Launching of TOTAL Quartz 3500 Super engine oil - Le Méridien Dhaka, 25 March 2017, 11 am
Speech of HE Sophie Aubert, Ambassador of France to Bangladesh
Dear Mr Mahmudul Seyd Huq,
Dear Special guests and dear Audience,
I am honored to be associated to this launching ceremony of this new product that Total introduced to you. As you can see, Total is a French global company present worldwide including in Bangladesh, for a very long time. Total representatives gave us a clear picture of their product and its advantages for Bangladesh. I am very proud as a French national to know that we have such important and highly professional companies working all other the world. I will not come back to what was said to you regarding Total and its brands, but I would like to say a few words about the trade relationships between France and Bangladesh and more globally between Europe and Bangladesh. Bangladesh is on the verge of becoming a developing country, and as for France, represented by our Embassy and by our business actors, we are very proud to support this evolution.
The development of the country is supported by the economic growth of Bangladesh and the diversification of the economy, and I am happy to see that this development brings new opportunities in our business relations. In 2015, trade between France and Bangladesh totaled €2.423 billion, up by over 30 % compared to 2014, while French imports from Bangladesh increased by 25.1 % to reach €2.1 billion. French exports to Bangladesh also increased by 91% in 2015. As you can see, our trade relationships are very unbalanced.
We import mainly RMG. Our exports to Bangladesh are driven by electric and electronic goods, hardware, but also chemicals, perfumes and cosmetics, as well as pharmaceuticals and agro-food products.
Bangladesh has benefited a lot from the European “Everything but arms” preference awarded by the European Union to the least developed countries, and Bangladesh is the main beneficiary of this preference: as Bangladesh accounts for 66% of the exports of the least developed countries to the European Union.
Through this trade, the European countries, including France, have contributed a lot to the development of Bangladesh and the growth of its economy. I think that the time has come now for Bangladesh take that point into consideration and consider the European countries as a privileged trade partner, not only to export to Europe, but also to buy from Europe.
The diversification of the country is an opportunity for you to develop your business relations with Europe. In my perception, the launching of this new brand is an example of this new trend that we would like to develop, in order to achieve a better balance in our trade relationships. I hope that we will have many more examples like this in the coming months.
Thank you for your attention./.