[INTERVIEW] New Jersey woos Korean companies with favorable environment New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy speaks during an interview with the Korea JoongAng Daily on Wednesday at the Conrad Hotel in western Seoul. [PARK SANG-MOON] New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy emphasized the state’s favorable working environment while being as competitive as Georgia financially in attracting Korean companies. “New Jersey is typically high on the list of considerations if your company is in the innovation technical space and secondly, if you care about a long list of factors such as quality of life, respect for others and a highly educated workforce,” Murphy said in a recent interview with the Korea JoongAng Daily in Seoul. Related Article Seoul, New Jersey sign MOU to enhance bilateral ties and cooperation National police, New Jersey sign MOU on driver’s licenses “The longer your list of considerations, the more likely that New Jersey will be the winner as you compare New Jersey to other places.” Murphy and his delegation were in Seoul on Wednesday and Thursday as part of the nine-day East Asia economic mission, making stops in Japan, Korea and Taiwan. According to Murphy, New Jersey was ranked in No. 1 among 50 American states in terms of reproductive rights, PreK-12 education end improved business environment in a comprehensive analysis done by the state with references to diverse sources including media, research institutes and nonpartisan organizations. The two-term governor said such a supportive environment for businesses gives New Jersey a competitive edge over states like Georgia in attracting Korean investment. Georgia has recently attracted a whopping $7.5 billion investment from Korea’s Hyundai Motor Group and LG Energy Solution in EV and battery with the state and local governments subsidizing $1.8 billion in tax breaks. “Georgia does a very good job of engaging with Korea. They offer a lot of subsidy packages but so do we,” Murphy said, adding that the state has more than $14 billion of incentive packages. “But here’s the problem. We are No. 1 [in reproductive rights] and Georgia’s No. 29. With Pre-K education, we are number one and Georgia’s number is 26.” New Jersey’s incentives will be in the form of tax credits, grants, loans and other forms of financial support, according to Tim Sullivan, chief executive officer at New Jersey Economic Development Authority. Given New Jersey’s relatively small land size, Sullivan said cooperation in the semiconductor business would be more plausible in the form of research and development (R&D). “New Jersey is a relatively small place. So our angle on that is to focus on research that’s happening around supercomputing and quantum which are part of the mix. We think there’s a big opportunity for us in R&D,” Sullivan said to the Korea JoongAng Daily. “The Princeton Plasma Physics Lab in New Jersey is one of the most cutting-edge research facilities, particularly in plasma manufacturing which is very relevant to semiconductor manufacturing in the long term. In photonics, which is highly related to both chips and AI, we’ve got a large and growing photonics cluster in New Jersey that we are hoping to grow and accelerate.” New Jersey has had long-established relationships with Korean companies, housing the North American headquarters of Korea’s household names such as Samsung and LG, thanks to its adjacent location to big cities like New York and Philadelphia as well as its abundant human resources. It has the third-largest Korean population out of all American states, making its annual trade with Korean businesses worth $5 billion. “I think the Republic of Korea is the world’s number one success story over the past several decades,” Murphy said. “And it so happens that it has emerged just as New Jersey has reemerged. We both got a lot of momentum right now. For New Jersey, this is a very good partnership that we want to make even better.” New Jersey is known to have a strong infrastructure in life science, housing more than 3,000 global firms in the biotechnology field. That includes operations of Samsung Biologics and SK Life Science from Korea. During Murphy’s Korea visit, New Jersey’s Rutgers University and Korea’s Seoul National University signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to extend the existing partnership which is mostly centered on exchanging students to faculty visits and research collaborations. “We are now really expanding these partnerships with Seoul National University,” Antonio Calcado, executive vice president at Rutgers University said to the Korea JoongAng Daily. “We are taking it out of the realm of simply being people to people and getting more into sciences and technologies that I think we can really have a lot of collaboration around. We probably have almost 300 collaborations already with SNU but many of them are not as much in research. There’s more in what I would feel as the liberal arts side of academia. Innovative technologies would be the main focus.” During the Korea visit, Murphy met with leaderships of LG Electronics, CJ ENM and Samsung Biologics. BY JIN EUN-SOO, SHIN HA-NEE [jin.eunsoo@joongang.co.kr]

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