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Leadership Is The Software Which Relies On A Vision, It Is People-Focused, Culture-Driven And Pivots On Trust- Price

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Introduction: Leadership Vs Management

I have always been fascinated by the concept of leadership – not management but leadership; because there is a difference.

 Stephen Covey, the American author most popularly known for his book, 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, said: “Management is efficiency in climbing the ladder of success; leadership determines whether the ladder is leaning against the right wall.”

 Colin Powell, former U.S. Secretary of State, said: “Leadership is the art of accomplishing more than the science of management says is possible”.

 And finally, Bill Owens, American politician and former Governor of Colorado said: “True leadership lies in guiding others to success. In ensuring that everyone is performing at their best, doing the work they are pledged to do and doing it well.”

To go a step further, let’s use the example of hardware and software – after all I am in the technology business!

For me, leadership is the software which relies on a vision, it is people-focused, culture-driven and pivots on trust.

On the other hand, management is the hardware inclusive of plans, strategies, processes and KPIs. And, although management is essential, it is reliant on leadership to achieve anything meaningful.
Ask yourself, what separates:
 Google from Yahoo
 Apple from Blackberry
 And, Richard Branson, CEO of the Virgin Group from Martin Winterkorn, former CEO of Volkswagen

I am certain that strong leadership would be the resounding response. Therefore, I believe we can safely conclude that the difference between the success and failure of any business is leadership.

Ladies and gentlemen, now more than ever, leading – and not simply managing – is needed.
We don’t need to look far to see that this is true.

 We exist in a business environment where competition is no longer limited to the man around the corner, but international companies and providers

 The customer base is more discerning, requiring increased convenience, shorter timelines in the provision of services and better value for money.

 We also have a front seat to see the unfolding of a dynamic political climate. Just have a look at the difference between the presidencies of Barack Obama and now, Donald Trump. Having just passed his six-month mark in office, The Trump presidency has been punctuated with scandals and the resignation of key officials, Sean Spicer being the most recent.

Colleagues, it is clear. We are living in a V.U.C.A. world.
A world that is Volatile. Uncertain. Complex. Ambiguous.

Surviving and thriving as a business leader in a VUCA world requires vision, sound judgement and adaptability.

Essentially, a leader that can Unlearn, Learn and Relearn.

Thomas Friedman, author of The World is Flat and noted New York Times Columnist said, “We are in a new world, using old tools”. Indeed, it can’t be business as usual because the rules of the business environment has changed. Consequently, to operate in this dispensation, we [as leaders] must adopt a new way of leading.

Colleagues, I believe that collaboration must be the foundation of leadership in these VUCA times. Leadership in this new dispensation, therefore, means:
 Inspiring others toward a challenging vision;
 Building consensus and commitment; and
 Introducing and managing change.

Let’s take a moment to address each of these fundamentals.

Inspiring Others toward a Challenging Vision

Ladies and gentlemen, inspiring others towards a challenging vision is often something that we, as business leaders, must do. Sure, we share our vision with investors, stakeholders and customers. However, the people that we need to inspire to make this vision a reality are our employees.

As we’re all aware, Elon Musk is the CEO of SpaceX – a company predicated on the use of rocket science, with the aim of colonising Mars. Between 2006 and 2009, the company created and manufactured Falcon 1, the first privately-developed liquid-fuel launch vehicle to go into orbit around the Earth.

However, on August 2, 2008, the flight of the Falcon 1 rocket failed as it propelled into space. It was a hard day. I am certain that staff were disillusioned… after all, they were being asked to do the impossible and had failed.

Dolly Singh, former head of talent acquisition for SpaceX, shared her account of the day with noted magazine, Business Insider. She said that Elon Musk, after the rocket failure, addressed the SpaceX staff as a matter of priority before addressing the media. He acknowledged that the flight did not get into outer space but they had achieved more than many others on this first attempt. He also encouraged his staff to hold fast to the vision that Falcon 1 represented, as he was not going to give up.

