GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - Did you know Mississippi ranks second in the country when it comes to oil and gas development? Governor Phil Bryant shared that statistic and others during an appearance in Gulfport Monday morning. He brought his Mississippi Works tour to the coast.
"Physicians say, this is the best state in America to practice medicine in. How many of y'all have ever heard that? Me neither," said Governor Bryant, during his breakfast meeting speech to the Gulf Coast Business Council.
The governor says such positive economic news often goes unnoticed or under-reported.
"Number four most tax friendly state for doing business. Since I've been governor, we've cut taxes on business more than 41 times," he said.
Governor Bryant pointed toward the Port of Gulfport and told the group he's talking with the leadership of Toyota about using the port to export cars.
"And I said, 'We want those Camry's you're making in Blue Springs, Mississippi, to go out of the Port of Gulfport.' He said, 'I know y'all are working on that and we're working on it,'" said Gov. Bryant.
"I certainly think it's a possibility. That's why it was so important that we modernize this port and invest the resources being invested in it. To make it competitive. And one of the key pieces of the Port of Gulfport, because it is a state port, is that it service state industry," said Jack Norris, who serves as a commissioner on the Mississippi State Port Authority board.
One economic development effort the governor would like to pursue is an emphasis on ship building. He says we build the best ships here in Mississippi of anywhere else in the world. And more people and other countries need to know about that.
"Very soon, we're going to have the Mississippi ship builders association. We're going to get that started. We're going to bring in our research universities," said the governor.
"Mississippi has been gaining steadily over the past ten years or so versus the national average. So even though the economic recovery has been slow and steady, Mississippi has done very well," said Hancock Bank executive, John Hairston.
"Look at this. Mississippi ranks in the top ten for doing business. We're in the top ten. Let that settle in for a minute. Cause everybody always says you're at the bottom of the good lists and top of the bad ones. No," the governor told the crowd.