statistics from 2017, there were approximately 270,000 HNWIs in India, with these numbers expected to increase to around 950,000 by 2027. India also has the second largest millionaire outflow in the world with numerous individuals and families seeking foreign residency and citizenship.

The Saint Lucia Citizenship by Investment Unit was represented at IREX and gave potential applicants the opportunity to find out more about the Eastern Caribbean island thereby allowing them to explore new investment options.

The CIP of Saint Lucia is an attractive option for applicants seeking alternate citizenship as the minimum investment outlay for a single applicant is USD 100,000.

The geographical location of Saint Lucia makes it an extremely desirable location due to the global mobility that it offers as it is close to many major business hubs in the Americas. The country offers a safe and secure lifestyle in beautiful surroundings, world-class schooling facilities, and a stable currency. The Eastern Caribbean Dollar (XCD) has been pegged at a fixed rate to the US dollar since July 1976.

Saint Lucia is an excellent choice for the investor because business expansion and portfolio diversification is possible as there are many favourable opportunities to plan and spread ones wealth due to the wide range of investment programmes. Backed by a strong due diligence process, the programme is one of the most transparent in the industry as it gives investors and partners access to information on how the funds are used. Investments in countries such as Saint Lucia also tend to offer considerably more stable returns because of reduced political risk from upheavals or conflict.

Saint Lucia also has a large Non-Resident Indian (NRI) community, especially in the business sector. Tourism, real estate, banking and manufacturing are the prominent business sectors in the country, generating almost half of the country’s total revenue.

Obtaining alternative citizenship from Saint Lucia comes with many non-economic benefits as well. These include reduced citizenship application timelines without the bureaucracy, extending citizenship to family, a high standard of living and enjoying the general benefits that come with living in modern, diverse countries. Other key benefits include access to modern healthcare facilities and quality education for the children of investors. Small island countries rank high in terms of freedom of expression, civil liberties, and political rights which all contribute to a high standard of living.

Being an island country, it also offers a tranquil environment; it is home to a pair of dramatically tapered mountains on its west coast with beautiful volcanic beaches along the coast. Saint Lucia is home to numerous spectacular reef diving sites that make it perfect for the adventure enthusiast

Saint Lucia’s CIP programme is highly acclaimed, well-ranked and well-developed which gives individuals from all over the world the confidence that they would be making the right choice if they opted to take up the offer for alternate citizenship from St Lucia.

The IREX Conclave 2022 was a great success and gave investors from all over the world the opportunity to interact with the Eastern Caribbean country representatives and they got a better understanding on the technicalities of the Citizenship Programme offered by Saint Lucia. Investors attending the conclave in New Delhi were able to explore the wide variety of benefits that the Saint Lucia CIP offers, which include:

  • Lifetime citizenship that can be passed on to future generations
  • Efficient and confidential processing of applications
  • Full resident status, including the right to live and work in Saint Lucia
  • No residency requirements.

The Government of St Lucia is meticulous about the use of funds generated through their Citizenship by Investment Programme with funds being utilised in the completion of developmental projects and upliftment of infrastructure, all of which benefit their citizens.

The IREX Citizenship and Residency Conclave was the perfect opportunity for the Citizenship Programme of Saint Lucia to promote itself and for investors from all over the globe to find out about the extensive benefits of investing in their CIP Programme.

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Owner of the longest standing CBI programme, St Kitts and Nevis, takes top spot at this year’s annual CBI Index

CARIBPR WIRE, Basseterre, Aug. 24, 2022: The Caribbean nation of St Kitts and Nevis tops this year’s CBI Index rankings for offering one of the best citizenship by investment (CBI) programmes in the world.

St Kitts and Nevis was rated against 12 other countries with operational CBI programmes, which, in 2022, include Antigua and Barbuda, Austria, Cambodia, Dominica, Egypt, Grenada, Jordan, Malta, Montenegro, St Lucia, Turkey and Vanuatu.

