Landmark New Jersey-India Commission established to advance trade, investment, cultural relations

Gov. Phil Murphy signing Executive Order 354 establishing the New Jersey-India Commission Feb. 6, 2024. He is flanked by India’s Consul General in New York Binaya S. Pradhan, left, Lt. Gov. Tahesha Way, 2nd from right, and Chair of the Commission Wesley Matthews, right. PHOTO: Facebook @Governor Phil Murphy

In a bid to advance bilateral trade and investment and encourage economic development in both New Jersey and India, Governor Phil Murphy signed an executive order on Feb. 6, 2024, establishing the New Jersey-India Commission.

The Commission, established under Executive Order 354, will also aim to promote cultural and educational exchanges and sustainable long-term economic growth, keeping in view that India is the most populous country in the world with one of the fastest-growing economies, a press release from the Governor’s office indicated.

“I am honored to establish the New Jersey-India Commission to strengthen the cultural and economic ties between New Jersey and India for generations to come,” Governor Murphy is quoted saying in the press release. “Following my visit to India in 2019, we have been committed to strengthening our relationship, building on the overlapping economic strengths that New Jersey and India have long shared,” he added.

“We take immense pride in the contributions of our vast Indian immigrant population and, through this commission, we can ensure that we seize a new century of opportunities to grow together and pioneer new possibilities,” the Governor said.

Lieutenant Governor and Secretary of State Tahesha Way echoed Murphy’s views. The Commission will be part of her department. Way said she will be overseeing the Commission’s work, “building on the deep-rooted economic, cultural, and societal ties between New Jersey and India.”

“New Jersey’s Indian population enriches our state, and through this commission we are creating further opportunities for collaboration,” Ways added.

India is New Jersey’s second-largest foreign direct investor and the majority of New Jersey’s immigrant population hails from India. The Governor also noted that Gujarati was the fourth most spoken language in New Jersey, followed by Hindi.

In September of 2019, Governor Murphy and Choose New Jersey led an economic mission trip to India, fostering economic relations and securing over 1,200 new jobs by expanding the presence of three Indian companies within New Jersey, the press release said.

Over the past two decades, India has invested $2 billion in New Jersey, helping to create nearly 6,000 jobs in key sectors like life sciences and technology, it added.

India’s Consul General in New York Binaya S. Pradhan addressing the gathering at Gov. Phil Murphy’s office in Trenton, NJ, for the signing of the order establishing the New Jersey-India Commission, Feb. 6, 2024. PHOTO: Facebook @Governor Phil Murphy

“Our partnership with New Jersey is unique in several ways,” said Consul General of India Binaya Srikant Pradhan, adding, “It is a potential story of dynamic convergence and confluence of India’s economic resilience, presence of a highly successful Indian-American community and America’s spirit of innovation, fostering a landscape ripe with opportunities across sectors.”

The Commission is expected to add strength to already existing high level of economic engagement in terms of over $10 billion trade with New Jersey or several two-way investments, the Consul General said.

“This would also give a boost to the strong people-to-people connect that exists between India and New Jersey including in areas of education and knowledge partnership. We also look forward to Governor Murphy’s visit to India in the near future to take forward our partnership to new heights,” CG Pradhan said.

Wesley Mathews, chair of the Commission, said, “The multiple economic missions the State has taken to India since 2019, including the number of sister-state relationships established and MOUs signed across higher education, life science, and the technology sectors prove that we have shared visions for our economies and peoples.” Mathews added he looked forward to an even stronger and more robust partnership.

The New Jersey-India Commission will consist of no less than 35 and no more than 45 members, each appointed by the Governor. The Governor shall select one Chairperson from the appointees to lead. The commission is expected to provide advice to the Governor, as well as to the other New Jersey government agencies and departments.

Gov. Phil Murphy holds up Executive Order 354 which he signed Feb. 6, 2024, establishing the New Jersey-India Commission. He is flanked by the members of the Commission he appointed Indian Consulate representatives. PHOTO: Facebook @Governor Phil Murphy

Governor Murphy thanked “the phenomenal leaders” present at the meeting, many of them in the Commission. He appointed the following members to the Commission, including several elected officials, and leaders in various sectors: Dini Ajmani, Natasha Alagarasan, Sri Atluri, Snehal Batra, Coleen Burrus, Ravi Dattatreya, Kirti Desai, Parimal Garg, Vin Gopal, Balpreet Grewal-Virk, Kiran Handa Gaudisoso, Pavita Howe, Jaime Jacob, Monica Jain, Gurbir Johal, Suchitra Kamath, Krishna Kishore, Vidya Kishore, Kris Kolluri, Indu Lew, Jose Lozano, Wesley Mathews, Anjali Mehrotra, Deelip Mhaske, Raj Mukherji, Suresh Muthuswami, Srinivas Pallia, Anand Paluri, Falguni Pandya, Carrie Parikh, Rajiv Parikh, Gurpreet Pasricha, Deepak Raj, Jatin Shah, Huzaifa Shakir, Sterley Stanley, Ragy Thomas,  Steven Van Kuiken, and Christina Zuk



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