Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce has further strengthened its international ties after welcoming representatives from Bursa – one of Turkey’s key industrial cities. The meeting saw GBCC sign a Memorandum of Understanding with Bursa TSO - Bursa’s Chamber of Commerce – which will see the two organisations collaborate in the future. Bursa is one of the largest cities in Turkey and has a number of similarities with Birmingham, notably in the strength of its automotive, manufacturing, textile and food sectors.

The delegation from Bursa TSO were given an overview of GBCC’s history, organisational structure and the services it provides by chairman David Waller and chief executive Paul Faulkner. This was followed by a presentation from Marketing Birmingham’s head of business attraction David Fisken, who talked about the economic transformation taking place in the Second City.

The visiting delegation’s presentation offered a glimpse of some of the exciting investments taking place in Bursa, including the high-tech TEKNOSAB project. Paul Faulkner said: “We were delighted to welcome representatives from Bursa Chamber of Commerce to Birmingham. The operative phrase from the meeting was the ‘synergy’ between the two cities and this provides plenty of scope for the two Chambers to work together going forward.

“Birmingham and Bursa are two cities that are in the midst of exciting transformations. Through our new found relationship and our links with GBCC patrons Turkish Airlines we look forward to working together and sharing ideas, as well as establishing new connections between businesses from our respective regions.”

“We also look forward to making return visit to Bursa to find out more about the types of business there and to see first hand some of the exciting projects that are taking place. “We hope there will be opportunity for businesses from the Greater Birmingham region to join us on the visit." GBCC members the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (CIArb) were instrumental in forging links between the two parties.

Anthony Abrahams, director general at CIArb, said: “The synergy between the two cities rang a bell with me. Having worked closely with BTSO, it was natural to bring them to Birmingham and to provide the facilitation for the two organisations to work together. There is clearly a spark between these two cities and this enables them to grow the relationship and to trade together.”