About Us


The Council for Trade and Investment Promotion

An NJ Non-Profit Corporation
New Jersey Business Registration No. 0400597450


The Council for Trade and Investment Promotion (CTIP) is a non-profit, non-political and non-government organization (NGO). A private initiative organized by a group of businessmen and people in the academe to help Paterson City and the Passaic County bring back its glory, by creating business opportunities, trade and investments and job opportunities.

The Council would like to start its economic model in Paterson City, as CTIP's "pilot project". Once successful, we shall duplicate this initiative to other towns and cities in the State of New Jersey. A trade and investment promotion initiative is most often a government agency (or at times a non-profit organization functioning similar to a chamber of commerce or a trade association) whose mission is to attract investment to a country, state, region or city. It does this by introducing investors with local real estate developers and other commercial service companies, providing useful statistical information such as average wages and by managing any investment incentives that the city, state or country may offer to companies which invest there.

The Council will invite Chamber of Commerce and other civic organization to join in the initiative of promoting trade and investments in Paterson City and the whole of Passaic County.

The initiative will be non-political, non-profit and a non-government organization, geared towards helping Paterson City to become an investment and tourism destination.

Key Messages

Dynamic and sustained economic growth, supported by investments and entrepreneurship are the needed ingredients for the private sector to create more jobs and business opportunities and thus increase income for the man in the street.

In turn, this will generate income for the City to fund and expand its access to health, education and infrastructure services and help improve productivity.

But in many towns and cities in the State of New Jersey “foreign direct investments” (FDI) are too low, productivity gains are insufficient, incentives for innovation are inadequate, return on investments are not sufficiently predictable, and not enough to secure a safe and adequate jobs being created in the formal economy.

While United States is considered a developed country, many local government units (LGU) are still in dire need of trade and investment opportunities to address government’s budgetary constraints and other structural impediments that holds back productive investments, from both domestic and foreign.

Economic development is like developing an infrastructure facility on a “public-private-partnership (PPP) mode. The private sector has its own responsibility to support the government. It cannot leave economic development to the government alone. It has to work hand-in-hand. It must work as a team.

To help the private sector mobilize more productive investments, and improve the effectiveness of interventions that support this objective, the Council need to:

1. Be more strategic, and its support shall be in accordance with the market demand.

2. Focus on helping to lower the costs of investments, reduce risks, improve competition and develop human and institutional capacities in the City.

3. Promote responsible business practices in such areas as labor relations, the environment and anti-corruption within the system.

4. Support the City’s advocacy of enhancing the contribution of investment to pro-poor growth (i.e. increase the impact of growth on poverty reduction) by making labor, land and other markets work better for the poor, tackling constraints to women’s entrepreneurship, reducing barriers to formalization, promoting environmental sustainability, expanding access to knowledge and technology and unleashing the economic potential of the City.

5. Encourage entrepreneurship and innovation by supporting education and vocational training, research and development activities and technology transfers.

6. Support the City’s plan to improve and develop new and efficient infrastructure facilities, especially those under PPP concept offering it to prospective investors, who are qualified and eligible to undertake government infrastructure projects.

7. Help the City improve its capacity as an investment and tourism destination.

8. Seek out reliable, representative and accountable domestic partners who can drive reform program and help catalyze change.


To achieve mutually beneficial outcomes, this Trade and Investment Cooperation Framework operate according to the principles of equality, transparency, efficiency, mutual understanding and consensus.

This framework is open-ended and progressive. The cooperation initiatives may be adjusted enriched and will evolve as issues of concern to the City and to the State of New Jersey, to support its development and catalyst of change for the future, in accordance with its Medium Term Plan.


This cooperation framework is developed and initiated with the aim of:

1. Promoting trade, investment and economic cooperation in the City and in the State of New Jersey.

2. Encouraging trade and investment from various domestic and foreign trade and investment organizations with the CTIP acting as the conduit between these organizations and various companies and business organization, including Chamber of Commerce in Paterson City, and all other Chambers dealing on Trade and Investments giving emphasis in supporting economic and sustainable development, and growth.

3. Sharing policy practices on trade and investment among the Stakeholders, both local and overseas.

4. Encouraging initiatives among the Stakeholders to support institution-building to enhance productive capacity and value addition across various economic sectors.

5. Enhancing communication and coordination.

Board of Trustees

Members of the Board of Trustees
JEFFERY JONES / Honorary Chairman
JOSE HERNANDEZ / Chairman of the Board
FERNANDO M. SOPOT / Director - President
CHRISTOPHE SCHWOERTZIG / Executive Director - Corporate Secretary
NAGIN RANA / Director - Treasurer
WAYNE SMITH / Director
SELINA LUO / Director - Head Foreign Relations

Advisory Board

Advisory Board
Lawyer Dennis Ortiguera / Legal Affairs
Dr. Ajay Gandhi / Advisor - Indian Business Affairs
Mr. Bill Vanasing / Advisor - Asean Business Affairs
Lawyer Rajab Al Bahknug / Advisor - Middle East Business Affairs
Deo Ruta / Advisor - Tanzania Affair
Mr. John Bright Lee (Joong Hee Lee) / Advisor - Korean Affairs

CTIP Officers

CTIP Officers
Manny Contreras / Vice Chairman
Fernando M. Sopot / Charter President
Christophe Schwoertzig / Executive Director
Jose Hernandez / Treasurer and Finance Officer
Karen Martinez / Secretary and Administrative Manager
Richard Capac / Chief Economist and Business Development
Jose M. Colon / Chief Investment Analyst
Lawyer Dennis Ortiguera / Legal Counsel

Working Committee

Working CommitteeChairman
International RelationsFernando M. Sopot
TradeRichard Capac
InvestmentsJose Colon
FinanceYini Nunez
Government RelationsJose Hernandez
EducationMiguel Frias
MembershipSelina Luo
Research and DevelopmentMichael Thompson
Social ServicesNagin Rana
Public RelationsSelina Luo