The CBI Index, published by PWM Magazine, a publication from the Financial Times in collaboration with CS Global Partners, is a rating system designed to measure the performance and appeal of global CBI programmes across a diverse range of indicators and its purpose is to provide a rigorous and systematic mechanism for appraising programmes in order to facilitate the decision-making process for individuals considering them, and to bring value to the CBI industry

The primary methodological objective of the CBI Index is to isolate pillars that measure CBI programme features and jurisdictional desirability. The nine pillars that constitute this year’s CBI Index include: Freedom of Movement, Standard of Living, Minimum Investment Outlay, Mandatory Travel or Residence, Citizenship Timeline, Ease of Processing, Due Diligence, Family and, Certainty of Product.

The country received full marks – 10 out of 10 in the Mandatory Travel or Residence, Citizenship Timeline, Ease of Processing, Due Diligence, Family and Certainty of Product pillars.

The Mandatory Travel or Residence pillar examines the travel or residence conditions imposed on applicants both before and after the granting of citizenship.

St Kitts and Nevis, along with the rest of the Caribbean countries, does not have any travel or residency requirements for CBI applicants. This makes it easy for busy entrepreneurs to continue running their businesses and still be eligible to get their second citizenship while not having to fulfil any minimum stay requirements.

St Kitts and Nevis scored top marks for the Citizenship Timeline pillar – which looks at the average time taken for citizenship to be secured by the applicant – due to the Accelerated Application Process where for an additional fee, an applicant can obtain their citizenship within a maximum of 60 days instead of the standard processing time of approximately three months.

Ease of Processing measures the end-to-end complexity of the CBI application process. St Kitts and Nevis makes the process of obtaining citizenship easy and straightforward, the country has an official government website and a dedicated CBI unit. It has also done away with burdensome application requirements such as interviews, language, culture or history tests, proof of minimum business experience and evidence of the purchase of tangible or intangible assets.

The overall effortlessness of the application process is a particularly important component, and the promise of a smooth, hassle-free process can generate readiness to engage with a programme.

One of the areas where Caribbean nations really differentiate their programmes, is the area of due diligence. St Kitts and Nevis’ due diligence process is multi-faceted and is undertaken by the country’s CBI unit, law enforcement and external third-party due-diligence agencies from the UK and USA. This ensures that the process is stringent and comprehensive, applicants are required to provide either fingerprints or a biometric passport, police certificates from both an applicant’s country of residence as well as their country of citizenship and comprehensive supporting information in respect of an applicant’s source of funds.

The CBI Index recognises that the rise of increasingly complex family relationships is driving investors to seek programmes that allow for a more diverse range of family members to be included under a primary application. St Kitts and Nevis retains a perfect score for their family friendliness as, in addition to a main applicant, they allow the applicant’s spouse, children under 18 and over 18 in certain circumstances, siblings, parents and grandparents of both the main applicant or their spouse to be included in an application.

St Kitts and Nevis’ CBI programme is one of the oldest in the industry, having been established in 1984, it assures investors of a certainty of product. The CBI Index measures certainty across five different dimensions: longevity, popularity and renown, stability, reputation, and adaptability – aspects which St Kitts and Nevis’ programme can tick off confidently.

In the 2022 CBI Index, the Freedom of Movement pillar measures the relative strength of each country’s citizenship based on three equally weighted factors: the number of destinations to which a country’s passport allows travel without restriction, the number of prime business hubs to which it provides access, and the degree to which a given citizenship provides settlement rights in other nations. St Kitts and Nevis scored a seven out of 10 in this area as it offers visa-free or visa-on-arrival access to 156 countries.

The Minimum Investment Outlay pillar measures one of the most practical and foremost considerations of CBI: how much capital is required for the investor to become an eligible applicant for the programme of their choosing.

St Kitts and Nevis offers one of the most affordable routes to alternative citizenship, and even though it ended its limited time offer of US$150,000 for a family of four at the end of December 2021, it did not impact its score, five out of 10, as the scores are based on minimum investments for a single applicant.

