Fri. Sep 29th, 2023
Bangladesh Signs Deal with France for Airbus Aircraft and Earth Observation Satellite

Bangladesh has signed a deal with France for the purchase of 10 Airbus aircraft worth $3.2 billion. A letter of intent was also exchanged for an earth observation satellite system. French President Emmanuel Macron’s visit to Dhaka marks the first visit by a French president in 33 years, highlighting the growing importance of the Asia-Pacific region in France’s strategy. Macron emphasized the importance of democratic principles and the rule of law, presenting France as a “third way” to counterbalance China’s influence in the region. The negotiations included discussions on Biman Airline’s commitment to purchasing ten A350s from Airbus, potentially worth $3.2 billion. Biman currently operates a fleet of mostly Boeing planes. Macron expressed his appreciation for Bangladesh’s trust in the European aerospace industry.

The agreement also includes the procurement of an earth observation satellite system. The satellite, to be launched into an orbit approximately 350 miles above the Earth, will primarily be used for crop monitoring and observing the sea, as Bangladesh currently lacks monitoring capabilities over its vast maritime area. Bangladesh had previously purchased its first geostationary communications and broadcasting satellite, Bangabandhu Satellite-1, from France in 2018.

Macron’s visit to Bangladesh is seen as part of France’s strategy to strengthen ties with the country and establish a presence in the Asia-Pacific region. France is Bangladesh’s fifth-largest trading partner in various sectors, including engineering, energy, aerospace, and water. Both countries expressed their hope that this strategic move will contribute to regional and global stability and peace.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina highlighted the need for stability in the Asia-Pacific region and emphasized the impacts of climate change that Bangladesh is facing as one of the worst victims. France has pledged to support trade with Bangladesh under the European Union’s Generalized Scheme of Preferences Plus (GSP+) scheme, which promotes sustainable development and good governance in developing countries.

Macron’s visit to Bangladesh follows his attendance at the G20 leaders’ summit in India, where he praised Bangladesh’s rapid economic growth and its status as the world’s eighth most populous nation. The visit included a memorial visit to Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, Bangladesh’s Father of the Nation and first president.

This visit by Macron to Bangladesh underscores the growing significance of the country in the international political arena and marks a positive step in strengthening bilateral ties between France and Bangladesh.