Gov. Phil Murphy will head a week-long economic trade mission to India in mid-September in an effort to promote New Jersey’s businesses abroad – similar to the ones he led to Germany and Israel in October.
The trip will take the New Jersey delegation to some of India’s major cities including Agra, Ahmedabad, Delhi, Gandhinagar, Hyderabad and Mumbai and focus on the clean energy, film and media sectors, Murphy said at a news conference Monday organized by the Asian Indian Chamber of Commerce at the Spice Culture Restaurant in South Plainfield.
“I want New Jersey to be a state where foreign direct investment will once again flow in record numbers,” Murphy said. “This is an economic relationship that exceeds $8.3 billion annually. It is a relationship that continues to grow.”
The governor has argued New Jersey can be the “State of Innovation” by creating economic incentives and a business environment that attracts the life sciences, cybersecurity, advanced manufacturing and clean energy sectors, especially startups.
“And, as we work to reclaim our leadership in the innovation economy, India will continue to be an essential partner. After all, India is the second largest source of foreign direct investment in New Jersey,” the governor added.
Choose NJ, a private group which markets the state nationwide and abroad, will pick up the tab for the trip. But a security detail for the governor, First Lady and top lawmakers, the New Jersey State Police’s Executive Protection Unit, will be paid for with taxpayer money.
The unit’s total costs in October including the trip were $67,763, according to an NJ.com report, though it is not clear what the cost was for Choose NJ.
This year’s trip – which will span Sept. 13 to 22 including flight time between the two counties – will also include First Lady Tammy Murphy and Economic Development Authority Chief Executive Officer Tim Sullivan.
Chief among them was drugmaker Teva Pharmaceuticals, which won a $40 million tax break for its move to Morris County. Murphy has since taken a frostier stance with Teva in response to critics of the company, although he championed the deal initially.
The company has fallen under intense scrutiny for its alleged role in the opioid epidemic and recently agreed to an $85 million settlement with Oklahoma state authorities over its manufacturing of opioids.