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New York State

Overview

New York State has a total area of approximately 54,000 square miles, around 15 per cent of which is inland water. Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut and the Atlantic Ocean border the State to the East and New Jersey and Pennsylvania to the South. Lakes Erie and Ontario and The Canadian province of Ontario lie to the Northwest and the Province of Quebec borders the North.

According to recent census information the resident population of New York State was almost 19 million in 2000. The State has 62 counties, 62 cities, 553 villages and 932 towns and the capital of the State is Albany. New York City covers a land area of around 309 square miles and with a population of over 8 million it is not only the largest city of New York State, followed by Buffalo, Rochester, Yonkers and Syracuse, but also the largest city in the United States. New York City comprises of 5 Boroughs including Manhattan, Bronx, Queens, Brooklyn and Staten Island. It is one of the three "world cities" along with London and Tokyo that control world finance. Financial transactions in New York City on an average business day may equal one third of the GNP, with the city sometimes processing more than $1.2 trillion of financial transactions daily.

Economy

New York's diverse economy includes concentrations of employment in a wide variety of industries. These include financial services, ICT, media, fashion and textiles, biomedical and industrial machinery.

The average personal income per capita of a resident in the United States is $30,472 but the average income per capita of residents in New York State is $36,019, based upon figures released by BEA Regional Facts for 2001. The GSP (Gross State Product) of the region is $799.2 billion and the unemployment rate is 5.6 per cent. The GSP represents more than 8 per cent of the GDP of the United States and if New York were a country it would equate to the ninth largest economy in the world.

New York is home to dozens of Fortune 500 companies. There are 55 major headquarters in New York accounting for almost $1.2 trillion of the group's revenue. The State also attracts international investors with New York ranking third in the nation in 1999, having attracted foreign direct investment amounting to $63.1 billion.

In export trade, the state's primary international partners are Japan, Canada, France, Germany, and the United Kingdom. Ranked third in the, the New York makes a significant contribution to the US global trading position. Merchandise exports amounted to $52 billion in 2001accounting for 7.1 per cent of US exports. New York exports grew 10.4 per cent between 1998 and 2001compared to growth of 7 per cent for the nation.

Schenectady, Albany and New York City were once major industrial cities but are now experiencing a major decline as seen in many of the developed countries. However, its surviving manufactures include printed materials, machinery, chemicals, paper, electrical equipment, computer equipment, optical instruments and cameras, sporting goods and transportation equipment. New York City is also a leading printing centre along with Binghamton, Buffalo, Elmira and Schenectady. Rochester is a major centre for the manufacture of photographic and optical equipment.

New York City is also a leading manufacturer of clothing, particularly women's fashion, with Rochester and Buffalo also contributing to clothing manufacture. The Binghamton area produces computers and navigation and guidance equipment. Buffalo has iron and steel, flour mills and produces motor-vehicle parts. Generally, manufacturing productivity levels in New York are helped by the concentration of high-value-added pharmaceutical production and other chemical manufacturing in the state.

The land in between the mountain regions and cities is rich in agriculture and the produce includes grapes, apples, strawberries, pears, cherries, onions and potatoes and extracting maple syrup. Long Island is famous for its wines and the State is the third leading US producer of dairy goods. Some commercial fishing happens on the lakes and in the waters around Long Island. There is 18,775,000 acres of forest across the state but forestry is no longer a major industry.

Standard Of Living

New York today is a safer place to live and work than it was eight years ago. In 1997 crime was reduced at a rate almost three times the national average. Violent crime dropped 45% since 1994 resulting in the state's lowest crime rate in almost 30 years.

In recent years New York has increased investment in its educational system and sustained funding for schools has been guaranteed for the 2002-03 school year with $14.2 billion in aid, representing the highest level of educational assistance in the State's history. New York students account for nearly 11per cent of national participants in Advanced Placement examinations, 64% of which qualified for college credit.

High quality health care is also readily available and the state has launched a variety of new programmes to ensure access to health care for all New Yorkers.

Infrastructure

A significant portion of the US and Canadian economies is within easy reach of New York State. Fifty per cent of the North American population and its income is situated within a 750-mile radius of central New York. This constitutes one of the largest and richest consumer and business markets in the world.

The State is well served by airports. The main airports in the New York City area are JFK and LaGuardia and preliminary figures released by the Port Authority for 2001 suggest that 29,400,000 passengers, 1,466,389 tonnes of cargo and 111,000 tonnes of airmail passed through JFK airport. Figures released for LaGuardia for the same period suggest that 21,900,000 passengers passed through the airport, as did 14,795 tonnes of air cargo and 42,700 tonnes of airmail. The flow of international trade through New York's air and seaports is $297 billion a year, close to one fifth of the total volume in the U.S.

The rail service throughout New York State and beyond is also extensive with a 5,000 mile rail network for both freight and passengers, served by several transport companies. It is estimated that over 42 million tonnes of equipment, raw materials, manufactured goods and produce are shipped each year. The highway system of New York State includes over 110,000 miles of highway and 17,000 bridges, handling over 100 billion vehicle miles every year.

There are approximately 130 public transport operators working across the State, serving over 5.2 million passengers every day. The major ocean shipping port is at New York City and is based on the New Jersey side of the Hudson. The New York/ New Jersey Port is ranked third largest in the United States by cargo volume. In total, for the year 2000 the port handled 138,669,879 short tons (each tonne being 2,000 pounds), approximately 48 per cent of which was foreign trade (US Army Corps of Engineers, Navigation Data Centre). Albany is an important port on the Hudson; Ogdensburg is a major port on the St. Lawrence River and Buffalo and Oswego are leading Great Lakes ports.

Once a major commercial transport route, the New York State Barge Canal System is the longest internal waterway system in any state with around 800 miles of canals, connecting New York City with the Hudson River and the Great Lakes. The Barge Canal has 57 electrically operated locks and vessels weighing up to 2,000 tonnes can navigate the system. However, commercial shipping has almost disappeared from the canals and tourists are now its main users. In an effort to increase the use of the canal a major renovation was begun in 1995 to improve tourist facilities.

New York State has one of the world's most advanced telecommunications systems. The state-wide network of around 13 million lines is entirely supported by a digital infrastructure. On it's own New York City is the largest telecommunications market in the world.

Workforce

New York State has a well-educated workforce of around 9 million. The state has one of the most extensive networks of academic institutions including some 320 colleges accounting for more than one million students enrolled in undergraduate and graduate programmes. This provides resident companies with an important resource for continuing education and vocational education programmes. According to Empire State Development, more than 23 per cent of all adults have completed four or more years of college. This compares to around 20 per cent nationally.

According to Empire State Development, New York ranks 9th in the nation for worker productivity in manufacturing. Workers generate a value of more than $6 for every dollar earned, produce close to 16 per cent more than the national average and the average manufacturing wage is $13.86 per hour - 27th among the 50 states. In addition, professional and managerial workers produce 39 per cent more than the national average.

Business Costs

New York State is known as the nation's leader in cutting taxes and offers a variety of incentives to companies expanding or relocating. With the aim of encouraging economic and community development, business investment and job creation the State authorities have identified a number of regions throughout the state to be designated 'Empire Zones'. Certified businesses located within these zones, of which there are over 70, are eligible to receive significant tax credits and benefits. Companies qualify for a number of incentives on the basis of the job creation. Incentive programmes include Investment and Research and Development Tax Credit designed to encourage investment in people and technologies.
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