France is keen on strengthening cooperation with Bangladesh for mutual economic and social benefits overcoming challenges ahead, a French diplomat in Dhaka said on Wednesday.
“We now have to keep working together to combine our strength in order to consolidate mutual economic and social benefits and to face the numerous challenges to come,” said Chargé d’affaires at the French Embassy in Dhaka Guillaume Audren de Kerdrel in a message marking the French National Day that falls on 14 July.
He assured that the French Embassy will continue to play an active role to further strengthen the friendly relations between the two countries.
While Bangladesh is still facing the challenges of climate change, France commends the leading role of Bangladesh in the Climate Vulnerable Forum.
“France remains at the disposal of Bangladesh in this area as well as in the field of infrastructures, particularly transportation, access to clean water, energy and telecommunications,” said Kerdrel.
He said this year is a great and special year as France and Bangladesh celebrated on 14 February the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relationships between both countries.
The diplomat described the year 2022 as a milestone in many ways for Franco-Bangladeshi cooperation as the two countries are also celebrating the 30 years of archaeological cooperation and exploration of the large site of Mahasthangarh, north of Bogura.
"This archaeological cooperation is the longest standing cooperation between our two countries. With excavations being carried out jointly by French and Bangladeshi archaeologists, this endeavour stands as a perfect symbol of our two countries cooperating by sharing knowledge and resources to work together towards a common goal,” he mentioned.
In the context of the Covid-19 pandemic, the French diplomat said his country did display vaccine 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 Dhaka office in 2012, has become a key player in development cooperation in Bangladesh with projects in many different areas such as energy, water, transportation, health and finance.
On 12 May this year, a host country agreement between the governments of France and Bangladesh was signed to legally seal the establishment of the AFD as a Development Partner of Bangladesh.
On this occasion AFD renewed its commitment in supporting green and inclusive growth in Bangladesh.
Since the beginning of the shared history, France has been a committed partner in its relationship with Bangladesh.
“Our country has heard the voice of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman: in 1971, André Malraux relayed his call to support the freedom and independence fighters,” said the French diplomat.
Two years later, he was received with great honours in Dhaka by the president Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
A recent publication in France, “Malraux and Bangladesh” retraces in detail this founding moment and the symbol of our friendship and this beautiful book is currently being translated into Bangla.
The official visit of the prime minister to France from 9 to 13 November in 2021 reflected the strong bond and the friendship between our two countries, said the CDA at the French embassy.
France and Bangladesh once again reaffirmed their determination to strengthen partnerships in the field of blue economy, defence and science in particular.
France celebrates its National Day in commemoration of the storming of the Bastille in Paris on 14 July 1789.
It remains the powerful symbol of the French revolutionary fight for emancipation from a then absolute monarchy, followed a few weeks later by the landmark proclamation of the ‘Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen’, opening the long and arduous way to the establishment of democracy and the rule of law.