Ambassador M. Rizvi Hassen attended the opening ceremony of Asia Parliamentary Assembly (APA) which was held on 25th - 28th October 2019 at Rize, Turkey. The APA was chaired by Hon. Azuman Erdoğan, Head of Turkish delegation of APA and parliamentarian from 15 countries attended the event. During the APA Ambassador met Member of Parliament and Head of Turkish delegation for the APA Azuman Erdoğan, Head of Turkish delegation of APA the Governor of Rize, Kemal Çeber, Mayor of Rize, Mr. Rahmi Metin, President of Commodity Exchange of Rize, Mr. Mehemet Erdogan. Ambassador also paid a courtesy call on Mr. Yusuf Ziya Alim, CEO/General Manager of Çaykur (Tea board of Turkey) and discussed new initiatives to establish a mechanism to benefit Sri Lanka and Turkey on the tea trade. Ambassador made a site visit to the GurÇay tea factory and the tea plantation as well. Mr. Hayrullah Öztel, Managing Director of the Gurcay gave a detailed briefing on the tea industry in Rize and indicated that they import tea from Akbar brothers Ltd to cater the demand.

Ambassador also visited Trabzon region and called on the Governor of Trabzone, Ismail Ustaoglu, Mayor of Trabzone, Mr. Murat  Zorluoğlu and CEO/General Manager of the Trabzon Port, Mr. Muzaffer Ermis. During the visit to Trabzon port Ambassador discuss issues and difficulties faced by Sri Lankan Tea exporters at Trabzon Port and Customs.  Ambassador paid a visit to the Çay TV station, a black sea region TV station promoting tea industry of Turkey and met Mr. Ismail Torlak, CEO/Vice President and Mr. Hasan Yavus Bakir, Editor in Chief TV station. Ambassador also paid site visit to M/S Ozgun Ltd, a Hazelnut factory which supply Hazelnut paste to the Ceylon Biscuits Ltd (CBL). Mr. Atilla Ataman, Honorary Consul of the Sri Lanka for the Black sea region accompanied the Ambassador for the Ambassador’s programme.