When the East Lansing
-based Prima Civitas Foundation
organized a trade mission to Istanbul, Turkey for members of the Michigan Garment Industry Council earlier this year, it was more than just a singular trip for a singular purpose.
“Our time there was really eye opening,” says Eleanor Fuchs, program manager for PCF. “We knew there were opportunities, but we didn’t know the extent of them. Three of the largest industries in Turkey are agriculture, automotive and tourism, which sounds really familiar to us here in Michigan.”
That natural trade relationship between Turkey and Michigan is now growing with the First Annual Michigan-Turkey Forum on Trends in Higher Education and Business, taking place June 3-6 in Istanbul.
“We’ve kept this conference theme purposely broad,” says Fuchs. “There will be sessions on everything from advanced manufacturing to human medicine and environmental law.”
According to Fuchs, future forum themes will be determined based upon the interest and conversations of attendees this year. Any business interested in trade opportunities with Turkey is invited to attend. The fee for attendance is $400 plus lodging and airfare.
“It’s about trying to enhance and make those trade connections,” says Fuchs, “and making a more robust partnership between higher education in Michigan and Turkey.”
Participants may register for the conference now at the PCF website. The event is a partnership between PCF, the Turkish American Business Association, the American Chamber of Commerce, the Office of the Commercial Attaché-Consul General of Turkey in Chicago, the Turkish Ambassador, the Turkish Council of Higher Education, the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, and the Honorary Consul General- Detroit.