The St Kitts and Nevis CBI programme is a family-friendly route for those looking for a reputable and trusted programme that prioritises both applicants and its citizens – the stringent due diligence process upon application ensures that only honest hard-working families are approved. The citizenship can also be passed down to future generations, giving investors who want to leave a legacy, peace of mind.

Download the full CBI Index here, to get further insights into the CBI industry and a full evaluation of the CBI programmes of the 12 other jurisdictions in the rankings.

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Dominica tops the CBI Index for sixth consecutive time, scores full marks in six out of nine pillars

CARIBPR WIRE, Roseau, Aug. 23, 2022: The Commonwealth of Dominica came out tops in the annual CBI Index, a rating system designed to measure the performance and appeal of global citizenship by investment (CBI) programmes across a diverse range of indicators.

The CBI Index is intended as a practical tool to compare CBI programmes as a whole and specific aspects of each programme. These aspects are reflected by the CBI Index’s nine pillars which Freedom of Movement, Standard of Living, Minimum Investment Outlay, Mandatory Travel or Residence, Citizenship Timeline, Ease of Processing, Due Diligence, Family and Certainty of Product.

Number one for six consecutive years, Dominica beat 11 other nations with active citizenship by investment programmes and scored full marks in the areas of Minimum Outlay, Mandatory travel or residence, Ease of Processing, Due Diligence, Family and Certainty of Product.

These nations include Antigua and Barbuda, Austria, Cambodia, Egypt, Grenada, Jordan, Malta, Montenegro, St Lucia, Turkey and Vanuatu.

“For the last 29 years we have ensured that our CBI programme really meets the needs of an ever-changing global investor. We’re proud to yet again be ranked as one of the best CBI offering in the world and look to increase our scores across all nine pillars next year,” commented Dominica’s Prime Minister, Dr Roosevelt Skerrit.

Dominica continues to be on a concerted drive to offer investors – through its Economic Diversification Fund and government-approve real estate options – a reliable safe haven amidst the constant global upheavals. Accompanied by a robust due diligence process, Dominica uses a multi-layered process in partnership with third-party due diligence firms from the USA and the UK, investors can be confident that they are buying a product that will enhance their portfolio.

Dominica’s scoring in the nine pillars:

Freedom of Movement: Dominica scored seven out of 10 as the country offers visa-free and visa-on-arrival access to 14 countries across the world, including the globe’s most sought-after business hubs.

Freedom of movement within and between countries is paramount to global investors seeking second citizenship and this year, the Index placed emphasis on the total number of countries and territories that can be visited without applying for a visa.

Standard of Living: Dominica scored five in this area due to its low average expected years of schooling, but it must be noted that the country has the highest life expectancy at 78.2 and a perfect freedom score when compared to Egypt, Jordan, St Kitts and Nevis and Vanuatu – who also shared the same score.

Minimum Investment Outlay: Dominica received a perfect score of 10 here as the minimum investment outlay for their CBI programme is only US$100,000 per applicant, one of the lowest citizenship investment outlays in the industry.

Mandatory Travel or Residence: As last year, Dominica kept its score of 10 out of 10 as the country does not require mandatory travel or residence in the country for processing its citizenship application.

Citizenship Timeline: Dominica scored a nine in the citizenship timeline pillar. The pillar accesses the duration to get the application processed.

Ease of Processing: The citizenship by investment unit of Dominica continues to make the application process straightforward and more robust, helping the country secure a score full marks in this area.

Due Diligence: Dominica is recognized for its stringent and comprehensive due diligence checks on applicants seeking second citizenship and once again retained the score of 10 for due diligence processing. The country requires the provision of either fingerprints or a biometric passport and has robust external due diligence procedures that are undertaken by internationally renowned third-party due diligence firms.

Family: As Dominica allows main applicants to add additional dependents under a single application, once again making it easy to bring in additional family members, the country scored 10 under this pillar.

Certainty of Product: Dominica, along with St Kitts and Nevis, attained a perfect score for Certainty of Product Pillar thanks to the programme’s longevity, popularity, renown, stability, and adaptability. The CBI Index also lauded Dominica for its transparent two-track investment routes.