Dolly said that within moments, the energy of the room changed from despair to determination; people begun looking forward instead of looking back at past failures. The invigorated SpaceX team immediately got back to work and figured out what exactly went wrong in a matter of days. After a mere seven weeks, SpaceX had another Falcon 1 ready. It launched successfully on September 28, 2008 making it the first privately built rocket to achieve earth orbit.

Ladies and gentlemen, inspiring people towards a vision is not an activity that is done through one staff meeting or a friendly company email. It is about consistently engaging staff and helping them to see how important they are to achieving the company’s vision. This is critical in challenging times, when things are not going as planned.

Elon Musk could have chosen to address the media as a matter of priority after such a public failure. But, the act of going to his staff and speaking with them first showed his commitment to them. It highlighted that the staff at SpaceX were a team, and as their leader he knew that, in this moment, he needed to reassure them that he was proud of their hard work and wanted them to continue trudging ahead regardless of the setback.

The second fundamental mentioned was: Building Consensus and Commitment.

For the past six years, Google has held the #1 spot in Fortune Magazine’s Best Companies to Work For in the United States. We have all heard about the free gourmet food, haircuts, laundry services and even town hall meetings. Googlers, as they are called, do lots of work but report high levels of satisfaction and low levels of stress in their jobs.

What is of interest is that Google is a cutting edge firm that is marked by its innovativeness and willingness to try new things. There is a culture of discussing ideas and working together to attain consensus, engender commitment and achieve goals. Therefore, each member of staff is able to buy into the ethos of Google.

Ladies and gentlemen, staff engagement is nothing new. But today we must, like Google, ensure that our companies are values-driven and performance-lead. The culture of the organisation is the core that gives life to this philosophy.

o A strong culture must be based on people buying into the company’s vision and seeing their role as important to its achievement.
o A strong culture relies on leaders that focus on developing strengths and minimizing weaknesses among staff.
o A strong culture ensures that people are productive – regardless of whether the CEO is around.

Building consensus and commitment is something that requires people to trust their leaders, and their leaders to trust them. It means working as a team and not in silos.

In my view, this will have a ripple effect on the way in which we engage our clients, customers and shareholders.

The third fundamental mentioned was: Introducing and Managing Change.

Take your mind back to 1997 – Merlene Ottey placed 3rd in the 200metres race at the World Championships in Athens, Greece; Diana, Princess of Wales died in a car crash and Apple was on the brink of bankruptcy. 1997 was also the year that Steve Jobs, regained control of Apple to make the company one of the greatest comeback stories in business.

Steve Jobs had to preside over a period rife with change. As leader, he had to both introduce and manage this change.

o One of his first decisions was to cut costly projects and align with known-competitor, Microsoft, to strengthen the financial base.

o Next, he introduced the iMac, effectively re-inventing the ‘boring beige box” that represented computers at the time. This was a move which increased sales and brought the company back to profitability.

o In 2001, the iPod, iTunes and the Apple Store were born. Jobs did not ask his team to build a retail store so Apple could sell more products and increase its market share. Instead Jobs asked, “How can we reinvent the store?” The question forced his team to think outside of the entire category… not simply outside the box.

Ladies and gentlemen, Steven Jobs made the process of introducing change, a company-wide initiative that disrupted the market. As leaders, we must embrace this process and ensure that we are nimble and able to implement the changes needed to encourage success.

In 2002, when Jobs wanted Apple to forget about Mac OS 9 and move on to Mac OS X, he held a mock funeral for Mac OS 9 and even delivered a eulogy. It meant another big change that staff, consumers and investors had to trust would turn out well. It was the end of an era.

Conclusion
Let me take a few moments to share some tips that I utilise in these VUCA times.
1. The only mistake is the one that you don’t learn from
2. Lead by Example
3. Circumstances Change. Value Don’t
4. Focus on Solutions. Not Problems
5. Learn, Unlearn and Relearn
6. Learn to get out of the Way
7. What do you think?
8. Are you easy to do business with?
9. Great Players don’t win trophies; great teams win trophies
10. Be the leader that you want to follow

Ladies and gentlemen, taken independently, these elements are of great significance. However, when taken together they represent what leading and thriving in this VUCA world requires.

