From Together, We Are Building a Bigger, Better Texas

Texas Goes Global

Economic development missions expand Texas’ outreach to every corner of the world.

During an economic development mission to India in January, Governor Abbott and the Texas delegation toured the A.M. Naik School (Naik School), a unique educational experience for pre-school through middle-school aged children focused on preparing students for the future demands of our changing world.
Photo courtesy of The Office of Governor Greg Abbott

by Lindsay Lopp

exas is taking the world by storm. Home to the eighth-largest economy in the world, this singular state has built an envied economic environment. Business is booming, jobs are multiplying by the month and innovation is around every corner.  

As the state’s dominance on the global stage counties to rise, those outside the U.S. are certainly taking notice. With 34 foreign trade zones, Texas leads the nation in global exports, amassing $444 billion in goods in 2023. Mexico, Canada, The Netherlands, China and South Korea are listed among its top export locations. 

The state is the top destination in the U.S. for Foreign Direct Investments over the last 20 years. Since 2015, Texas has attracted nearly 1,300 new FDI projects, totaling more than $97 billion in capital investment and creating over 110,000 new jobs. 

The continued interest from international investors has inspired Texas leadership to take their economic development agenda on the road, giving countries across the globe an opportunity to reap the benefits of Texas’ thriving economy.  

In July 2023, Texas First Lady Cecilia Abbott and Secretary of State Jane Nelson joined with Adriana Cruz and Aaron Demerson as they embarked on an economic development mission organized by the Texas Economic Development & Tourism Office and the Texas Economic Development Corporation to three countries in Western Europe. 


The first stop of the tour, Stuttgart, Baden-Württemberg, Germany, possesses many unique parallels to Texas. When First Lady Abbott and Secretary Nelson met with Baden-Württemberg Minister of Economic Affairs, Labor, and Tourism Dr. Nicole Hoffmeister-Kraut, the Texas delegation noted the similarities between their states, highlighting how both are home to robust automotive and advanced manufacturing hubs and serve as economic powerhouses within their respective countries. 

During this visit, the delegation also met with executives from Mercedes-Benz at the company’s headquarters, Stuttgart-Untertürkheim. They discussed the automaker’s presence in Grapevine and Forth Worth, Texas, as well as possibilities for future collaboration.

Among all other nations, German companies account for the second-most foreign direct investment projects in Texas. More than 140 projects, totaling $9.4 billion, have been announced over the last decade. In 2022, Texas’ total trade with Germany totaled $17.3 billion, making it the state’s 13th-largest total trade partner.

The United Kingdom 

During the second stop, the delegation met with various government officials and business leaders in London, including three United Kingdom-based companies with U.S. headquarters in Houston: bp, Octopus Energy and Drax, the United Kingdom’s largest renewable power company. 

First Lady Abbott, Secretary Nelson and Texas Economic Development Corporation Board of Directors Vice Chairman Arun Agarwal attended the Prime Minister’s Questions at the Commons Chamber and joined several members of Parliament for a lunch hosted by the British American Parliamentary Group, an interparliamentary group for both houses to promote closer relations and understanding with the United States and its leading political figures.

Companies from the United Kingdom represented the largest portion of foreign direct investment projects in Texas. Over the last decades, nearly 330 projects have been announced, investing $8.6 billion and creating 18,200 jobs.

Abbott 2On March 13, Governor Greg Abbott signed and United Kingdom Secretary of State for Business and Trade Kemi Badenoch signed a Statement of Mutual Cooperation (SMC) to boost trade, investment and commerce between the two regions.
Photo courtesy of The Office of Governor Greg Abbott


For the last leg of the July 2023 tour, Paris, France, the delegation was joined by Governor Abbott. The Texas delegation first attended the Bastille Day Military Parade alongside Consul General of France in Houston Valérie Baraban and Honorary Consul General of France in Dallas the Honorable Jeanne Phillips. During the celebrations, they met with French President Emmanuel Macron and discussed Texas’s economic strengths. 

Following the festivities, the Governor and the French Minister for Foreign Trade, Economic Attractiveness and Foreign Nationals Abroad Olivier Becht signed an economic development Statement of Intent. 

