France Bangladesh Chamber of Commerce and Industry - Gala
Opening speech of HE Sophie Aubert, Ambassador of France to Bangladesh
Le Méridien Hotel, 28 11 2015
Dear Honorable Ministers and excellences,
Dear Manzurul Islam President of the France Bangladesh Chamber of Commerce and Industry,
Dear guests and dear friends,
First, I would like to share with you the national homage that my country paid yesterday to the victims of the terrorist attacks we faced in Paris 13th of November.
The victims were young people from twenty different countries and these attacks didn’t only hurt my country, France, they hurt our entire world.
But as President François Hollande said, terrorists will not stop us and we will keep on defending our values and way of life.
This is why this gala had to be maintained.
This year, this traditional gala is concluding the French Trade Show organized by the Chamber.
The Trade Show has mobilized many of you and in my view, it has met real success.
My special and sincere thanks to the director of the Chamber Rifat Rashid, for her energy and her involvement in organizing this event.
Along with the Chamber, we have worked a lot in order to achieve our target, which was to promote Bangladesh in France and wherever we have French companies, to show off Bangladesh as an economic partner for them.
Bangladesh is an important country on the way of developing its economy and infrastructures.
Our companies that you are or that you represent are all very dynamic companies, investing in the future through research and development, and therefore shaping the future. We as Embassy of France accompany them in order to develop their presence abroad.
Promoting Bangladesh and its market opportunities, supporting our companies here in Bangladesh to position themselves on the market were our targets as Embassy of France, in addition to the support that we give to the Chamber and in coordination with the Chamber.
French companies like Oberthur, for the smart identity cards, like Masa for the simulation centre of the Armies, like Thales of course for the satellite, have come or come back to Bangladesh, along with many companies which have been working here for decades, like Lafarge, Sanofi, Schneider, Bureau Veritas, Degrémont, Alstom, Gemalto and many others.
We are confident that Technip, Veolia and Suez, CNIM and others will position themselves in the coming months, because they have the proper technology to meet success here and because Bangladesh wants to have high and long-lasting technologies for its development.
I can’t avoid giving an illustration with Technip, which built the only refinery of the country in 1965, 60 years ago, and this refinery is still producing at 97% of its capacities. This is what high long-lasting technologies mean in France. And this is what we can bring to Bangladesh, in many fields.
In France, reforms are taking place in order to increase our capacities as a development partner. During the last three years, our French Agency for development committed itself to co-financing major structural projects in Bangladesh for around 200 M€, and it will continue.
We can say that our collective effort made it possible to achieve our targets.
But of course it’s not enough and we must raise the level of our ambition.
In my view, it is our mutual interest, for France and Bangladesh, to increase the level of our trade relations and partnerships.
Our companies need new markets and Bangladesh needs to diversify its economy, to develop its infrastructures and to increase its GDP, in order to achieve its goal to become a mid-income country in the coming years.
Our companies have a role to play in this challenge because they can bring here the technologies which are necessary to create an economic and industrial sustainable environment, which will make it possible to face the challenges of the future, among others, demography and climate disruption.
As the world is changing tremendously, public and private sectors from both our countries have to work together, at our respective levels, to contribute to shaping a better world, here in Bangladesh and there in France.
Developing our bilateral economic relations is fully part of this global challenge.
Today I would like to thank you to be here and I would like to thank the France Bangladesh Chamber of Commerce and Industry to offer us the opportunity to enjoy this evening.
Thank you for your attention.