Although there is no statewide measure of how many foreign investment deals are signed in a given year, the US Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Economic Analysis pegs inward investment at $112.1bn in 2001.
As for the depth of the economy, real estate prices are reasonable, as are wages for employees at many levels. Almost 25% of the state’s population in 2003 held a bachelor’s degree or higher. The state has a wide variety of universities: 35 public universities, 38 private colleges and universities, and 50 community colleges.
The transportation system is state-of-the-art with multiple options via air, rail, road and water. Texas has 26 points of entry, providing direct access to the markets of Mexico and Latin America. The telecommunications network is also solid.
Business magazine Expansion Management reported in August 2004 that Texas tied with Florida as one of the top states for real estate with five cities on the list. With its beautiful landscapes, warm weather, excellent schools and hospitable culture, Texas remains a popular choice for people looking to relocate. The quality of life is good: there are 900 golf courses, 624 miles of sparkling tidewater coastline, and more than 150 wildlife refuges, national parks, state parks, historic sites and natural areas.
CITY OF THE FUTURE: DENVER, COLORADO
Denver is often regarded as the “Mile High City” on the edge of the US/Canadian Rocky Mountains in the state of Colorado. Its economy is diverse and dynamic, including a thriving oil industry, and aerospace and biotech sectors. In 2004, the city’s gross metro product (GMP) was $95.2bn, 2.1% higher than in 2003. According to economic information provider Economy.com, the 2004 GMP grew at an average rate of 1.74% from 1999 and is projected to grow at a rate of 3.9% in 2005.
Inward investment is an important factor to Denver and to Colorado as a whole. According to state officials, the latest Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) statistics (2002) reveal that non-bank US affiliates of foreign companies invested $13.5bn in Colorado. This represents 7.5% of 2002 GSP. Recent investments include those by PetroCanada, Sciona and Takeshiba Technologies.
Denver’s workforce is well educated, with 35.8% holding a bachelor’s degree or higher. Access to and from Denver is superb: the city boasts the newest major airport in the US; public transportation is anchored by an efficient light rail; three Class I rail companies service Denver; and there are two major interstates for truck traffic. Denver citizens are well connected by the telecommunications infrastructure, with broadband/DSL internet communication available to 62% of the population.
The city offers a good variety of housing options, 47 hospitals and health centres, plus excellent schools. There are wide entertainment options, including: the second largest performing arts complex under one roof in the world, the Denver Zoo, botanic gardens, Six Flags Elitch Gardens, seven professional sports teams, and Red Rocks Park & Amphitheatre. There are also eight world-class ski resorts within 100 miles of Denver.
Overall, Denver is consistently rated as the US’s healthiest city and was the first US city with a presence in Asia.