“Collaborating with our economic partners around the globe will ensure the Texas economy continues to flourish,” said Governor Abbott. “By signing this statement of intent, it will encourage foreign business investment, promote economic development projects, and increase trade opportunities between Texas and France. Forging strong economic bonds with reliable partners is more important now than ever. Texas is proud to have that strong partnership with France. Working together, we will bring more economic development opportunities to Texas from France than ever before.”

To close out the economic development mission, the Governor and First Lady attended a state dinner hosted by the Indian delegation at the Louvre Museum. Around 200 people were in attendance, including business and government leaders from both France and India, such as President Macron, the Prime Minister of France Élisabeth Borne and the Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi. 

Affirming Alliances 

Following the success of the economic development mission of July 2023, Texas has continued to strengthen the ties that were forged throughout the tour.  

In March 2024, Governor Greg Abbott flew to the United Kingdom on a subsequent mission, where he signed a Statement of Mutual Cooperation (SMC) with United Kingdom Secretary of State for Business and Trade Kemi Badenoch and met with United Kingdom Prime Minister Rishi Sunak. 

“The United Kingdom and Texas already share $18 billion worth of goods trade last year, and today’s signing brings us even closer,” said Secretary of State Badenoch. “This MoU is designed to make it cheaper and easier for the United Kingdom and Texan businesses to thrive in each other’s markets. It will strengthen trade ties and help us work together on shared expertise like life sciences and professional business services. I want to thank Governor Abbott and his team for helping to make it happen.”

Ten Days in India

Abbott 3Governor Abbott and the Minister of Commerce and Industry of India Piyush Goyal. 
Photo courtesy of The Office of Governor Greg Abbott

Prior to visiting the United Kingdom, Governor Abbott and a cohort of Texas business and economic development officials traveled to India to strengthen trade and business relations with government officials and industry leaders. 

During the 10-day trip, the delegation first stopped in Mumbai. While in the city, Governor Abbott connected with executives from some of India’s largest tech and IT companies: Infosys, Reliance Industries, Tata Consultancy Group, and Wipro. The delegation discussed opportunities for the companies to expand their footprint in Texas, underscoring the Lone Star State’s robust industry sectors and overall commitment to diversity. 

The Governor also participated in a business industry roundtable and reception hosted by the Confederation of Indian Industry to confer about strategies to continue to build Texas and India’s trade and economic partnerships. 

The Governor continued this discussion throughout the second leg of the mission in New Delhi, where he attended the U.S.-India Strategic Partnership Forum and met with the Minister of Commerce and Industry of India Piyush Goyal. The two leaders shared their mutual ideas about strengthening Texas and India’s economic ties through investment in information and communication technology and supporting more engineering and research at institutions of higher learning. 

On the final day of the mission, Governor Abbott delivered a keynote address at the 7th India-U.S. Forum hosted by the Ministry of External Affairs, touting the strength of Texas and India’s economic relationship. According to Indian industry estimates, Texas is the most popular destination for Indian FDI capital investment and jobs created in the U.S. Within the last decade, companies based in India have invested $1.4 billion in capital investment through 59 projects in Texas, creating more than 10,300 jobs. In 2022, Texas’ total trade with India totaled $20.4 billion, making India the state’s 11th-largest total trade partner. That same year, Texas exports to India totaled $13.3 billion and accounted 28% of all U.S. exports to India.

“Texas and India are two places — and two peoples — who both share an independent streak and a desire to make our mark on the world,” said Governor Abbott. “Each of us sits in a critical location — India, with China and Russia on their doorsteps, and Texas at the nexus of the United States and Latin America. We share the common values of family, faith, compassion, and hard work. As we look towards the future, we must ensure that the next generation of leaders in Texas and India will be the innovators who solve the world’s foremost crises and that embracing the values we share leads to liberty and prosperity unmatched throughout the entire world.” 

Lindsay Lopp
Associate Editor of Site Selection magazine

Lindsay Lopp joined Conway Data in 2023. She is the assistant editor of the company's Custom Content division and regularly contributes to Site Selection magazine. In 2021, she graduated from Pratt Institute with her BFA in Creative Writing and is currently completing her MFA in Popular Fiction and Publishing at Emerson College.

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