One of New Jersey’s biggest competitive advantages is its position as a hub for international trade. The Port of New York and New Jersey is the third busiest port in North America, supporting advanced manufacturers and a robust warehousing /storage industry. Helping New Jersey businesses find new markets and sell their goods and services overseas, is another one of the many ways NJBIA serves its members.
Opening New Markets: NJBIA has represented business in meetings with trade groups from around the world, including China, Great Britain, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Turkey and Canada in the last few years. Additionally, we work closely with the state’s Office of International Business Development & Protocol in the NJ Business Action Center (BAC), which provides companies with free export consulting. It can help identify buyers and new international markets for individual products or services here in the state, and help find partners for joint ventures and strategic alliances.
These exports play a big role in the state economy. In 2014, more than 20,000 companies exported more than $30 billion in goods and services, and 9 out of every 10 of those businesses were small or medium-sized enterprises. Exports also supported 137,000 jobs in New Jersey, 95 percent of which were attributable to manufacturing.
Attracting Foreign Companies: Attracting foreign companies to New Jersey is an important part of the state’s economic development strategy. NJBIA is a member of the non-profit ChooseNJ, whose mission is to attract companies to the state to create jobs and investment here. In addition, the Business Action Center helps with site selection services, and financing and incentive opportunities for expansion projects or for new investors seeking a corporate presence here.
Free Trade Zones: New Jersey has five Foreign Trade Zones (FTZs) – Mt. Olive, Newark/Port Elizabeth, Trenton, Camden and Lakewood. These are secure geographical areas, located within or near US ports, that are treated by Customs as if they were located outside national borders. This can be very helpful to companies because it gives them the ability to keep costs down by deferring payment of duties until goods leave an FTZ.
Helping Small Business: Technology and a growing global economy make it more feasible than ever for small businesses to sell their goods and services overseas. The Business Action Center (BAC) offers: free consulting services about exporting basics, regulatory compliance, and customs procedures; and help developing viable export plans.
Additionally, the US Small Business Administration, through the BAC, provides grants to eligible small businesses, both existing exporters and those new to exporting. The NJ State Trade Expansion Program (NJ STEP) helps businesses participate in foreign trade missions, foreign market sales trips, export tradeshows, and export training workshops.