AUSTIN, Texas — On Saturday, Texas Governor Rick Perry embarked on an economic development trip to Asia. The trip will last a week and includes visits to Japan and China. The Governor’s schedule includes a speech to the American Chamber of Commerce in Japan on Monday and participating a panel discussion on global economic issues at the World Economic Forum on Friday in Tianjin, China, along with other meetings with business and economic leaders in both countries. The World Economic Forum is the same organization where Perry made international headlines for his speech on criminal justice issues at their annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland.
In recent years, the state of Texas has taken its place on the world stage as an economic power in its own right, with more than one-third of all new private sector jobs in the United States since 2001 being created by Texas employers, and Texas oil production this year exceeding every OPEC nation except Saudi Arabia.
“Texas is thriving today because of an open and optimistic attitude that prioritizes growth and respects the entrepreneurial spirit of Japanese and Chinese companies,” said Perry. “We are very proud that so many Asian firms have chosen to grow in Texas, and in a big state filled with opportunity there’s always room for more.”
Accompanying Perry on the trip are State Representative Jason Villalba (R-Dallas), Texas Secretary of State Nandita Berry, Texas One Chair Leslie Ward, along with representatives from the Office of the Governor’s Economic Development and Tourism Division, Americans for Economic Freedom, FosterQuan, McKinney Economic Development Corp., Pflugerville Community Development Corp., Texas Lone Star Enterprises LLC, U.S. China Partnerships, and Yates Construction.
In a statement released to the press, Rep. Villalba described the trip as a chance to “spread the word about investment opportunities here in the Lone Star State,” noting that China is one of our largest trading partners, buying more than $10 billion in goods from Texas last year.
“Texas provides opportunity for foreign direct investment due to our state’s business-friendly climate and combination of regulatory security and limited government,” said Villalba. “This delegation visit gives us a platform from which we can build stronger relationships with our trading partners in Asia and discuss potential economic opportunities here in Texas. As a public official and a corporate attorney for small businesses, I am proud to have the opportunity to spread the word about investment opportunities here in the Lone Star State.”
Like China, Japan is one of Texas’ most important trading partners, with exports from Texas totaling about $5 billion last year, making Japan Texas’ 10th largest export market. Japanese companies are Texas’ fourth largest source of foreign direct investment, investing $5 billion in Texas and creating more than 7,000 jobs in the state.
The Texas Tribune reported that the delegation’s schedule in Japan will include a meeting with Perry and Koei Tsugi, the president of Central Japan Railway Company, commonly known as J.R. Central, on Monday in Tokyo. J.R. Central has been working for several years with Texas Central High-Speed Railway to develop a high-speed rail line between Houston and Dallas. The project would be privately funded and the current goal is to begin operations by 2021.
No tax dollars are being used for the trip, with the travel costs being covered by Americans for Economic Freedom, Perry’s SuperPAC, and TexasOne, which has previously funded other economic development trips for the Governor.
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