Murphy to announce week-long economic mission trip to East Asia

Governor, speaking Wednesday at NJIT event, will discuss details of long-desired trip to Japan, South Korea scheduled for October

Gov. Phil Murphy will announce a week-long economic mission trip to Japan and South Korea Wednesday morning at an event on the campus of NJIT, numerous people familiar with the planning told ROI-NJ.

The trip, which will be organized by Choose New Jersey, will take place in October. It will be similar to the global economic trips Murphy has made previously with Choose, when he visited Germany, Israel, India and Ireland.

An economic mission trip to East Asia has long been on the governor’s wish list but various issues – most notably the pandemic – have prevented it from occurring.

Murphy will make multi-day visits to the two capitals, Tokyo and Seoul, and likely will make shorter stops in other cities, especially in Japan.

While the administration certainly hopes the trip results in more East Asian companies coming to New Jersey – there always will be a push for startups – a large emphasis on the trip will be about communicating to companies with long connections to the state that New Jersey remains a great place to live and do business.

In addition to the state’s ever-improving economic forecast, the governor is expected to stress the state’s values, including its strong emphasis on education as well as sensible policies on women’s health, gun control, the environment and clean energy.

The governor also is likely to note the melting pot environment of New Jersey, one of the most diverse states in the country.

“The governor is going to show that life in New Jersey does not have the extreme views – and extreme conflicts – that they see in other states,” one source said. “I think the governor will stress that New Jersey not only has a large Asian population that has been welcomed, but that it is a state where all minority groups have long been welcomed.”

In addition to a large Asian population (approximately 10%), the state also has a large number of East Asian-based companies that have a substantial presence here, including Panasonic, LG, Samsung, Subaru, Sony, Konica Minolta, CJ Logistics, Mitsubishi, Daiichi Sankyo, Eisai and Otsuka, among many others.

Companies from East Asia are a major presence in the state in a number of sectors and industries, including electronics, pharma, digital media, entertainment, energy, clean energy, construction/heavy equipment and health care.

Japan and South Korea are both among the state’s top ten trade partners.

Because of the large number of East Asian companies based here, the trip is expected to draw two to three dozen top executives and academic leaders.

The announcement will come during an event in which Murphy will discuss the state’s recent economic efforts with New Jersey State Chamber CEO Tom Bracken.