Regarded as an industry voice and reputable benchmark for CBI programmes across the globe, this year’s CBI Index offers readers a glimpse of the possibility that could in the CBI industry should all relevant parties cooperate.

The current turmoil has certainly brought a negative spotlight to the investment migration industry and overlooked the fundamentals of CBI – offering honest, hardworking families and entrepreneurs to explore and participate in meaningful global opportunities, especially where they have been let down by their own home countries.

Findings in the CBI Index state that in 2023, it is predicted over 125,000 millionaires will look to relocate to more secure and attractive destinations around the world and this trend is expected to continue and increase to 2030. Political fragmentation, instability, social polarisation are some of the reasons why investors look for second citizenship options.

It is for this reason that countries like the Commonwealth of Dominica are a popular investment choice, offering political and economic stability, a currency pegged against the US-dollar and, even more appealing is an eco-conscious government working its way to be carbon-neutral and sustainable.

“People who invest in our programme can be 100% sure that they are also investing in a country that cares about the planet and one that is taking tangible, measurable steps to protect the planet,” continues Prime Minister Skerrit.

The CBI Index is the world’s most definitive guide on citizenship by investment and is published today by PWM Magazine, a publication from the Financial Times in collaboration with CS Global Partners.

Download and read the full report here.

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Saint Lucia repositions Citizenship Programme under new slogan “Beyond the Passport”: CS Global Partners

CARIBPR WIRE, London, July 14, 2022: The citizenship by investment programme of Saint Lucia is one of the youngest economic citizenship programmes in the Caribbean. The government has set up a dedicated Citizenship by Investment Board that oversees all the operations and assists investors while facilitating unmatched benefits for the country and its people.

The Saint Lucia Citizenship by Investment Programme Unit, a statutory body of the government is marketing and repositioning the programme under a new slogan called “Beyond the Passport.”

The Head of the Citizenship by Investment Programme Unit, Mc Claude Emmanuel said the unit is making the programme more effective for locals as well as for investors. He noted that the funds generated by the CIP of Saint Lucia are used for the development of the country, and the impact must benefit every Saint Lucian.

“Funds generated by the CIP are important for Saint Lucia. The government generates revenue from the donation offered through the programme, which is then spent on different development projects island wide. The revenue benefits social sectors, such as schools, healthcare, roads and housing,” said Mc Claude Emmanuel.

He further explained the importance of different investment options, including the National Economic Development Fund, which is also known as the Fund Option, “For the country, the Citizenship by Investment Programme holds immense importance.”

Saint Lucia’s Citizenship by Investment programme is the latest in the Caribbean region and is on par with some of the best programmes in the region. Launched in 2016, Saint Lucia has performed exceptionally well in the 2021 CBI Index, published by the PWM Magazine of Financial Times. It came out top in three pillars of excellence, namely minimum investment outlay, mandatory travel or residence and ease of processing.

Saint Lucia has been moving ahead with plans to position itself as a notable alternative to global investors in the investment mobility industry. As the world is dealing with uncertainty, entrepreneurs have been looking for stable, safe as well as peaceful destinations in which to move or start their businesses. Economic citizenship is the right choice for them. Investors can protect and grow their wealth by investing in alternative citizenship, which helps in portfolio diversification as well as wealth planning.

An investor can apply for alternative citizenship of Saint Lucia through the National Economic Fund Investment, most commonly known as the Fund Option under which the investors contribute to the country’s socio-economic development. The minimum investment under this investment option is USD 100,000.

The CIP of Saint Lucia is backed by a strong, robust and vigorous due diligence check process. The Saint Lucia government has been working closely with regional and international third-party firms to conduct background checks. The Programme is one of the most transparent in the industry, giving investors and partners access to information on how funds are used.

Citizenship by Investment Programme of Saint Lucia provides the following benefits, including:

  • Makes the investor a global citizen.
  • Assists the applicant in portfolio diversification and wealth planning.
  • Helps in expanding business overseas.
  • Provides citizenship for life, which can be passed on to future generations.
  • Gives an opportunity to spend the rest of their life in a peaceful and safe environment.

