Choose New Jersey and Peres & Associates have opened an economic development office in Tel Aviv. The office is dedicated to supporting Israeli businesses interested in setting up branches, moving to New Jersey, or expanding their activities in the US.
“It is a historic day for our organization,” said Wes Mathews, president and CEO of Choose New Jersey.
The organization works “hand-in-glove” with the state government – Gov. Phil Murphy’s office, the Economic Development Authority, the Department of State and the Business Action Center, as well as with the private sector and academia – to help bring business to the state. Mathews told The Jerusalem Post that the organization is focused not only on why New Jersey could be “an ideal place to grow or expand your business, but also to raise a family.”
“Finding a state aligned with your value system is becoming increasingly important,” Mathews said. “I think that is important to highlight to our international partners.”
According to Choose New Jersey board member Mark Levinson, Israel is already trading a lot with the East Coast state. He said there is currently around $1.7 billion in trade per year between the two.
There are also four significant collaborations underway
• In 2021, Tel Aviv University and Rutgers University started collaborating to establish an innovation and technology hub in New Jersey.• The New Jersey Institute of Technology and Ben-Gurion University are creating an Institute for Future Technologies in New Jersey.• New Jersey City University and the Port of Ashdod are exploring opportunities to collaborate on projects that will advance innovation, economic development and international education.• Sheba Medical Center has come to New Jersey to build part of the Liberty Science Center, bring Israeli technology and innovation, and positively influence health equity in the state.
The state established the New Jersey-Israel Commission in 1989 to promote the development of trade, culture and educational exchanges and to encourage the development of capital investment and joint business ventures, its website says. In 1995, New Jersey opened a trade office in Israel, but it was later closed. Then in 2019, Murphy reconstituted the commission and committed to having a New Jersey economic mission come to Israel every year.
The commission gave the grant to Choose New Jersey to open the new office with Peres & Associates this year.
According to Andrew Gross, executive director of the New Jersey Israel Commission, the state has one of the largest Jewish communities per capita, with 600,000 to 700,000 Jews out of a population of nine million.
Moreover, New Jersey has already captured 25% of all investments from Israel in the New England area. Since
Murphy took over, he said, they have seen millions in foreign investment in the state and the creation of more than 1,400 jobs.
“We see Israeli companies pouring into New Jersey, and we look forward to seeing more,” he said on Tuesday.
Gross noted the state’s strategic location – bordering New York and Pennsylvania and near Washington and Boston – all hubs of entrepreneurialism and innovation. He said the state’s pedigree has been in life sciences, pharmaceuticals, IT, logistics, food and food innovation.
He added that before New Jersey “really got out there and started waving our flag,” it had its fair share of foreign investment and foreign trade. However, he said the recent increase shows that “a concerted effort can pay off – and in a big way.”