It can’t be business as usual. Therefore, we can’t be ordinary leaders… we must be exceptional.

I end as I began, highlighting the difference between leadership and management. In this instance, I leave you with the words of Jim Rohn, American author and motivational speaker: “The challenge of leadership is to be strong, but not rude; be kind, but not weak; be bold, but not a bully; be thoughtful, but not lazy; be humble, but not timid; be proud, but not arrogant; have humour, but without folly.”

Thank you.

The above was the text of  the Keynote Address given by
Mr. Stephen Price, Managing Director – Flow Jamaica at a PSOJ Breakfast Forum on July 25, 2017 at the Port Antonio Room, Jamaica Pegasus.

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JAMPRO’s President Diane Edwards Makes A Career Step Amidst Praise For Achievements

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It is with regret that we advise that President Diane Edwards has given notice that she will not be renewing her contract, which ends December 31, 2022. She has opted instead to pursue her next career opportunities.

Over the last 9 years, under the stewardship of President Edwards, JAMPRO has been perceived by incoming investors as responsive and constantly helpful. Under her leadership, JAMPRO has taken on an enhanced marketing orientation, driven by pro-active team of professionals.

Ms. Edwards has led JAMPRO to be a leading government organization that has provided local and international investors in the tourism, manufacturing, and mining sectors with significant assistance to overcome difficulties as the seek to do business in Jamaica. The Global Digital Services (Business Process Outsourcing) (BPO) industry has moved from 12,000 jobs in 2013 to 54,000 jobs in 2022 through the attraction of new BPO companies and the creation of an ecosystem for multiple expansions across the country. Ms. Edwards and JAMPRO have played important roles in attracting these BPO businesses to assist the Jamaican economy.

Over the period, JAMPRO also commenced the implementation of transformative projects such as the creation of a National Business Portal and the establishment of a National Investment Policy, while advocating for the creation of a cannabis and hemp industry. In addition, the organisation has led the development and implementation of multiple sector strategies geared towards development and growth such as the National Global Digital Services Strategy, the National Manufacturing Strategy and the draft National 4-Year Agribusiness Strategy.

Melanie Subratie, Chair of JAMPRO, expressed her appreciation for the strong relationship she has built with Diane and gratitude for the work they have done together noting that “I have long been a champion of the sterling work done by JAMPRO and as a fellow female leader, I have admired Diane’s transformation of the organisation into a client-centric, results driven agency, leading the cause of the private sector. I am sorry to see her go, but I know that she has led a remarkable team who will continue her stellar work. There is no doubt in my mind that the Jamaica BPO industry would not exist in its current form without the work of Diane and her team at JAMPRO. They literally built an industry from the ground up.”

Senator the Honourable Aubyn Hill, Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce added that “Diane’s endeavours to stimulate export and investment have played a significant role in the growth of the nation’s capabilities. Her management of JAMPRO and contributions to Jamaica’s economic development will be remembered.”

The Chair of JAMPRO advised that “I will continue to work closely with Diane, who is keen on supporting the process, to ensure a smooth and seamless transition. The role of the President of JAMPRO is vital to nation building and all efforts will be made to source the best talent over the next 3 months.”

The JAMPRO Board, supported by its Human Resource Committee, will immediately begin the process to recruit a new President.

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Breakthrough for Jamaica Limestone Export.

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Photo From left to right: President Diane Edwards-JAMPRO; Jase Millington, Operations Manager- Lydford Mining; Jackie Millington, Director-Lydford Mining, & Edgar Cousins, Director-Lydford Mining.

A turning point occurred on October 14th, 2022 for the Jamaican Limestone export sector; Lydford Mining Company has secured its first shipment of Construction Grade Limestone to the continental U.S.A.

Jamaica has one of the purest deposits of limestone globally with over 50 billion tonnes of proven limestone reserves. The Lydford Mining export shipment of 36,000mt tonnes of 3/4" stone is to be used in the production of concrete aggregates; and is destined for Savannah, Georgia. The loading for this first shipment is scheduled to take four days and involves 1,000 trucks, represents the start of a series of regular shipments into the South-eastern U.S. markets. JAMPRO’s President, Diane Edwards was on site, alongside Edgar Cousins and Jackie Millington of Lydford Mining, and the buyers from Twin Rivers Land & Timber team including Clay and Ashley Crosby, CEO and CFO respectively, to witness this historic occasion and observe the loading of the ship.

