Last September, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy made history as the first governor from the Garden State to visit India, embarking on a week-long trade mission intended to boost Indian capital in the state. With Indian investment to the United States already valued at $9.2 billion — including $1.7 billion to New Jersey — efforts to engage with India by US state governors point to more opportunities for shared growth and economic partnership between the two largest democracies in the world.
Visiting multiple cities across India, Governor Phil Murphy and the New Jersey delegation met with representatives from several multinational enterprises from industries such as manufacturing, energy research, and technology development.
In addition to signing partnerships and deals expected to increase the more than 3,500 jobs provided by India-based companies in his state, Governor Murphy facilitated meetings between representatives of educational institutions, aiming to establish more research and innovation hubs that would promote collaboration between Indian and New Jersey students and researchers and increase opportunities for exchange.
Additionally, meeting with producers and executives from Bollywood and Tollywood (Telugu-language film industry), Governor Murphy showcased New Jersey as a prime location for film and digital content production, featuring the state’s increasing efforts to improve production facilities, offer attractive tax incentives, and train local talent in various content making capacities. “We look forward to bringing more Indian movies to the scenic Garden State in the years ahead,” said Producers Guild of India President Siddharth Roy Kappur.
Aside from attending high-level business meetings, Governor Murphy also visited popular tourist destinations, immersing himself in the country’s rich heritage and culture, and meeting with prominent Indian personalities, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and Tara Gandhi Bhattacharjee, granddaughter of Mahatma Gandhi.
Highlighting the presence of more than 400,000 Indian-Americans in New Jersey, Governor Murphy said, "We are proud to be the home of one of America's most deeply-rooted Indian American communities, and growing our economic partnership will only strengthen those ties.”
Jonathan Baldoza is a participant in the Young Professionals Program at the East-West Center in Washington and a recent graduate of the University of California, Berkeley.