The investor can apply for the alternative citizenship of Saint Lucia via the following steps:

Step 1: Completion of the application by applicants.

Step 2: Submit the application at the CIP Portal

Step 3: The Documents are then verified by the CIP Unit and undergo a strong due-diligence process.

Step 4: The board takes a decision on the selection and rejection of the application.

Step 5: The certification is the last process of the application.

About Saint Lucia:

Saint Lucia is a small, mountainous Eastern Caribbean Island. It is 21 miles south of Martinique and 26 miles north of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, all part of the Caribbean Sea’s Lesser Antilles islands. Saint Lucia’s lush landscape has a tropical rainforest with two lava spires called Pitons, which are the standout natural features.

The small island country is one of the world’s most beautiful and well-known destinations for travel enthusiasts. The attention of the travellers is largely drawn by the island’s majestic Piton Mountains, refreshing waterfalls, spectacular hiking trails, drive-in volcano, beautiful beaches, as well as exclusive restaurants.

The island is fondly called the Helen of the West as its beauty is comparable to Helen of Troy.

With regional specialities including pepperpots, langouste, and bouyon, Saint Lucia is a well-known Caribbean destination for those who enjoy trying new foods from different cultures. Seafood-based cuisine and locally cultivated products from farms to tables define the island’s culinary heritage.

Many people love travelling to the Caribbean country for its rich cuisines and organic agro products. The local food is influenced by French, East Indian and British dishes. The National Dish of Saint Lucia is Green Fig and Saltfish. The dish is typically prepared on weekends as well as especially during the Creole Day Festival, which is hosted in October.

Not only that, but Saint Lucia also endeavours to have its own coffee speciality in the region, which according to Deputy Prime Minister Ernest Hilaire will boom the tourism sector. He recently led discussions with an investor named Olmedo Vill, who aims to recommence coffee production in the country. He said over 13,000 plants will be cultivated by 2024. Not many people know that in the late 1700s, Saint Lucia and Martinique produced more than half of all coffee consumed in Europe. The country had more than 9 million coffee plants by the 1800s because of the country’s cool, shaded, volcanic ground and which is infused with citrus and spices.

Saint Lucia’s beautiful mountains, jungles, coasts, and historic locations showcase history and beauty and a great sense of living poetry add more touch to its tranquil environment.

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International CBI Units Put Extra Focus on Due Diligence Processes Amid Global Risks: CS Global Partners

CARIBPR WIRE, London, May 13, 2022:  The Financial Times’ Private Wealth Management (PWM) magazine has hosted a virtual panel discussion on the impact of global risks on countries with Citizenship by Investment (CBI) programmes.

As part of its PWM Perspectives series, the four-part panel discussion shares the views and insights of notable experts from major due diligence investigation agencies including Karen Kelly, director of strategy and development at Exiger; Eddy Leviton, chief operating officer at Fact WorldWide and Heyrick Bond Gunning, chief operating officer at S-RM.

In the last instalment, the panel moderated by Yuri Bender, editor in chief of Professional Wealth Management magazine, discusses how international CBI units are putting extra focus on due diligence processes amid global risks.

Global political risks are unfortunately a reality for many people across the world and investors across a number of jurisdictions are constantly looking for ways to distance themselves from restrictive regimes. This means that suitable safeguards need to be in place to ensure that the verification of applicants from territories deemed to be of higher risk which poses potential difficulties is of the strictest measures.

In response to this, Karen Kelly, director of strategy and development at Exiger says “Any risk needs to be viewed in context – whether its political exposure or jurisdictional risk. Each CBI country has their own risk appetite or threshold.”

“Intelligence agencies are not there to make decisions on behalf of countries as to who should or should not be approved but rather, they provide client countries with the facts and information needed to arm the CBI Units with the details they need to say this person is above or below the risk threshold we have for acceptance. It is important to also keep in mind that CBI Units will also consider the information they get from other sources such as law enforcement agencies.”