President Edwards spoke on the occasion “JAMPRO was instrumental in introducing Lydford Mining to Mr. Crosby, as the connecting of buyers with Jamaican exporters is a core function of JAMPRO and we are pleased that this connection has borne substantial fruit and an anticipated long-term relationship.

The Limestone global market size was valued at US$73.51billion in 2020 and is projected to reach US$113.6 Billion by 2028 according to Verified Market Research. The global projection bodes well for Jamaica and the potential of this milestone achievement for the Lydford Mining Company. The company is also a major producer, and exporter of value-added Limestone Aggregates, Ground Calcium Carbonate (GCC) for the Food/Pharmaceutical market, as well as for Flue-gas Desulphurization in the U.S.A. Regionally, it supplies markets for construction grade material and has supplied sand and gravel to customers in Aruba, Guantanamo Bay, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Lydford Mining also supplies materials manufactured to specification for the Construction, Animal Feed, Fertilizer, Paint, Plastics, and Soap industries to the domestic market. Lydford Mining is on a strategic path to double its business in 2023, while ensuring sustainable measures for the environment are in place to ensure we remain the premier producer of Limestone Aggregates in Jamaica” commented Edgar Cousins, Director, Lydford Mining.

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JAMPRO Initiative Paves Way For Over £85 Million Production Slate In The Jamaican Creative Industry

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JAMPRO, the arm of the Government of Jamaica that promotes business opportunities in export and investment to the local and international private sector, recently hosted a reception at the Jamaican High Commission, London to introduce four filmmakers based in Jamaica to potential British film financiers, investors, and distributors.

The networking reception enabled British film and animation executives to discover the attributes of the Jamaican film and animation industries as well as network with their Jamaican counterparts.

This initiative could be the forerunner that advances negotiations for a slate of film projects representing an estimated US$95 Million (£85milion) in production expenditure.).

The delegation from Jamaica consisted of filmmaker and storyteller, Ina Sotirova; Producer, Analisa Chapman – Have a Bawl Productions; Mezan Ayoka, writer, filmmaker and CEO of Ayzha Productions; and Adrian Lopez, CEO, producer and director at Liquid Light Digital (a film, animation and visual effects production house).

The Jamaican film projects were presented to some 50 British film producers, financiers, location managers, as well as companies which acquire and distribute film content. The JAMPRO reception facilitated initial discussions with investors. The filmmakers’ visit to London and participation in the BFI London Film Festival was supported by a United Kingdom Trade Partnership export-readiness programme, managed by the International Trade Centre.

Whilst celebrating the long history of collaboration between the British and Jamaican film industries, the event provided British film producers, location managers and film distributors with a rare opportunity to appreciate the myriad possibilities of filming in Jamaica in its widest sense.

Commenting on the success of the event, Laurence Jones, Manager – Europe at JAMPRO said “We were delighted to discover that a delegation of filmmakers representing Jamaican companies would attend the BFI London Film Festival and took this opportunity to promote Jamaican film projects to British investors and content distributors. JAMPRO will remain at their disposal to facilitate negotiations and support the execution of these projects.”

Head of Business Affairs at The Studio Group, Meredith Brett, said “the projects presented on the evening were well thought out, strongly developed and convincingly delivered. We made useful connection with Adrian Lopez of Liquid Light Digital and look forward to continuing our discussions about developing a studio in Jamaica. We look forward to visiting soon and putting boots on the ground.”

The JAMPRO London office is proactive in marketing the unique selling points of the Jamaican film industry such as varied locations, skilled and cost-effective crew, and a Co-production treaty with the UK that can facilitate tax credits for the UK leg of production. Jamaica facilitates on average 120+ productions shot on the island per year, with approximately 10-12% originating from the UK.

