Gov. Phil Murphy and a delegation of state officials and business leaders leave New Jersey on Monday night for a nine-day economic mission to Germany and Israel.

“It’s a very packed – I looked at it again, I had a conversation earlier today, I just hope I can make all the meetings because it’s back to back to back,” Murphy said last week.

“Those are both two important markets. Two of the larger markets for foreign direct investment into New Jersey right now,” said Tim Sullivan, chief executive officer of the state Economic Development Authority. “Obviously the governor has important connections to Germany, having previously served as ambassador there. And New Jersey’s connection to Israel dates back as far as the founding of the nation, so lots of cultural and economic ties there, as well.”

Murphy traveled to Europe for a vacation this past summer but this will be his first official overseas visit as governor. He’ll begin in Germany, where he served as ambassador from 2009 to 2013. Between Tuesday and Saturday, he’ll have multiple meetings in Berlin, Hamburg and Frankfurt.

“It’s going to be more skewed toward the big DAX 30 companies. So the big folks who in some cases are already here, like BASF and Bayer and folks like that,” Murphy said. “But a good amount of higher ed and startup stuff as well.”

“The Germany portion of the trip is going to focus a lot on technology and also offshore wind,” Sullivan said. “Germany has a great offshore wind industry, and we’re trying to grow and reap the benefits on the supply chain side of the offshore wind investment that the state’s going to be making.”

While in Germany, Murphy will give a tribute speech to a late foreign minister with whom he was friends.

The group then will be in Israel from Oct. 20 to 24 for cultural visits, corporate meetings and business announcements focused mostly on innovation and higher education in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. While there, the governor will also meet with Jewish federations from New Jersey who are visiting that country at the same time.

“Lots of great tech companies and a great case to be made that New Jersey is a great place to have your U.S. presence,” Sullivan said.

Sullivan said it remains to be determined if there will be future overseas economic missions but that Murphy has prioritized trying to attract more foreign direct investment to New Jersey.

“Within our team in the Economic Development Authority, we’ve opened a small Office of International Trade and Investment to try to attract more of these kinds of opportunities,” Sullivan said. “So I think it’s going to continue to be a priority.”

New Jersey is home to more than 1,100 multi-national companies and the headquarters of an estimated 270 foreign companies, according to the state.

New Jersey: Decoded cuts through the cruft and gets to what matters in New Jersey news and politics. Follow on Facebook and Twitter.

Michael Symons is State House bureau chief for New Jersey 101.5 and the editor of New Jersey: Decoded. Follow @NJDecoded on Twitter and Facebook. Contact him at

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