In response to Yuri Bender’s question of whether it is necessary to apply a deeper and enhanced due diligence process on high-risk applicants and a lighter version for others, Eddy Leviton, chief operating officer at Fact WorldWide says “We carry out the same stringent levels of investigations and checks for all applicants and dependents. We do not discriminate because when we get an application, we do not know whether that applicant will be high risk or low risk – whether they declare that they are wealthy or if they have managed to scrape enough money to purchase alternative citizenship, we apply the same verification and due diligence process to all applicants. We provide a risk profile to the client to enable them to make the ultimate decision.”

There is never a scenario where a ‘lighter’ version would be applied to an applicant when it comes to due diligence. All applicants undergo the same level of scrutiny, and should an applicant be flagged as high risk, additional due diligence will be applied.

A multi-layered due diligence system is an essential element of any successful CBI programme, as it combines internal government checks with research by specialist third-party due diligence firms and assessments by regional and international bodies. The rigour put around due diligence ensures that individuals of only the highest integrity are successful.

The Caribbean has been under immense pressure over the last few years – with deadly hurricanes increasing in number and tourism decreasing due to the pandemic. This has led some to believe that these jurisdictions sometimes ignore red flags instituted by pan-regional anti-crime bodies because they badly need the money.

Heyrick Bond Gunning, chief operating officer at S-RM says that these Caribbean nations are taking a “longer-term view in terms of the integrity of their programmes.”

“Caribbean nations have realised how vital CBI funds are to their economies and maintaining the integrity of the programmes is essential for the entire region. There’s no point in having a quick win if it will jeopardise their status, which could result in the banks not wanting to do business with them meaning the programmes fall over straight away anyway.

“Caribbean nations are working very hard to fix mistakes made in the past as they are acutely aware of the scrutiny they are under at the moment, and therefore we have not seen any problematic individuals being accepted into these programmes recently.”

When responding to how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the CBI industry and the due diligence which enables its functioning, Gunning adds, “There has been a huge reliance on tourism which has really dropped away over the last couple of years and that has certainly put a lot more pressure on the units.

“It’s important to note that the units have become a lot more focused on their processes and how they run themselves to become as efficient as possible so that they can ensure that they are making the most of opportunities in terms of the applicants presenting themselves, within that there hasn’t been a compromise on the due diligence as they understand how important a part it plays and they want to be able to hold their hands up and say ‘we have external third parties auditing all our applicants at least twice but usually three or four times when you bring in to play the security agencies or Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) to ensure that there isn’t a compromise on due diligence.”

Proper due diligence practices show a nation’s commitment to ensuring that its programme remains transparent and effective at evaluating potential candidates for citizenship. It is, therefore, a measure of that programme’s integrity.

Increasingly, strict anti-terrorism and anti-money laundering legislation has prompted some governments to exclude applicants of certain nationalities from their programmes or to restrict funds transferred from certain jurisdictions, in order to ensure compliance with international sanctions.

A multi-layered due diligence system, rooted in law and subject to procedural rules and policies, is an essential element of any successful CBI programme, as it combines internal government checks with research by specialist third-party due diligence firms, and assessments by regional and international bodies. Failures in due diligence harm the reputation of a host country and its programme, and these failures often have widespread consequences for the entire industry.

Funds from CBI programmes often provide a vital source of income for some countries, especially in times of crisis – as is often the case for Caribbean countries devastated by hurricanes – these countries value the investment that goes into their economies as it allows them to be economically self-sustainable.

“Caribbean nations are some of the most transparent in terms of reporting on their due diligence processes which has positively impacted their brand and reputation in the international market,” adds Paul Singh, director at CS Global Partners – an international government marketing agency.

“We have been doing ongoing work to help countries realise the importance of protecting and enhancing not only their reputation in the international community but also ensuring that their citizens and applicants know that they are investing in reputable and trusted brands for their businesses and families.”

Professional Wealth Management, from the FT Group, is the premier resource for private banking and mutual fund coverage in Europe, Asia and beyond.

Watch the full four-episode PWM Perspectives series on due diligence here.

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