Johnson Discusses Business Growth, Forging Stronger Relations Between New Jersey and the Philippines

Legislator Met with Philippine Consul General DeLeon in New York

(Teaneck) – Assembly Democrat Gordon Johnson met with Ambassador Mario L. DeLeon, Philippine Consul General on Tuesday to discuss ways New Jersey can forge stronger business relationships with the Philippines as the country continues to rebuild from the devastation caused by Typhoon Haiyan last November.

Johnson (D-Bergen) said the meeting was a welcomed opportunity to learn more about the Republic of the Philippines, their recovery efforts and how partnerships can help to fuel New Jersey’s economy.

“Part of our economic recovery should be exploring ways to increase international demand for the products and services provided by New Jersey companies,” Johnson said.

The meeting took place at the Philippine Consulate General’s office in New York.

“I personally thank Ambassador DeLeon for opening the lines of communication with an invitation to meet. This was, I am sure, the first of many discussions we will have on ways to bridge the gap in business between New Jersey and the Philippines,” Johnson added.

The Philippine Consulate General in New York provides services and assistance to Filipino nationals residing in the states of Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Vermont.

“The next step will be to bring together New Jersey’s business leaders and organizations,” Johnson. “By forming a kind of business think tank and pooling resources, we can encourage growth in Filipino-owned businesses in the state and forge stronger business relationships overseas. Our work here in New Jersey may potentially serve as a model for other states, if we do it right.”

Assemblyman Johnson is also the sponsor of the resolution (AR-207) that urged the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security grant Temporary Protective Status to the Philippines. Temporary Protective Status would allow Philippine nationals residing in the United States temporary relief from possible deportation or removal proceedings. The resolution was approved by the Assembly during last session and has been filed in the Secretary of State’s office.

On November 8, 2013, Typhoon Haiyan, one of the most powerful storms ever recorded on land, hit the Philippines, bringing sustained winds of 147 mph and waves as high as 45 ft. An estimated 6.9 million people were affected by the storm.