Jose Lozano, the CEO of Choose New Jersey — the organization responsible for planning international economic trips for Gov. Phil Murphy — couldn’t hold back his excitement about the seven-day, six-city tour to India, which started Monday.
“I think it’s unprecedented,” he told ROI-NJ before he and a group of nearly three dozen state officials, private sector leaders, legislators and university officials left on the 15-hour flight to New Delhi.
“Officials in India said they have never seen a mission trip this big.”
The numbers, Lozano said, tell it all.
Murphy is scheduled to have more than 50 private meetings and public events, making more than a dozen direct pitches to CEOs, senior business leaders and government officials.
Murphy also is scheduled to give 10 speeches.
All told, Lozano said he expects Murphy to engage more than 1,000 companies.
And the governor won’t be the only one making a pitch.
Lozano and Choose New Jersey, along with the New Jersey Economic Development Authority and its CEO, Tim Sullivan, are expected to have close to 20 meetings with companies as well.
All of this, Lozano said, underscores the biggest goal of the trip: To show Indian business leaders and elected officials how New Jersey is a perfect economic connection.
“Culturally, we’re aligned,” he said. “We have a large and influential South Asian population. And their strengths in life sciences and tech match our strengths of life sciences and tech.
“I want to make sure New Jersey and India can benefit from our obvious synergies. And I want to show the Indian government how important this relationship is to us.”
New Jersey officials plan to highlight a number of New Jersey-India connections, including:
- The state having the second-largest Indian-born population in the U.S. (highlighting large Indian populations in Middlesex, Hudson and Mercer counties);
- The state creating the most jobs at Indian companies (9,300, which is 10% higher than No. 2 California);
- The Northeast state with the highest percentage of Indian parent companies constructing new operational facilities (52%). New York is next at 22%.
India represents the fourth country to which Murphy has made a mission trip, following Germany, Israel and Ireland.
Lozano said the state’s location makes it an ideal place for international companies looking to establish a presence in the U.S.
Lozano highlights that New Jersey not only is a cheaper option that New York, it stands above New York on many key metrics, including:
- The highest percentage of scientists in the country;
- The top-ranked public high school system in the country;
- The No. 1-ranked university (Princeton) and STEM high school (High Technology) in the country;
- The top state for broadband coverage and second-ranked state for download speeds;
- More than $560 billion in economic activity, a number that would make N.J. the 22nd-biggest economy in the world if it were a standalone country.
“New Jersey has a lot to offer Indian companies,” Lozano said. “We’re going to make sure they learn about all of it.”