Thursday, September 29, 2005

Pawlenty on Minnesota, China

From the ‘Kato Free Press:

Thirteen months before he will ask voters to give him a second term, Gov. Tim Pawlenty provided Mankato civic leaders with what felt like a preview of his re-election themes.

“We’ve got a great state, but we’ve got a changing world,” Pawlenty told the Mankato Rotary Club Wednesday.

With a trade mission to China coming up in November, the Republican from Eagan talked about a meeting he had with the Chinese ambassador to the United States. Already a worrisome competitor for American manufacturers, China is preparing in the next couple of decades to move 800 million rural Chinese working in subsistence-level agriculture into factory jobs.

“He looked at me and said, ‘You haven’t seen anything yet,’” Pawlenty said. “... We better get a handle on what our strategy is in terms of competing with China.”

For Minnesota to be competitive with China and every other nation in an increasingly global marketplace, the state can’t continue to do business as usual, the governor said. Schools will need to dramatically change how they prepare students for the changing economy. Universities have to specialize more.

And state government must help businesses by reducing the level of taxes and regulation whenever possible, he said. Pawlenty suggested he has led the state toward progress in all of those areas.

(Source: Mankato Free Press, Sept. 29, 2005)

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