Bangladesh, France maintain independence in decision making processes: Envoy

Education minister Dipu Moni and French ambassador Marie Masdupuy at an event celebrating the National Day of France

Highlighting growing relations between Bangladesh and France, French ambassador Marie Masdupuy has said the two countries are eager to maintain independence in decision-making processes when it comes to relations with other states or groups of states as both the countries regularly illustrate it on the international stage.

“Our political relation enjoys a high degree of confidence and mutual trust in the spirit of HMP’s (PM Sheikh Hasina) visit to Paris in 2021,” she said while celebrating the National Day of France, also called Bastille Day on Thursday evening.

Education minister Dipu Moni attended as the chief guest and highlighted the importance of further strengthening of the relations.

“We are confident that bilateral relations between our two friendly countries will be further strengthened in the days ahead as we remain pledged-bound to build a peaceful, just , inclusive, modern and prosperous society towards realizing the dream of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman – Sonar Bangla, said the education minister.

She thanked France for extending political support for resolving the Rohingya crisis. “We would like to see increased support from the international community including France towards an early, safe and sustainable repatriation of the forcibly displaced people to their homeland in Myanmar for the sake of peace and stability in the region.” 

The ambassador said the trade relationship between the two countries is thriving and reached an unprecedented level last year at 5 billion Euros.

“I am looking forward to the Bangladesh-France Trade and Investment Summit which will be organised in Paris and Toulouse this Fall by BSEC and BIDA,” she said.

The envoy said this will be a unique occasion to see their business communities closely networking and getting more familiar with some of the flagship industries, in particular in the aeronautics and space areas.

Bangladeshi companies are more and more eager to import French equipment and know-how and in this regard, France is keen to engage more in Bangladesh, in particular in energy, ICT and defence sectors, said the French ambassador.

This year marks 51 years of diplomatic relations between France and Bangladesh and also the 50th anniversary of André Malraux’s visit to Bangladesh, in April 1973.

 “We will be organising an event to commemorate this historical visit which led him from Dhaka to Chittagong (now Chattogram) and Rajshahi where he was made doctor of honoris causa. The figure of Malraux is the perfect example of the ancient and deep relationship between our two countries,” said the envoy.

The whole world today continues to suffer from the consequences of “Russia’s invasion” of Ukraine and France, with its European partners and its allies has been unwaveringly supporting the Ukrainian people and will continue to do so, whatever it takes, until Ukraine wins this war, she said.

The envoy said in Asia they clearly see a theatre of intense competition amongst powers, highlighting the importance of a balanced Indo-Pacific vision.

She said tackling climate change is indeed number one priority and the recent Summit in Paris for a New Global Financial Pact, where foreign minister AK Abdul Momen led an important delegation from Bangladesh, has paved the way for a huge transformation of the international financial architecture.

 “This is a good example of what should be done to overcome the so-called global divide between developed and less developed countries,” said the ambassador.

She said reformed governance will make it more efficient, more equitable and fit for the world of today.

“We need a strong political and financial stimulus to back up the concrete measures considered at the Summit. Reaching the target of US$ 100 billion climate finance this year has become highly probable. We will monitor this target and make sure that most vulnerable countries access their fair share,” she said.

The ambassador said they intend to work closely with Bangladesh in order to streamline their projects in all the climate-related fields.

She later launched the Ambassador's Prize to honour the three most deserving students in the Master's programme in French language and culture at the Institute of Modern Language from Dhaka University.

The ambassador handed over prizes to the three students.