LANSING — Officials with the Lansing Economic Area Partnership traveled to Turkey Saturday along with partners at Prima Civitas Foundation.

This trip will solidify agreements between the Lansing region and Turkey to facilitate trade and strategic business alliances through collaboration, investment and member exchanges at the request of the Turkish Minister of Economy, H.E Zafer Çaglayan.

The agreements will be between the Turkish Association of Automotive Parts & Components Manufacturers, Uludag Exporter’s Association, the Prima Civitas Foundation, LEAP, Michigan Economic Development Corp., Automation Alley, and the city of Lansing, specifically with MOU’s being signed with the Turkish Association of Automotive Parts & Components Manufacturers and the Uludag Exporter’s Association (OIB).

Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero will also be attending and speaking to ceremony attendees as a special guest of Turkey.

LEAP senior vice president of business attraction, Ray De Winkle, will lead the Lansing region’s team.

The Lansing region’s relationship with Turkey has continued to grow and evolve since the Prima Civitas Foundation and LEAP traveled to Istanbul in February to learn about the budding fashion industry through the Michigan Garment Council. Turkey has potential to be a tremendous ally to the Lansing region as many of Turkey’s largest industries align with Michigan, including tourism, automotive manufacturing, and healthcare.

Additionally, while abroad, Mayor Bernero will be representing the Lansing region in regionalism discussions on a panel “Trends in Regional Government and Industry Partnerships” at the Turkey-Michigan Forum: Trends in Research and Development with Industry conference.

“The signing of these agreements will revolutionize the way our region does business abroad”, said Bob Trezise, president and CEO of LEAP. “Turkey is one of the fastest growing economies in the world and I believe so is Michigan and the Lansing region. Developing strong relationships with Turkey, specifically OIB and TAYSAD elevate opportunity to create more jobs and investment between us. The Lansing region is a global player.”

“In today’s highly-connected global economy there are enormous opportunities for the Lansing region to attract new job-creating investments and to find new customers for the products we make here,” Bernero said. “Establishing strong, mutually beneficial connections to the Turkish business community is an important step forward as we work together as a region to accomplish these goals and supercharge our local economy.”

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