Foreign direct investments from China into Texas were $632 million last year, and surpassed the $2 billion mark in 2013. It was only $7 million just a decade ago.
Many Chinese entrepreneurs and businesses are investing in Texas because it is “the shining example of the American Dream,” says Jay Riskind, the executive chair of the China-U.S. Private Investment Summit. President Bill Clinton is the summit’s guest speaker this year.
Lower taxes and the open business climate are some of the primary reasons why the Chinese are coming to Texas, he said. Some of them are also settling their families in the state and sending their children to school here, while they “develop linkages between their business interests in China and the U.S.,” Riskind says.
Stereotypes about Texas hasn’t deterred Chinese investors either. Rather than cowboys, rural landscapes and a conservative piece of the United States, Riskind says Texans have a reputation of being direct, open and friendly.
“China is known as one of the more extreme Asian examples of being indirect in communication,” Riskind says. “I think they find it refreshing when they get to Texas and they are having business conversations – people mean what they say, and say what they mean.”
The increase in investments so far has been good for the U.S. and Texas. Riskind says that foreign investment is demonstrative of the health of the U.S. economy at present, which is relatively stronger than most of the rest of the world.