France is keen to strengthen cooperation with Bangladesh for mutual economic and social benefits and to overcome the challenges ahead, a French diplomat said in Dhaka on Wednesday.
“We must now continue to work together to join forces in order to consolidate mutual economic and social benefits and face the many challenges ahead,” said Chargé d’Affaires at the French Embassy in Dhaka, Guillaume Audren. de Kerdrel, in a message marking the French National Day which falls on July 14.
He assured that the French Embassy will continue to play an active role in strengthening friendly relations between the two countries.
While Bangladesh continues to face the challenges of climate change, France salutes the leading role played by Bangladesh within the Climate Vulnerable Forum.
“France remains at the disposal of Bangladesh in this area as well as in the areas of infrastructure, including transport, access to drinking water, energy and telecommunications,” Kerdrel said.
He said this year was a great and special year as France and Bangladesh celebrated on February 14, 2022, the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries.
The diplomat called the year 2022 a milestone in many ways for Franco-Bangladeshi cooperation, as the two countries also celebrated 30 years of archaeological cooperation and exploration of the great site of Mahasthangarh, north of Bogura.
“This archaeological cooperation is the oldest cooperation between our two countries. With excavations conducted jointly by French and Bangladeshi archaeologists, this endeavor is a perfect symbol of cooperation between our two countries in sharing knowledge and resources to work together towards a common goal,” he said.
In the context of the Covid pandemic, the French diplomat indicated that his country was showing vaccination solidarity, in particular within the framework of the Covax facility with the support of the vaccination program of the French Development Agency.
The French Development Agency, which opened its office in Dhaka in 2012, has become a key player in development cooperation in Bangladesh with projects in many fields such as energy, water, transport, health and finance.
On May 12, 2022, a Host Country Agreement between the governments of France and Bangladesh was signed to legally establish AFD as Bangladesh’s development partner.
On this occasion, AFD renewed its commitment to supporting green and inclusive growth in Bangladesh.
Since the beginning of their common history, France has been a committed partner in its relationship with Bangladesh.
“Our country heard the voice of the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, in 1971, André Malraux relayed his call to support freedom and independence fighters”, declared the French diplomat.
Two years later, he was received with great honors in Dhaka by the president, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
A recent publication in France, “Malraux et le Bangladesh”, recounts in detail this founding moment and symbol of friendship. This beautiful book is currently being translated into Bengali.
The Prime Minister’s official visit to France from November 9 to 13, 2021 reflected the strong bond and friendship between our two countries, the CDA told the French Embassy.
France and Bangladesh reaffirmed their desire to strengthen their partnerships, particularly in the areas of the blue economy, defense and science.
France celebrates its national holiday in commemoration of the storming of the Bastille in Paris on July 14, 1789.
It remains the powerful symbol of the French revolutionary struggle for the emancipation of an absolute monarchy, followed a few weeks later by the historic proclamation of the “Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen”, opening the long and arduous path to the establishment of democracy and the rule of law.