French Annual CCIFB Gala, December 12, 2016
Speech of HE Sophie Aubert, Ambassador of France to Bangladesh
Dear CCIFB members and dear guests,
I am very pleased to be here again today on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the France Bangladesh Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
As you may know, the Chamber was the first European bilateral Chamber to be set up in Bangladesh 20 years ago.
The Chamber has accompanied and supported the development of our bilateral economic relationships during all these years and I seize this opportunity to thank its team, its director Dr Rifat Rashid, its president Mr Maksud and the board, and I also thank all of you for your support.
Last year, the Chamber decided to hold the French Trade Fair, an initiative which had been abandoned some 15 years ago.
It is for me a real matter of satisfaction that we could hold this Trade Fair again this year, thanks to the determination of Dr Rifat Rashid and her team.
My colleagues from the economic service and I dedicate a huge part of my time to strengthening our business relations between France and Bangladesh, along with our economic department and the Chamber.
I am sure that the foundations are now here to develop an ambitious relationship.
From the French side, our added-value is our high technology. It is an important drive in our bilateral economic relationships.
That’s the reason why, as recalled yesterday at the opening ceremony of French Trade Fair, I said that our priority sectors for doing business here are agro-food and health, water and energy, telecommunications and surveillance, identity and security, and the defense industry.
But doing business is not just a matter of money. In my view, it’s also a matter of proximity, trust, confidence and efficiency.
To contribute to the development of the country’s global economy, we need transparence, accountability and legal stability, and of course security.
And we need to think beyond the short term. There may be some ups and downs, for example because a legislation is changing, but the only way to settle our relationships is to think beyond the short term.
Developing a country takes time. For the last 40 years, the Bangladesh private sector has played a major role in the development of the country.
The private sector is the main actor of the country, because the private sector is creating value.
The private sector has already started taking into consideration issues which will be fundamental for the development of Bangladesh.
I mean how to create connectivity, how to develop clean industries, how to take care of water and land.
A lot has been done and a lot has to be done in Bangladesh, and our French companies as said before have a huge added-value in all these sectors.
I hope that the relationships that we are building in the field of business will contribute to enrich French and Bangladeshi companies, an in the same time to develop the country in a sustainable way.
I am sure that we will have more and more initiatives in the future. But for this ambition to become a reality, we, and the France Bangladesh chamber, need your support.
Another point is that, to achieve our goal, we need to be part of the international networks to benefit from the global dynamics and new technologies.
That’s why I am very pleased to inform you that today, CCIFB will sign an agreement with Business France, the French operator to promote businesses, and that they will work together within a clear framework in order to strengthen our bilateral business relations.
So, again, happy birthday to the Chamber, and thank you all for your presence and support !