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MIIC & NCB Collaboration On Guyana Mission Delivers Multi-Sector Opportunities

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The recent mission to Guyana by the Ministry of Industry, Investment and Commerce has unearthed a range of business opportunities across multiple sectors, such as Agribusiness, Construction, Financial Services & Tourism.

Conceptualised and led by portfolio Minister, Senator The Honourable Aubyn Hill, and organised by JAMPRO, the Ministry’s trade and investment promotion arm, the seven-day mission comprised a Jamaican delegation of 33 private sector and government officials.

JAMPRO arranged over 70 official business to business meetings for the Jamaican delegation with Guyanese companies and government agencies. This, with the support and collaboration of sponsor NCB, and key players such as the Guyanese Manufacturing and Services Association (GSMA), the Georgetown Chamber of Commerce (GCC), the Private Sector Council of Guyana and Go-Invest, the Guyanese government’s trade and investment agency.

“The level of proactive collaboration seen during scheduled group and small meetings has been extremely positive and shows the real economic benefits to be gained by both Jamaica and Guyana from this mission. There are already plans for a follow-up mission to advance the strong potential,” said Minister Hill.

Business networking opportunities on the mission were reinforced by a cocktail reception, sponsored by NCB Capital Markets and hosted by Senator the Hon. Aubyn Hill, at the Guyana Marriott Hotel. The reception featured the official signing of an MOU between the Guyana Office for Investment (GO-INVEST) and Jamaica Promotions Corporation (JAMPRO).

The GSMA was represented by Executive Director, Nizam Hassan as well as second Vice President, Dr. Vishnu Doerga. Also in attendance were Chairman of the Extractive Industries subsector, Dinesh Bisessar; Chairman of the ICT subsector, Orson Ferguson; and Chairman of Textiles & Sewn Goods, Upasna Mudlier.

“NCB Capital Markets is a firm supporter of regional integration.

Steven Gooden, CEO, NCB Capital Market said, “NCB Capital Markets is a firm supporter of regional integration. To this end, we are pleased with the level of discussions that occurred at the recent JAMPRO Trade Mission to Guyana. It is these partnerships that will help to forge stronger relationships with our Guyanese neighbours and enable collective dialogue that will facilitate enhanced growth and development for both regions. We look forward to continuing conversations on our return with the JAMPRO team.”

With the expected increase in workforce needs in Guyana, Minister Hill seized the opportunity to highlight the capacity building potential of HEART NSTA to deliver the National Council on Technical and Vocational Education and Training (NCTVET) certification, and stressed Jamaica’s ability to supply short term technically skilled personnel to support the Guyanese expansion.

“We will explore designing a skills exchange programme to enhance the Guyanese talent pool,” he noted.

Guyana’s workforce needs will reach 2.5 million in the next three years, from a population base of 790,000.

Richard Rambarran, President of the Georgetown Chamber of Commerce, opined that Guyana’s workforce needs will reach 2.5 million in the next three years, from a population base of 790,000. This presents expansive opportunities for an increased demand in food from which Jamaica’s agribusiness sector and its players could benefit. This also presents an opportunity to export processed goods, explore joint ventures with Guyanese entities to utilise raw materials and create synergies along the supply chain for the mutual benefit of Jamaica and Guyana.

Guyana’s current building boom requires an expansion of the building industry. Jamaican contractors and developers with access to capital can find opportunities in this expansion, generating financial gains for Jamaica while supporting the infrastructure growth of Guyana.

The possibilities for the building boom are clear – 12 hotels are under construction, one of which is financed by a Jamaican institution and built by a Jamaican contractor. 20,000 houses are also expected to be built per year over the next few years to support the expected talent influx. In addition, some 700 km of roads are being built, including a major highway to northeast Brazil.

Additional opportunities abound in the supply of building material and technical building expertise.

The growing need for capital to finance this building boom is more than the local institutions can provide, opening opportunities for Jamaica’s sophisticated private equity, debt financiers, micro credit, and stock exchanges to market their products and services. “The financial services industry in Guyana is replete with opportunities for Jamaican business acumen and financial know how to thrive. The Jamaican institutions can play a key role in bringing structured financial instruments to Guyana and support transformation of the sector,” said Minister Hill.

