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 /ADVANCE/ELLIS ISLAND, Sept. 8 /PRNewswire/ -- New Jersey's ability to reach into world markets through exports should play a major role in revitalizing the state's economy, E. James Ferland, chairman and chief executive officer of Public Service Electric and Gas Company (PSE&G), said this evening as he, state officials and business leaders launched PSE&G's "TradeLink-NJ" program.
 TradeLink-NJ is designed to familiarize small and medium-sized businesses with export-related opportunities and help them realize those opportunities.
 Speaking before more than 250 New Jersey officials, including Barbara McConnell, state commissioner of commerce and economic development, and legislative and business leaders, Ferland said, "The recession has put many businesses in a survival mode, where they believe they are not in a position to look at overseas markets. We contend they should be looking at export opportunities."
 PSE&G's active role in helping New Jersey businesses overcome the challenges of going global drew praise from NJ Governor Jim Florio. "There is no reason why New Jersey cannot become to the European community what California has become to the Pacific Rim," the governor said. "We have deepwater ports, an international airport, more railroad trackage and highways per square mile than any state in the nation, the most urbanized region in the country and a unique location -- mid-way in the Boston to Washington corridor," Florio said.
 The "TradeLink-NJ" initiative, introduced by Ferland, includes a new 30-second TV commercial, 60-second radio spot, print advertisement, four-page brochure and direct mail campaign.
 "The 'TradeLink-NJ' brochure, which depicts PSE&G's export assistance program, and how small and medium-sized businesses can benefit, will be used to respond to anticipated inquiries from our advertising and direct mail campaign," Ferland said.
 Ferland noted that PSE&G has been helping companies expand their business for more than 60 years. "PSE&G places great emphasis on area development because of the substantial impact economic development has on the economy of New Jersey and on the economic health of PSE&G. A utility isn't like other companies that can pick up and move if the economy turns sour. We have to stay here, so it is in our best interest to make sure the economy is healthy enough to support us," Ferland said.
 "PSE&G selected Ellis Island as the site for the launch of 'TradeLink-NJ' because it symbolizes the links that exist between our nation and the continent of Europe. Ellis Island was the doorway to America for 12 million immigrants and New Jersey was the gateway for many of these people to their new lives in America. Today, their descendants account for almost 40 percent of our country's population."
 "Our 'TradeLink-NJ' initiative will help open the door in the opposite direction, and will give a global perspective to our economic development programs for the state of New Jersey," John Maddocks, PSE&G vice president - public affairs, said.
 Ferland noted that two years ago, PSE&G hired DRI/McGraw-Hill, a Lexington, Mass.-based consulting firm, to study the validity of the utility's belief that New Jersey industry had export potential. "Their answer was an emphatic yes," Ferland said.
 According to Ferland, the DRI research suggested that the greatest export potential lies with firms in seven categories: computers and precision instruments, non-electrical equipment, pharmaceuticals and toiletries, electrical equipment and telecommunications, chemicals and plastics, food and drinks, and business services.
 The DRI data also suggested that the market with the greatest potential would be the 12 nations that make up the European Community, an area with over 300 million consumers and a GDP (Gross Domestic Product) exceeding $6 trillion.
 "We will focus our 'TradeLink-NJ' efforts in these business areas and these markets," Ferland said, adding, "The 'TradeLink-NJ' services will be offered in three stages: an initial qualification to ensure that exporting makes sense for a particular firm; planning advice by a network of key export assistance providers throughout the region, including trade associations, local chambers of commerce, federal and state government assistance programs and financial institutions; and actual implementation.
 "Following the qualification to determine a firm's specific export needs, PSE&G will have an appropriate 'TradeLink-NJ' network member contact the firm within 10 days to provide needed information or assistance. PSE&G will remain involved as an overseer through all three phases of the effort.
 "As part of the preparation for the launch of 'TradeLink-NJ,' more than 100 PSE&G marketing representatives have received training to help them learn how to best serve a prospective exporter."
 Ferland added, "PSE&G believes the guidance it plans to offer will be the catalyst small and medium-sized businesses need to undertake an international initiative. We first thought about this a couple of years ago and we probably could have begun simply passing out export advice then. But we wanted to do it right. We wanted to get the DRI data as a solid foundation for what we had in mind and we wanted to get our own people trained so they could participate most effectively. The boom of the '80s is over, but perhaps this effort can help us recapture some of that in the '90s."
 "`TradeLink-NJ'," Ferland concluded, "is another way PSE&G gives New Jersey business the power to succeed."
 -0- 9/8/93/1800
 /CONTACT: Irene Driesen, 718-575-2731, or Neil Brown, 201-430-6017, both for Public Service Electric and Gas Company/

CO: Public Service Electric and Gas Company ST: New Jersey IN: UTI SU: PDT

MP-LG -- NY030 -- 9866 09/08/93 13:31 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Sep 8, 1993

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