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* European business leaders gave an edge to Mexico as the NAFTA country offering the best potential for European investment, narrowly ahead of the the United States (37 percent to 35 percent), according to a recent UPS Europe Business Monitor.

The survey, conducted for UPS by Harris Research, is the only one of its kind to compile the opinions of leading business people from the top 15,000 pan-European companies.

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Support for Mexico was particularly strong in Spain (55 percent) and Italy (40 percent). The US drew support primarily from Germany (47 percent), the Netherlands (46 percent), and Britain (45 percent).

When surveyed last year, 61 percent of respondents felt that NAFTA would not lead to increased protectionism in the US. SLOPPY HANDWRITING COSTS US BUSINESS MILLIONS ANNUALLY COLUMBUS, OHIO

* Illegible handwriting costs American business $200 million annually and sabotages the effective exchange of information. Ninety percent of US business executives complain of consistently poor handwriting among employees.

Richard Northrup, vice president of marketing for handwriting text publisher Zaner-Bloser in Columbus, Ohio, says people may mistakenly view good handwriting as a throwback, rather than an essential business tool.

``To believe computers have eliminated the need for clear handwriting in business and daily life is a mistake,'' Mr. Northrup says. Thirty-eight million illegibly addressed letters cost the US postal service $4 million annually. Hundreds of thousands of tax returns are delayed each year because figures, notes, and signatures are illegible. WASHINGTON STATE BECOMES WORLD'S BIGGEST RASPBERRY GROWER SPOKANE, WASH.

* Washington State became the world's largest raspberry growing region in 1993.

The state's crop totalled 42.5 million pounds, the Washington Red Raspberry Commission reports. The Commission says that reports from the US Department of Agriculture and US embassies abroad indicate this volume beats out Hungary at 26.4 million pounds and Chile at 20.4 million. BUSINESS TRAVEL BUDGETS BECOME TARGET FOR CUTS NEW YORK

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* A majority of corporate executive officers have picked travel and entertainment as the No. 1 target for cost-cutting in 1994, according to a survey by MasterCard BusinessCard.

Though saying travel is important to their businesses, more than a third of 361 CEOs put travel cuts above procurement costs (18 percent) and payroll (12 percent) as areas for cuts.

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