AS DELIVERED:
Governor Deval L. Patrick
Release of MA-Israel Economic Study
MassChallenge
Thursday, December 5, 2013

Thank you, Robert, for that warm welcome.  And thank you to the New England - Israel Business Council, the CJP and especially David Goodtree, for documenting what we know be true:  that the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and the State of Israel share a robust, prosperous and promising business relationship.

When we traveled to Israel in 2011, it was obvious to me that Massachusetts and Israel are compatible.  We are both centers of innovation, whether by history or of necessity, with economies driven by education and entrepreneurship.  For both, our greatest natural resource is brainpower.  I learned on that trip, and through my work here at home, that there is an enormous opportunity for collaboration.

So, the findings of this report are both incredibly impressive and un-surprising.  Together, we worked for these results.  And I want to thank every business leader and public official for all you did and do to produce these results. 

It’s all about opportunity.

The opportunity to build a better life for ourselves and our families is what drives most of us in this room.  We have a generational responsibility to position our state to succeed in the 21st century.  Meeting that responsibility by expanding opportunity for people all over Massachusetts is why I wanted this job in the first place.

Well, opportunity requires growth.  An expanding economy needs well-prepared and competitive talent.  It needs inventors and innovators and investors.  Opportunity without growth is a zero-sum gain, just a rearranging of the pieces on a checkers board. Opportunity through economic growth lifts us all.

That growth comes mainly from you.  Business creates jobs, not government.  In my private sector experience, what business wants first from government is a light touch on regulation and taxes.  So, we eliminated or simplified over 130 unnecessary regulations; reduced the permitting time for state approvals from two years to about 60 days; cut business taxes three times so far; slowed the growth in health care premiums; and much more.  By any reasonable measure, Massachusetts is a more competitive place for business today than it was seven years ago.

Another, larger lesson I learned in the private sector is that growth requires investment.  And to support business growth – and the opportunity that depends on it – government must invest alongside business.

So, for the past seven years, we have invested strategically in education, innovation and infrastructure.  That’s why we’re growing.  That’s why we lead the nation in economic competitiveness, entrepreneurship, student achievement, healthcare coverage, energy efficiency and so much more.  We have focused on strengthening our global relationships, on expanding markets overseas, on offering our talent and our solutions to the world. 

That’s why we traveled to Israel in 2011, why we traveled to China, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ireland and Canada, and why I leave for Asia tomorrow. 

And it’s working.  The rates of job growth and new investment that David just laid out are marvelous.  Massachusetts has become a home away from home for Israel’s innovators and I am proud to have had a part in broadening and strengthening that that foundation.

Now, let’s keep it going.  I challenge you to find and pursue new opportunities. 

Massachusetts is a leader in financial services.  We need new products to prepare the world for aging populations. 

Massachusetts is a leader in energy efficiency.  Let’s find new ways to break our dependence on foreign oil and power the future in a more sustainable way.

Massachusetts is a leader in healthcare coverage.  We need better, less costly ways to care for patients, especially in rural and underserved areas.

Massachusetts has lots of water.  Let’s collaborate on ways to turn deserts into gardens around the world.

Robotics, biotech, nanotechnology, telehealth and other forms of e-health, venture capital, brain science, digital gaming – we have so much to offer, so much to learn and so much to gain.

The doors of our Commonwealth open to the world.  Commit yourselves to look out and to reach out, to be a source of opportunity and of welcome to Israel and to others around the world.  Make those decisions now – and what we leave for our children and grandchildren will be better.

Thank you again for all the work you do.