Murphy opens office in India to attract businesses to N.J.

Matt Arco | NJ.com

NEW DELHI, India — New Jersey is set to open a second overseas office tasked with the sole mission of luring businesses and jobs to New Jersey, Gov. Phil Murphy announced Monday.

“Next Monday morning, when we’re back in New Jersey, we’ll be present,” Murphy said. “We’re not going away.”

He made the announcement at an evening reception in New Delhi that capped off a day of meetings with businesses and various officials. The governor is in the midst of a seven-day trade mission here.

“We are planting our flag,” Murphy said. “Today’s historic announcement charts a new course and effort to increase economic opportunities and build relationships between New Jersey and India.”

He added: “New Jersey and you, perfect together,” Murphy said, echoing a phrase from former Gov. Tom Kean, who Murphy referred to in his speech as a friend and mentor.

The cost to run the operation is paid by Choose New Jersey, a business-funded nonprofit formed in 2010 at former Gov. Chris Christie’s urging.

A year ago, Murphy announced the state opened an office in Germany to serve as a European hub for attracting businesses and investments.

Unlike in Germany, Choose New Jersey is paying a consulting agency to connect Indian businesses with the Garden State.

“There are five governors coming this fall to India and we’re the only one announcing an office,” Jose Lozano, the CEO of Choose New Jersey said, referring to upcoming India trips from the governors of Arkansas, Colorado, Delaware and Indiana.

“It’s important to continue the work that we already started during this trip,” Lozano said. “There’s a lot of ground to cover.”

Choose New Jersey is made up of some of the state’s largest utilities, labor unions, and financial companies. Its stated mission is to attract businesses to the Garden State. The group’s board members — which include PSE&G, Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey and ONC Bank — have deep business stakes with New Jersey that intersect with government oversight.

The group is also funding the governor’s trip.

At the start of the day, Murphy sat down with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The roughly 25-minute discussion at Modi’s residence focused on the reason Murphy is here: to grow the India-New Jersey business relationship, the governor said.

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