Gov. Rick Perry addressed a welcome session for speakers and attendees of the Ambrosetti Forum in Italy. The governor and first lady departed for this economic development mission on Tuesday, September 4, and will return Wednesday, September 12. The week-long trip will be paid for by TexasOne and the Ambrosetti Forum. No tax dollars will be used for the Perry's travel and accommodations on this trip.
The Ambrosetti Forum is an annual international economic development conference where heads of state, Nobel laureates, businessmen, managers and experts from around the world have come together since 1975 to discuss forecasts of economic and geo-political outlooks for the world, Europe and Italy. The forum also discusses scientific and technological developments and their impact on the future of public and private institutions, business and society.
Gov. Perry will give remarks tomorrow at the forum's Innovation, Research and Development as Drivers for Growth session.
Full text of the governor's remarks to the welcome session are below.
Please note: Gov. Perry frequently deviates from prepared text.
Thank you for having me here with such a unique and distinguished group of individuals.
I have the best job in the world, and a big part of my job is getting out and telling people across the United States - and around the world - about the great things that have been happening in Texas, and the great things yet to come.
That mission has taken me and Anita, across Europe and even to China a couple years ago; spreading the word about what a great place Texas is. But why take my word for it?
The business climate we've helped create in Texas has been steadily attracting accolades from U.S. media and business leaders for a decade.
Most recently, fDi Magazine awarded us the 2012 Governor Award for being the most successful state in the union at attracting investment.
A few months back, CNBC named Texas the Top State for Business for the third time, and in Chief Executive Magazine's annual survey of CEOs, Texas was ranked the best state for business for the eighth year in a row.
We're proud of that, and when a Texan is proud, you'd better believe we're going to talk about it.
I'm proud to say Texas is the nation's top exporter for a full decade.
I'm proud to say more than 222,000 new private-sector jobs were added over the last year, reflecting two years of job growth during a time many states were shedding jobs.
And I'm proud to say Texas continues to compete for, and win, new expansion projects and relocations from some of the most notable names in the most notable industries in the world.
Names like Caterpillar, the world's largest producer of construction and mining equipment; Toyota, which has greatly increased its presence in San Antonio, Texas; and Samsung, which has invested billions in expanding its semiconductor facility in Austin.
That's not even to mention new Texas offices being opened by Facebook, eBay and other visionary companies.
Those business leaders could relocate or expand anywhere they want, to any state in the USA, or any country in the world. And yet, over and over, they have chosen Texas.
Texas has been able to fight for and win those expansions, and those jobs, because we long ago made the decision to compete for them.
Our state has been built upon the basic tenet that competition is, in fact, a good thing.
There's a lot of people back in the United States who don't necessarily agree with that, with some of them running for office, again.
In Texas, however, we've long been comfortable with putting our best up against anyone else's best. That's left us better positioned as the world has grown smaller, and competition has increased not just locally or nationally, but globally.
The point too many people miss, intentionally or otherwise, is that competition isn't about individual wins or losses, it's about overall goals and improvement.
Competition highlights what works, and illuminates what doesn't. Competition streamlines and turbo-charges. More than anything, competition, when embraced and not feared, brings out the best in everything you do.
Texas and California have a rivalry going, and it's a bit back-and-forth, although we've had the better end of it for most of the past 10 years or so.
But that's never meant those of us in Texas ever rooted for California to fail.
We're well aware that we need a strong California, a strong Florida and a strong New York to build a strong America, and that helps us all.
The best thing America can do now is adopt the "Texas model" on a nationwide basis. The basic ideas are simple.
Keep taxes low so employers and employees alike have more cash in their pockets.
Maintain reasonable regulations that don't strangle new ventures in red tape.
Pass tort reform so fair courts won't allow for over-suing.
And maintain a workforce that's ready to fill any role an employer may need.
That's a blueprint for success that Texas has long followed, and business leaders from around the world have noticed.
That sort of fiscal discipline is the tonic the United States needs to lift us out of our own doldrums, and put us back on the path to economic success.
I know you all here in the European Union are facing some challenging times of your own, and I want you all to know we stand with you as you navigate these waters.
We're Europe's biggest trading partner, so we need Europe to be strong...just like you need a strong America.
We can't solve each other's problems, but we can be supportive...and share in each other's prosperity heading into a future that's bright for all of us.
In the interim, rest assured that Texas will continue its dedication to the conservative values that have made our state the best place in America to live, work and grow your business, no matter where your business may have originated.
And rest assured Texas will continue to compete for the kinds of jobs that will lead to better lives for Texans, better business for employers and innovations that can change the world.
Once again, I'd like to thank you all for having me here today. May God bless you and, through you, may he continue to bless all of us, the world over.