Tue. Oct 3rd, 2023
French President Macron Visits Bangladesh for Economic Cooperation

French President Emmanuel Macron visited Bangladesh to strengthen bilateral relations between the two countries. During his visit, a deal was signed to facilitate loans for infrastructure development in Bangladesh. Additionally, a letter of intent was signed to provide Bangladesh with an earth observation satellite system.

The agreement was signed by Bangladesh’s Economic Relations Division and the French Development Agency. The details of the deal have not been fully disclosed yet. The satellite system will be used to observe the status of crops and the sea, as Bangladesh currently lacks monitoring capabilities across the vast sea.

This visit is seen as a step toward attracting investments from France in sectors where the United States, China, and India are heavily engaged. It is also speculated that the visit may have political and strategic significance ahead of Bangladesh’s upcoming general election.

France is Bangladesh’s fifth-largest trading partner in sectors such as engineering, energy, aerospace, and water. The leaders of both countries expressed their commitment to establishing regional and global stability and peace. They also discussed projects related to climate change, as Bangladesh is one of the worst affected countries.

Furthermore, France has reiterated its support for trade facilitation with Bangladesh under the European Union’s Generalised Scheme of Preferences Plus (GSP+) scheme. Joining the GSP+ scheme may lead to Bangladesh losing some benefits it currently enjoys as a least developed country under the World Trade Organization’s protocol.

In recent times, Bangladesh has expanded its partnership with Airbus, a company in which France has a major stake. This is significant as Bangladesh has traditionally purchased aircraft from the American company Boeing.

The visit of President Macron is seen as a boost for Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina as she seeks a fourth consecutive term in the upcoming election. However, her main opposition party has threatened to boycott the election unless certain conditions are met. The United States has raised concerns about human rights and the credibility of the election. On the other hand, Russia, China, and India continue to support Prime Minister Hasina.

Overall, the visit of President Macron to Bangladesh represents a step forward in economic cooperation and bilateral relations between the two countries.