N.J. hopes to capitalize on international firms’ sudden need for U.S. production facilities

By Tom Bergeron
New Jersey | Jun 29, 2020 at 1:45 pm

U.S. companies — and consumers — were not the only ones who suffered when the supply chain of pharmaceuticals, medical devices and supplies, and personal protection equipment got wrecked by the COVID-19 pandemic.

International companies did, too.

When nations across the world — including many in Europe and Asia — limited essential exports of products to ensure they would have enough in their own countries, companies that did a lot of business in the U.S. market realized they needed to diversify their facilities to ensure they will be able to meet global demand in the future.

New Jersey could benefit from this.

At least, that’s the feeling of Choose New Jersey CEO Jose Lozano, who said his organization has been hearing from global companies about finding manufacturing space in New Jersey.

“There are folks who are saying, ‘We can’t serve our clients because our home country has locked us down,’” he said. “Their own governments have made them realize they need to diversify their distribution sites out of their own countries.

“Companies are having import/export issues that they can solve where they are.”

Lozano said companies are finding New Jersey is smart fit for all the usual reasons — location, transportation infrastructure and a well-educated workforce.

Now, however, the state is benefiting for other reasons, too, Lozano said.

“Every company is more concerned about the quality of life of their employees,” he said. “We not only have a great education system for their kids, but our diversity can make them feel like they are home.

“If you’re a company from India or Italy or Israel, it’s hard to beat New Jersey when it comes to find communities that share your culture. Our diversity is incredibly beneficial.”

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