India, U.K., Ireland and Germany top N.J.’s 1st Global Economic Index

GEI, created by EDA, ranks 37 countries, hopes to serve as guide to further develop state’s international business relationships

Gov. Phil Murphy has made improving economic development and relations with countries around the world a key priority in his administration since he took office. On Friday, the state will release its first New Jersey Global Economic Index report, detailing where it has the most success.

The index, which ranked 37 countries, was developed by the Office of International Innovation and Partnerships at the New Jersey Economic Development Authority — with support from the chief economist’s office. It will be launched later Friday at an event hosted in the EDA’s Newark office for international diplomats and economic promotion organizations.

The Global Economic Index (or GEI, as it is being called) used five factors to determine which countries have the strongest economic relationship to the state: Northeast share rank, New Jersey flow rank, global flow rank, global forecast rank and international partnerships.

The GEI, which the EDA intends to release annually, ranked countries, but did not give a numeric data point. Here is the Top 10:

  1. India
  2. U.K.
  3. Ireland
  4. Germany
  5. Canada
  6. Switzerland
  7. South Korea
  8. Japan
  9. Netherlands
  10. Czech Republic

EDA officials said the data used to determine the ranking was sourced from a combination of private research, New Jersey state information and economic forecasts.

EDA officials noted that some data in the report shows that certain countries, which have previously demonstrated lower levels of foreign direct investment into New Jersey, will likely increase over the next decade as they become economically stronger. This also is reflected in the inverse, as some countries that have invested heavily in New Jersey may expect to see a decline in their outward investments in the immediate future.

EDA officials said this forecasting allows for a more comprehensive window into the state’s bilateral foreign relationships.

It also shows the potential impact of the governor’s economic missions, which he has made through Choose New Jersey. Five of the Top 10 countries are spots where Murphy has visited (India, Ireland, Germany, South Korea and Japan). A trip to Canada remains a possibility, too.

The second 10 countries indicated New Jersey’s strength in Europe, the Middle East and Asia:

  1. China
  2. United Arab Emirates
  3. France
  4. Australia
  5. Spain
  6. Israel
  7. Denmark
  8. Italy
  9. Belgium
  10. Singapore

EDA CEO Tim Sullivan said the report looks back — and ahead, giving the state a roadmap.

“The NJEDA is committed to supporting Gov. Murphy’s vision for a stronger, more diverse economy, and the findings in the New Jersey Global Economic Index shows the progress we have made fostering international relationships, attracting and quantifying FDI and maximizing opportunities abroad,” he said. “This report will inform us as we move forward with our goal of creating more jobs, increasing our visibility in foreign markets and acting as a global economic leader.”

Choose New Jersey CEO Wes Mathews agreed.

“This report will aid us in our efforts moving forward, as it is a reflection of the work we’ve accomplished and an indicator of the work we still need to do,” he said.

“I am proud to have worked alongside the NJEDA to meet Gov. Murphy’s mission to make New Jersey a business leader on the international stage. I look forward to continuing important conversations abroad, so that New Jersey can remain a top destination for work and travel alike.”

The final grouping includes:

  1. Taiwan
  2. Mexico
  3. Portugal
  4. South Africa
  5. Luxembourg
  6. Sweden
  7. Finland
  8. Austria
  9. Vietnam
  10. Poland
  11. Saudi Arabia
  12. New Zealand
  13. Turkey
  14. Brazil
  15. Qatar
  16. Norway
  17. Greece

Andrew Gross, the EDA’s director of international innovation and partnerships, said the report gives unique insights into the state’s efforts.

“This report demonstrates a new way of thinking about and analyzing our economic relations,” he said. “By indexing the state’s sources of global investment, we are able to gain a deeper understanding of New Jersey’s relationships abroad, while encouraging development in regions where we aren’t seeing as much economic activity.”