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Governor Murphy and Seoul Mayor Sign Agreement To Establish Bilateral Friendship and Facilitate Growth of SMEs, Startups


Seoul, South Korea — Governor Murphy today met with Seoul Mayor Mr. Oh Se-hoon and signed an agreement that establishes a direct relationship between New Jersey and the city of Seoul, South Korea. The Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) represents a priority of the Choose New Jersey governor-led economic mission to East Asia, directly supporting small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and startups while establishing a bilateral partnership between New Jersey and Seoul.

“Seventy years ago, the United States and South Korea began an allyship that marked a new age of peace for its citizens and the world,” said Governor Murphy. “Today, alongside Mr. Oh Se-hoon, on behalf of the state of New Jersey, I am proud to build upon that promise of progress made decades ago. With this new partnership, New Jersey and Seoul will work together to pursue economic growth and strengthen cultural bonds between our regions.” 

"As the bond between Korea and the United States has grown and solidified in recent years, I anticipate that the connection between Seoul and New Jersey will likewise progress. I eagerly anticipate further exchanges following today's signing of the friendship agreement," expressed Seoul Mayor Oh Se-hoon, underscoring his hopes for the advancement of collaborative efforts between the two regions.

The MOU signed October 18 between New Jersey and the City of Seoul, South Korea formalizes collaboration between the State of New Jersey and the International Relations Division of the Seoul Metropolitan Government. The entities will work together to support Seoul’s business owners, ensuring fair competition and opportunities for all. 

“South Korean roots run deep throughout New Jersey with thousands of small and medium-sized businesses thriving in New Jersey,” said Wesley Mathews, President & CEO of Choose New Jersey. “The agreement on the establishment of a friendship signed today represents the beginning of a new chapter in New Jersey’s partnership with South Korea, with increased focus on giving Seoul business owners the tools they need to thrive at home and pathway to expand abroad.” 

“Across New Jersey, South Korean businesses and culture are part of our state’s fabric that helps make it a vibrant and eclectic place to live and work,” said Tim Sullivan, CEO of the New Jersey Economic Development Authority. “This agreement between Seoul and New Jersey will allow us to foster our decades-long partnership and greater pursue our shared mission of strengthening and diversifying our economies. Small and medium-sized enterprises are critical to Seoul and New Jersey and this sister state agreement will support the growth and success of our businesses.”

Reporters interested in more information on the New Jersey East Asia economic mission may contact Mahen Gunaratna ( and Ingrid Austin ( or visit for additional details.