Underpinning Guyana’s vision to be the breadbasket of the Caribbean is the need for greater accreditation of its laboratories and food processing factories. JANAAC, Jamaica’s National Agency for Accreditation, has already certified four Guyanese agencies and is researching the potential to establish a satellite office there to capitalise on the new opportunities that were explored with Guyanese agencies and organisations.

Commenting on her experience in a post-mission survey, a member of the Jamaican delegation, Kareema Muncey, CEO, Home Choice Enterprise Ltd, said, “It was overwhelmingly great and well organised; it was a new experience. The mission connecting Guyana to Jamaica was a great idea for networking and business opportunities.”

The spirit of collaboration and the opportunities unearthed were excellent

The trade mission included senior business representatives from the financial services, food processing, HR solutions and construction management fields, all of whom had fruitful discussions with Guyanese counterparts. The mission has improved on the established foundation between the two nations and strengthened business ties between Jamaica and Guyana for mutual economic benefit.

President of JAMPRO, Diane Edwards stated, “The spirit of collaboration and the opportunities unearthed were excellent and reinforced the need for deeper regional integration as the shared benefits will enhance the region on a whole.”

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has forecast that Guyana’s overall real gross domestic product (GDP) for 2022 will grow at a rate of 57.8 per cent. Much of this is underpinned by the development of a nascent oil and gas sector, and spin-off developments.

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Jamaica Economy to Return to Pre-COVID-19 Output Levels by 2023

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PHOTO: YHOMO HUTCHINSON
Minister of Finance and the Public Service, Dr. the Hon. Nigel Clarke (at podium), addresses the Rotary Club of Kingston’s weekly luncheon at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel in New Kingston, on Thursday (October 6). Listening (from left) are the Club’s Vice President, Sixto Coy, and President Karsten Johnson.

Data from the Statistical Institute of Jamaica (STATIN) indicate that the country is on track to returning to pre-COVID-19 levels of economic output by 2023.

Minister of Finance and the Public Service, Dr. the Hon. Nigel Clarke, said that achieving the target will place Jamaica “far ahead of our peers in the Caribbean region”.

“We are at 97 per cent of our pre-COVID levels of economic output. We went all the way down to 82 per cent, [but are] back up to about 97 per cent. [This] is related to the fact that we were able to maintain macro stability through the crisis,” Dr. Clarke said.

Consequent on the strong economic performance, S&P Global Ratings on Wednesday (October 5) affirmed Jamaica’s ‘B+’ rating, while maintaining its ‘Stable’ outlook for the economy.

Minister Clarke, who was addressing the Rotary Club of Kingston’s luncheon at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel in New Kingston on Thursday (October 6), said that gross domestic product (GDP) data from the STATIN show that the economy is “performing better than planned”.

STATIN reported that the economy grew by 4.8 per cent during the April to June 2022 quarter, relative to the corresponding period last year.

This was attributed to a 7.2 per cent increase in the Services Industry, despite the Goods Producing Industry contracting by two percentage points.

The Services Industry out-turn resulted from improved performances in all eight subsectors.

‘Hotels and Restaurants’ led the way with 56 per cent, while ‘Wholesale and Retail Trade, Repairs, and Installation of Machinery & Equipment’, rose by 7.6 per cent.

Other notable out-turns were ‘Transport, Storage and Communication’, up 5.7 per cent; ‘Real Estate, Renting and Business Activities’, up 2.1 per cent; ‘Electricity and Water Supply’, up two per cent; and ‘Finance and Insurance Services’, up 1.1 per cent.

Dr. Clarke noted that as persons were able to return to work, consequent on the gradual reopening of the economy, Jamaica commenced experiencing recovery at a “very fast clip”, with eight per cent growth in 2022, and a 4.5 per cent projection for this year.

“As a result of this recovery, we are experiencing overperformance, which is always a good thing. We have a lot of work to do. But there is no doubt about our trajectory… and [based on] the fact that we have been able to recover so quickly… we can look forward [to] the fruits of the stability that we enjoy,” he said.

 

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