Newark, NJ – April 18, 2012 – Mayor Cory A. Booker, East Ward Council Member Augusto Amador, Brick City Development Corporation (BCDC) CEO Lyneir Richardson, New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) Senior Vice President for Research & Development Dr. Donald H. Sebastian, NJ U.S. Export Assistance Center Senior International Trade Specialist Susan Widmer and Portuguese American Chamber of Commerce of New Jersey President Pedro Belo welcomed Ambassador of Portugal to the U.S. Nuno Brito and U.S. Ambassador to Portugal Allan J. Katz to the City of Newark during the “Doing Business in NJ Symposium,” which was held on Monday, April 16, at the NJIT Student Center Atrium. Newark, Miami, and New York City, are the only three cities in the nation selected to host the U.S./Portugal Business Development Trade Mission, which is taking place between now and April 20. Newark is the second stop of the mission.
“Newark’s Portuguese community has a long and profound history as a source of our City’s economic and cultural strength and diversity. Our strong and trusted trade relations with Portugal have made Newark a center for exports and imports with this great country. In visiting our beloved City, this trade mission is renewing and strengthening long-standing ties between Newark and Portugal – and at the same time learning about Newark’s achievements and increasing importance as a center for international business,” Mayor Booker said.
Ambassador Brito said, “We deeply value the cooperation with different levels of the U.S. Government, at federal, state and municipal levels alike, and we believe this Business Development Trade Mission is a great opportunity for the promotion of mutual and increased business ties, for both the Portuguese and American companies.”
During their visit to Newark, the Portuguese delegation was able to attend a networking luncheon at Casa Seabra and tour a local successful business, Vieira’s Bakery, which has been delivering and baking Portuguese-style bread in New Jersey since it first opened in 1974. Today, Vieira’s Bakery produces over 45,000 rolls annually in its state-of-the-art 100,000 square foot facility.
“I think this is an excellent opportunity for investment to come to the City of Newark and as a result, tackle the issue of unemployment in the City. The reason why we were so excited about Newark being involved in this tour is because Newark should serve as a port of entry for investment in the United States. Add that to the fact that Newark has a very strong Portuguese-American community, and we have the perfect target market to attract investments from the major corporations in Portugal. Business attraction was the intent of the trip, as it was organized by our Ambassador in Lisbon.. They were very excited about the opportunities in Newark and in New Jersey. The types of incentives were new to them, and they were very surprised in a positive way about the opportunities they could have available to maximize their business,” Council Member Amador said.
The Portuguese community of Newark has been one of the City’s greatest strengths for decades. Newark has more than 16,000 residents of Portuguese ancestry and 6,000 of Brazilian ancestry, making Newark a national center for Portuguese culture with generations of community servants and activists, educators, business leaders, and artists. Newark’s Portuguese population is centered in the East Ward’s Ironbound neighborhood, which is noted for its Portuguese-owned businesses — restaurants, cafes, bakeries, jewelers, sports clubs, grocery stores, and more — that line up on and near Ferry Street. In particular, this neighborhood is often visited by both Portuguese and non-Portuguese for its many well-known Portuguese, Spanish, and Brazilian restaurants. Additionally, the Ironbound has a vivacious night life and an increasing variety of bars and cocktail lounges.
“The Portuguese American Chamber of Commerce of New Jersey was incorporated in 2003 as a non-profit organization, to foster economic prosperity to all its members. Through partnerships with several organizations and the scheduling of special purpose events, PACCNJ promotes the interests of its members and the communities it serves. Bilateral events, in particular with Portuguese-based trade missions, like the one currently taking place in Newark, has been on top of PACCNJ agenda, putting our members at the forefront of any business ventures and opportunities in New Jersey,” said PACCNJ President Belo.
“BCDC works everyday to attract businesses to the City of Newark and welcomes the Portuguese delegation and Portuguese companies to our City. We look forward to exploring possible opportunities for these companies to establish a presence here and join Luso-Americano, Teixeira’s Bakery, Triunfo Foods and other companies who have made Newark, New Jersey their home,” said BCDC CEO Richardson.
The International Trade Administration (ITA) recently announced new data that show New Jersey merchandise exports increased 19% in 2011 compared to 2010, growing from $32.2 billion to $38.2 billion. This percentage growth topped the 16% national average for merchandise export growth for the same period.
New Jersey’s 2011 merchandise export sales increased to many top destinations, including the Netherlands (up 84 %), Brazil (81%), Turkey (46%), Mexico (39%), and China (34%). Key merchandise export categories include: chemicals, petroleum products, computer and electronic products, transportation equipment, and primary metal manufactures.
“New Jersey exporters continue to sell some of the most innovative products and services to world destinations, advancing President Obama’s National Export Initiative that is on pace to double U.S. exports by the end of 2014. Eighty-five percent of world economic growth over the next five years will take place outside of the United States. As the U.S. economy builds momentum, we must continue to equip U.S. businesses with all the necessary tools to increase exports that support millions of high-paying jobs across the country,” said U.S. Department of Commerce Undersecretary for International Trade Francisco Sánchez in a statement.
To further expand the reach and availability of export programs to businesses nationwide, the ITA has signed a Memorandum of Intent with the State International Development Organizations, Inc. (SIDO). SIDO supports state international trade agencies, and the memorandum expands cooperative efforts in the promotion of federal and state export programs such as trade missions and overseas business matchmaking services.
With more than 100 offices across the United States and in American Embassies and Consulates in nearly 80 countries, the ITA’s U.S. Commercial Service connects U.S. companies with international buyers through export counselling and a variety of export services. In 2011, the worldwide U.S. Commercial Service helped U.S. businesses facilitate 14,200 export successes worth $55 billion in U.S. export sales. Companies interested in getting started should contact their local office in Newark at (973) 567-0670 or visit www.export.gov/NewJersey.
“Many New Jersey businesses are finding that emerging markets around the world offer some of the best opportunities for making new sales, and are adjusting their export strategies accordingly,” said Ms.Widmer. “One of the most important aspects of exporting is that it helps firms to diversify their portfolios and withstand downturns in the domestic economy, and that’s good for business. We’d like to help you realize your export potential.”
Sponsors of the U.S. / Portugal Business Development Trade Mission’s visit to Newark are Genova Burns Giantomasi Webster, PSE&G, NJIT, and Investors Savings Bank.
For more information about the impact of exports on individual states, please visit the Office of Trade and Industry Information’s web page at www.trade.gov/mas/ian.
For information about any City of Newark program or policy, contact the Non-Emergency Call Center at (973) 733-4311.