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Taking Nothing for Granted
In Texas, hard work on
business climate issues translates
into more work for the populace.


n independent streak endures in Texas. It is, after all, one of only four U.S. states to have governed itself as a free-standing republic. And with a gross state product that will soon reach US$1 trillion, the Texas economy -- rich with natural resources and entrepreneurial vision -- is largely self-sustaining.
A rendering depicts one of several LNG terminals now in development along the Texas Gulf Coast. Despite attracting billions in investment, such terminals have run into opposition in other jurisdictions.

      Still, it hasn't been completely shielded from the shifting winds of national and international business. Evidence of this can be found in a number of recent reforms designed to enhance the appeal of the Lone Star State, most of them executed under the direct oversight of the Governor's office.
      Those changes, when coupled with bustling trade and a booming energy market, have yielded an impressive list of expansion and relocation announcements in automotive manufacturing, aerospace, logistics and corporate headquarters sites.
      "We've worked hard to keep taxes low, eliminate frivolous lawsuits and strengthen our job creation," Gov. Rick Perry tells Site Selection. "Our economy is now showing the fruits of that labor." In the first half of 2004, Texas saw about 80,000 new jobs created, with as many as 120,000 expected by the end of the year.
      In 2003, with announcements by Toyota, Texas Instruments, ExxonMobil and Sematech, Texas captured four of the nation's most capital-intensive projects, collectively bringing $5 billion to the state (see the cover story from our May 2004 issue). Other successes are delivering major job numbers too.
      "Texas is wide open for investment, growth and job creation," says Perry, who succeeded George W. Bush as governor in December 2000.

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