The Christie Administration is making moves to attract international businesses to New Jersey.

Acting Governor Kim Guadagno on Monday visited Evonik Degussa Corporation in Parsippany to announce the Christie Administration's new Office of International Business Development and Protocol.

"As foreign companies consider investing beyond their home countries, they look to business-friendly environments with diverse business communities. Since taking office, Governor Christie has made New Jersey more attractive to both domestic and foreign investment," said Acting Governor Guadagno. "From our highly educated workforce and thriving industry clusters to our world-class intermodal transportation system supporting a gateway to international markets, New Jersey is well positioned to promote our assets, increase foreign direct investment and increase opportunities for New Jersey businesses to maximize exports."

The office will concentrate its outreach efforts on New Jersey's top investor nations - Germany, Switzerland, Japan, France, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, and Canada - and countries where New Jersey enjoys rich relationships, such as Taiwan, India, Korea and Israel.

The office will be led by Director Eddy Mayen, who will be responsible for managing foreign direct investment attraction and export promotion activities, as well as establishing and maintaining positive working relationships with the foreign business investment community.

Evonik Degussa Corporation is the North American arm of Evonik Corporation, an industrial group from Germany and one of the world leaders in specialty chemicals. Evonik Degussa, headquartered in New Jersey for 27 years, recently moved to a new facility in Parsippany. The company employs nearly 480 people in Parsippany and at its applied technology lab and research and development facility in Piscataway.

"Twenty-seven years ago, the German parent company of Evonik Degussa Corporation made the decision to invest in New Jersey as the location for our main office in North America. Most recently, Evonik Degussa Corporation was in the position of either moving to another state or remaining and growing in New Jersey," said Tom Bates Evonik Degussa Corporation's regional president. "Our decision to stay and expand was in our company's best interest. New Jersey is taking bold steps to become more business friendly. And these efforts are working. The Garden State provides exciting opportunities for corporations to succeed and grow."

The Christie Administration has been working to increase foreign direct investment and succeeded in attracting 21 new foreign investment projects. Bayer HealthCare (Germany), Schar (Italy), Ferring International Pharmascience (Switzerland), Padtech (Norway), and Archimedes Pharma (United Kingdom) are just a few of the internationally based companies that have recently invested in New Jersey. These projects expect to bring $1.6 billion in capital investment to, and create over 1,800 new jobs in, New Jersey.

Since January 2010, New Jersey has hosted more than 30 foreign delegations and meetings with trading partners, including a Canadian Trade Symposium attended by 70 New Jersey-based export-ready companies, a New Jersey-Zhejiang Trade Symposium last July and a visit by China's vice minister of commerce and a 75-member delegation in September 2010.

More recently, Governor Christie led a delegation to Israel to strengthen New Jersey's economic ties with that country and met with several Israeli business leaders who are considering making an investment in New Jersey.