To see how technology is spurring greater efficiency in the increasingly dog-eat-dog world of Asian trade finance, check out Norwest Corp.'s office on the Kowloon side of Hongkong.

There, 63 Norwest representatives process letters of credit and trade- related paperwork for U.S. businesses. Those customers can access the Hongkong office directly with special software that allows anyone with a phone and a modem to bypass the bank's Minneapolis headquarters.

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