Bangladesh and France have signed two bilateral agreements to enhance cooperation in infrastructure and develop Bangladesh’s first-ever earth observation satellite. The agreements were made after French President Emmanuel Macron held discussions with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in Dhaka. This visit marked the first time a French president visited Bangladesh since 1990, when Francois Mitterrand made the trip.
During the talks, Prime Minister Hasina highlighted France’s support for Bangladesh’s sovereign policy independence, particularly in light of the current geopolitical instability and economic uncertainty. She expressed hope that the strategic collaboration between Bangladesh and France would contribute to regional and global stability and peace.
Both Bangladesh and France, as leading powers in the Asia and Pacific region, have committed to ensuring geopolitical stability. Hasina acknowledged France as a trusted development partner of Bangladesh, emphasizing that France has assured continued cooperation in infrastructure development.
Additionally, a Credit Facility Agreement was signed between Bangladesh’s Economic Relations Division (ERD) and France’s Development Agency (AFD) to support the Improving Urban Governance and Infrastructure Programme. The project, to be implemented by Bangladesh’s Local Government Engineering Department (LGED), will receive concessional loans from France. The funding will facilitate the enhancement of municipal infrastructure and service provision in 88 municipalities.
Furthermore, a Letter of Intent (LOI) was signed between Bangladesh Satellite Company Limited (BSCL) and Airbus Defence and Space SAS of France. This agreement pertains to the development of the Bangabandhu-2 Earth Observation Satellite System, which will be Bangladesh’s first-ever earth observation satellite. Currently, Bangladesh relies on purchasing satellite images from various companies like Airbus when needed.
The article also mentioned that trade between Bangladesh and Paris reached a record high of 4.9 billion euros in 2022. Thirty French companies have offices in Bangladesh, primarily in the ready-made garment (RMG) sector, logistics shipping, and engineering industries.
These agreements and collaborations between Bangladesh and France reflect their commitment to strengthening bilateral relations and pursuing mutual development goals.