Office of the Governor Rick Perry

Gov. Rick Perry: Texas is the Land of Opportunity

Closing remarks to the World Investment Conference in La Baule, France.

*Note - Gov. Perry frequently departs from prepared remarks.
Wednesday, June 04, 2008  •  Speech

Thank you, Shellie [Karabell, WIC Executive Producer] for that kind introduction and congratulations on assembling such a remarkable conference. Thank you again to the chairmen of this event, Pierre Guenant and Patrick Gounelle, for including us in this important dialogue on the state of our world's economy. And I must thank Minister Christine LaGarde [Minister of Finance] for the gift of her time and commend her for her progressive vision for the French economy and strong bias for action over endless conversation.

It has been a distinct honor and privilege for me to take part in this important time of discussion on the increased opportunities for mutually beneficial trade between Texas and the nations of the world. If you have run into any members of our trade delegation here at the World Investment Conference, you have probably figured out that Texans are pretty darn proud of the place they call home, and for good reason. Texas is a bona fide economic powerhouse with a robust manufacturing capability, a well-trained workforce, and a business climate that is second-to-none in its ability to encourage innovation and cultivate entrepreneurial success. We truly believe in the notion that government does not create jobs—private sector companies do so by risking their own capital in pursuit of a vision.

Government does have a role to play, however. It is our job to knock down obstacles to private sector success, then get out of the way. We have cleared the way for success in Texas through significant reforms to our legal system that have cut down on frivolous lawsuits, tax cuts that have freed up investment capital, and changes to our regulatory climate that protect the public interest without strangling business opportunities. We are reaping the benefits of those changes with an economy that has created 1.2 million jobs in the past five years, a negligible unemployment rate and status as the top exporting state in America.

As I stand here this evening, I would like to invite each and every one of you to consider your future in Texas, to imagine yourself heading out to the great American west, packing up and setting out for the land of opportunity that Texas has always been. Within the borders of our state, you will find a rich diversity of terrain, from the beaches of the Gulf Coast, to the sparkling skyscrapers of Houston and Dallas, to the rolling rugged mountains of far west Texas. You will also find a rich diversity of economic opportunity, from the oil and gas business in Houston, to semiconductors in Austin, to telecommunications in Dallas, to biotechnology all across the state. If the lure of low taxes, an educated workforce and a robust transportation infrastructure don't attract you, then come for the barbecue, cold beer and great music. Regardless of what brings you to Texas, what will most likely make you want to stay is friendliness of our people, their tireless work ethic and the sense of home that pervades our state.

I am an unashamed booster of a state where a young man born on a farm on the dusty plains of West Texas can get a good education and end up Governor. Texas truly is the land of opportunity and is, without a doubt, wide open for business. Thank you for having us, congratulations for a remarkable convention and be sure to act on the things you have discussed. Great ideas can change the world, but only when they are put to work.

Got bless you all and may he continue to bless the great state of Texas.

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