East Texas Economic Development Summit

The East Texas Economic Development Summit was held today at the Lufkin Civic Center.

Governor Rick Perry was the keynote speaker to an audience that included more than 400 state leaders, and representatives from 20 counties in East Texas.

"Of all the values that we celebrate in Texas, I'd say that this area of the state probably reflects it and exemplifies it as well as any, and that's the value and the virtue of self-reliance," said Governor Rick Perry.

Self-reliance is key for East Texas's economic development.

"Economic development is the life blood of our communitites. If we are not having new jobs, new developments come in, we'll lose our hospitals, our schools will shrink, and our towns will disappear," said Senator Robert Nichols.

Governor Perry points out that Texas has one of the best business climates in the country.

"Texas is always at the top of those lists and i'm proud of that because these legislators and the leadership in this state---and i'm talking to the leadership of this state right now from east texas---were involved with that," said Perry.

East Texas's economy is doing well, but state leaders believe it will do even better in the future.

"We have got everything that people want: we have transportation, we have water, we have a beautiful place to live, we have natural resources, we have skilled labor. We have colleges, community colleges, and a business friendly environment," Nichols said.

And those are all things state leaders hope will keep tourists, new residents and new businesses coming to East Texas to further strengthen the economy.