Gov. Cuomo outlines international business expansion for state

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo delivers his annual State

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo delivers his annual State of the State address at the Empire State Plaza Convention Center in Albany. (Jan. 8, 2014) Photo Credit: AP

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Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo wants the state's business community to go global.

Speaking to lawmakers in Albany Wednesday, Cuomo unveiled a Global NY initiative aimed at encouraging foreign-owned companies to set up shop here. He also hopes to increase exports of goods and services produced in the state.

Global NY was among the business programs that Cuomo announced in his fourth State of the State speech. Others include a commission to recommend state regulations for elimination, and tax cuts for manufacturers and corporations.

Global NY is an outgrowth of START-UP NY, a program created last year to establish tax-free zones on college campuses for select businesses. It is still being rolled out.

"We can literally have companies coming from overseas to this state because of START-UP NY," Cuomo said.

He also announced that former Morgan Stanley chief executive John Mack would help to organize a conference at the Javits Convention Center in Manhattan to tout New York State's "assets" to foreign investors.

Later, two state officials told Newsday Cuomo wants to expand Empire State Development's efforts to help local exporters through networking events, training and trade missions to foreign countries. They said the agency's trade division is to be revamped.

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Kenneth Adams, president of Empire State Development, said, "The goal is to bolster interstate and global competitiveness and attract higher levels of foreign direct investment to renew the state's success in growing its exports."

New York was No. 3 in the country in 2012 exports, selling $81.4 billion in merchandise overseas. That activity supported about 3 percent of private-sector jobs, according to the most recent data from the federal International Trade Administration.

New York was third in the country in investment by foreign-owned companies, as measured by employment, according to a Financial Times study.

On Long Island, some executives praised Cuomo's international focus, along with his drive to cut taxes and regulations.

"I'd like to see us expand what we already do with our largest trading partner, Canada, and then look to other countries as well," said Kevin Law, president of the Long Island Association business group.

Desmond Ryan, executive director of the developers' group Association for a Better Long Island, was hopeful about Cuomo's call for a joint gubernatorial-legislative commission to identify business regulations that can be ended. Ryan and others said commissions under Cuomo, in contrast to those of some of his predecessors, have led to action.

Other items on Cuomo's agenda:

Boost in-state consumption of food and beverages made in the state through a farmers' summit.

Increase the number of state contracts awarded to businesses owned by disabled veterans.

Expand efforts to promote tourism, including more highway signs.

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