The primary purpose of the trip is to meet with leaders in the economic, business, and education fields as well as attend the Water Technology and Environmental Control Exhibition and Conference (WATEC). No taxpayer funds were used for this trip.
From the official Press Release:
"The U.K. was Texas' 12th largest export destination in 2012 with more than $4.27 billion in Texas exports, including industrial machinery, aircraft, spacecraft and parts, mineral fuels and oils, electric machinery and medical equipment. Israel was Texas' 38th largest export destination in 2012 with more than $999.46 million in exports, including transportation equipment, chemicals, machinery, computers and electronics and fabricated metal products. Israel is internationally recognized for its innovations in managing scarce water resources, and widely regarded as a nexus of world-class expertise in the water field. This year's WATEC conference will emphasize technologies to more efficiently use natural resources, including water, soil, energy and materials"
While in London, at the Berry Brothers and Rudd building, Perry had the following remarks:
"This is a special day for me and for the people of Texas. When Texas was a fledgling republic, establishing diplomatic relations with a nation as rich in history and prestige as the United Kingdom was a significant accomplishment. It helped put us on the map, to use the phrase quite literally," Gov. Perry said. "On days like today, it's worth remembering our humble beginnings, and how the U.K. was there to help us establish ourselves as a nation, in every sense of the word."
The Berry Brothers and Rudd building housed the Texas Embassy from 1842-45. Today, The UK remains the 12th largest international customer/consumer of Texas exports. Gov. Perry also met with several UK business leaders in order to build better ties between UK businesses and private Texas-based industries.
Oct. 22, in Israel, Governor Perry attended the WATEC in Israel. His intentions were to further promote the capitalism-friendly policies of the State as well as its accomplishments in light of global economic struggles. While at the conference, Perry seeks to familiarize himself with new developments in water reclamation and conservation. With Proposition 6 headed to the polls in November for citizen ratification, Perry seeks for cost-effective means to better utilize limited water resources.
Below is a transcript of Gov. Perry's speech at the conference:
"As anyone who lives in Israel or West Texas can tell you, water is an issue that will define our times.
"I grew up with a special affinity for the importance of water, on a dry-land cotton farm in West Texas, near a town called Paint Creek. A town so small it didn't even rate being noted on our state maps until I became governor.
"At any rate, as someone who grew up on a farm, I know how devastating a lack of water can be.
"I understand the anxiety you feel as you endlessly scan a cloudless sky looking for some sign of relief.
"And you don't have to work the land to realize just how important water is to a state, or a country.
"In Texas, we have communities that have trucked in water, almost daily for the past 20 months.
"For the people who live there, they simply can't take for granted that the water will be there the next time they turn their tap.
"That's why the kinds of technology we're seeing and hearing about at this conference is so vital to states like mine, and for countless states and nations around the world.
"It's fitting that this conference is held here in Israel, which faces the special challenge of managing relatively scarce water resources with continued economic and population growth.
"Texas faces many of the same challenges and, like Israel, we must strive to utilize new technologies and new strategies to conserve and expand our supplies of fresh water.
"Texas has always been about finding innovative solutions to new challenges. We're the birthplace of the integrated circuit, created by Texas Instruments in the 1950s.
"We played a key role in the Space Race...and in securing America's presence in space in the years since.
And we are currently developing important new life-saving treatments and technologies for a variety of diseases at places like Houston's MD Anderson Cancer Center.
"In Texas, much like here in Israel, we embrace the role that research will play in determining our quality of life in the future, and in ensuring our economic strength for decades to come.
"To that end, we've recently passed a measure that, with voter approval in a few weeks, will provide $2 billion to assist with funding water projects across our state for the next 50 years.
"These projects will cover a lot of territory, both geographically and technologically.
"They'll have to.
"We all know fresh water is a limited resource, and that conservation and new technology will be key in keeping the water flowing
"In Texas, we currently have more than 40 installations working to desalinate brackish groundwater, with much of that water being used to supply drinking water to communities across Texas.
"But we realize that's only the beginning, and we're always ready to embrace new approaches and ideas.
"That's just one reason Texas is an ideal site for anyone looking for a place to prove their new technology.
Texas has nearly 5,000 public water systems, serving communities of all sizes, situated in a wide variety of climates and topographies.
"That makes our state a perfect incubator for new technologies.
"That makes Texas a place where innovative new technologies can be put into action, proved up, and scaled up.
"That's, by definition, a win-win situation.
"It also means they get to do business in Texas, which is always a bonus.
"That's because we've worked hard to create a climate conducive for any business, young or established, big or small, to make the most of their opportunities.
"We keep our taxes low, so employers and employees alike get to keep more of their hard-earned dollars.
"We've passed tort reform, so our courts are fair and don't allow for over-suing.
"We keep our regulations smart, predictable and effective, so work can start on a new project, for example, in weeks, rather than months it might take in some other states.
"That doesn't mean we don't take care of our own; our system of common sense regulations works. Texas' air quality is significantly better than it was in 2000, with ozone levels down 23 percent, more than double the national average, and nitrogen oxide levels down by nearly 58 percent.
"We've been able to do that during a time of rapid economic and population growth, with 5.2 million new Texans joining us in the Lone Star State since 2000.
"And we've also invested heavily in accountable schools, building a world-class workforce, so Texas workers are ready to fill any role any employer may require.
"Part of the reason we do that is so we're ready to take advantage when new technology companies come calling.
"In Texas, we firmly believe in the power of competition to make good things happen. And we also want to be home to wildly successful new water projects.
"Once again, I commend all of you here for the hard work you do. It's truly among the most vital of all the challenges before us.
"Conferences like this, which bring together so many people dedicated to the cause, will certainly help us meet these challenges much more quickly."