N.J. Gov. Phil Murphy to lead economic mission to India to strengthen business ties

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy will lead a seven-day, six-city economic mission to India, one of the state’s largest trade and investment partners, in September to strengthen economic ties, among other goals.

The announcement was made at a luncheon hosted by the Asian Indian Chamber of Commerce (AICC), which is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, according to a July 16 chamber press release.

“As India’s role as one of our key partners continues to expand, we want to make sure we maximize the potential of our economic relationship,” Gov. Murphy said.

“I am excited to make the case for New Jersey as a leading investment choice for Indian companies, creating lasting partnerships and good jobs for our residents. We are proud to be the home of one of America’s most deeply-rooted Indian-American communities, and growing our economic partnership will only strengthen those ties,” Murphy added.

The delegation will visit six cities, including Delhi, Agra, Hyderabad, Mumbai, Ahmedabad, and Gandhinagar. The mission will also seek to cultivate international investment opportunities in the Garden State, and deepen cultural and educational ties between New Jersey and India.

President of the Asian Indian Chamber of Commerce Priti Pandya-Patel said as a community leader, business owner and longtime resident of New Jersey, it is remarkable that this administration has made extra effort to embrace the value of Indian-Americans for their contributions in New Jersey as well as recognizing the strengths of the companies based in India.

Gov. Murphy’s delegation will include First Lady Tammy Murphy, Choose New Jersey president and CEO Jose Lozano, New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) CEO Tim Sullivan, and other senior administration and Choose New Jersey officials.

In an interview with India Abroad in September last year, Wesley Mathews, then director of the Office of International Trade and Investment (OITI) under the N.J. Economic Development Authority (EDA), told this correspondent that talks with Indian officials had been going on his India visit for some time and the governor wanted to visit as early as possible.

Mathews, an Indian-American career diplomat in the U.S. Foreign Service, who was serving as a loaned executive to New Jersey, said, “The governor wants to jumpstart the innovation economy in New Jersey which was once the Silicon Valley of the U.S. and the home of Thomas Edison where innovations like artificial intelligence were created,”

Mathews said New Jersey has somehow lost that edge in the past 10 to 15 years and the state under Gov. Murphy was now seeking to get back that edge.

Gov. Murphy’s activities and public events in India will include meetings with key government and industry leaders, including representatives of the life sciences, technology, clean energy, film and media, and manufacturing sectors, as well as company visits and announcements. 

Mathews said last year that one of the state’s strong points it wants to bank on in order to attract foreign investment is its huge talent pool, including that of Indian workers. That, he said, includes the pharmaceutical industry which counts many companies from India who now have a footprint in New Jersey.

“One of the major reasons why such companies prefer to stay put in New Jersey in preference to other states is the availability of talent pool and trained workforce here and we need to capitalize on that,” Mathews said.

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