Stop whining about economy, says Schwarzenegger

California's governor talks up green technology, counsels being optimistic and finding new ways to stimulate the economy

California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has some advice for people complaining about the state of the global economy: Stop whining.

"It doesn't make any sense for people to sit back and whine and to complain about the economy slowing down because we have to look forward rather than back," he said during a speech at the Cebit trade fair in Hanover, Germany, on Tuesday.

[ Intel's CEO recently called on companies to invest in the future as a way to combat an economic recession | Learn more about how the financial crisis is affecting IT and the high-tech industry, plus what IT can do to help, in InfoWorld's special report. | Keep up on green IT trends with InfoWorld's Sustainable IT blog and Green Tech newsletter. ]

"We have to be part of the solution, not part of the problem. And the only way we are going to do this is by being optimistic and finding new ways to stimulate the economy," he said.

Schwarzenegger is at Europe's largest technology fair to promote investment in his state's technology industry. California is the partner state of Cebit this year. It's the first time a state rather than a country has been named official partner.

Fifty-one small and medium-size business from the state are here to promote their products in several industries, including environmental technology, which is an area he is particularly promoting.

"There's great potential," he said of the environmental technologies on show. "There are all kinds of great stuff that we have seen here. Technology that will help us."

Schwarzenegger has good reason to talk up green technology. In the last year the state has seen $3.3 billion in venture investment in green-tech startups, which is half of all venture investment in the sector in the United States, according to the state.

The governor also spoke out against trade protectionism. Trade barriers thrown up to protect important national industries during times of recession stand to cost California-based companies business.

"It's something we have done in America in the thirties and it has backfired in a huge way," he said. "We should not go in that direction, we should learn from those mistakes. This is now a world where the world is the marketplace."