Sustainable development is at the heart of Bangladesh-France cooperation

Message of France Ambassador Jean-Marin SCHUH on the occasion of the National Day

13th July, 2020 08:15:30 printer

Sustainable development is at the heart of Bangladesh-France cooperation

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Cherscompatriotes, dear friends,

Today, we commemorate the storming of the Bastille in Paris on the 14th of July 1789. More than our National Day, we celebrate the universal values that come from the French revolution and that are at the core of who we are. Just as France, Bangladesh is a country where the word Freedom has a deep resonance, and I want us to remember that our friendship is also anchored in our existence as free Nations. On this 14th of July 2020 we celebrate our national day as it is our tradition, but in a nontraditional way. We are not hosting celebrations as we used to. All around the world, for the past four months, our countries have experienced major changes due the current pandemic. All of us have been impacted, on different levels. Some have to deal with grief, many have to deal with job loss, and all of us are longing for the day we will not have to worry anymore about our loved ones’ safety.

Unfortunately, we may never be back to “normal”, to our way of life as it was before COVID-19. But this unprecedented disruption can also be seen as an opportunity to emerge stronger from the crisis. During the darkest times, we have learned that the actions of every individual are important. In France, in Bangladesh and everywhere in the world, the social value of the medical staff has been made clear to all of us. The importance of those carrying out essential roles, who selflessly continued their day-to-day duties to allow our countries to survive the crisis has to be reminded everyday. There are certain goods and services that must be placed outside the laws of the market.The coming months and years will require decisions to be taken, and our governments will have to put healthcare and social protection at the center of their policies to avoid another disaster. In such a context, the need for international collaboration is increasing, as no country can tackle this crisis alone. We can not overcome such difficulties on our own, and it’s by standing together that we’ll meet successfully this huge challenge.

Our two countries have developed excellent relations since the early days of the fight for Independence led by Sheikh Mujibur Rahman in 1971. André Malraux, who fought for freedom during the civil war in Spain, lent him a strong support and now stands as a symbol of our friendship. Sustainable development is at the heart of our cooperation and the French Development Agency has been a strong pillar since the beginning. As Bangladesh is facing the dramatic socio-economic consequences of the pandemic, a concessional loan of 150 millions euro will be provided to help the country. I also want to mention our successful cooperation regarding defense and security. The visit of Florence Parly in March, our Ministry of Armed Forces, reaffirms our two countries mutual commitment to work side by side to strengthen the stability and the security of the region.

Despite the difficult times we are all going through right now, I would like to say that Bangladesh and France have a bright future together. More than  common interests, we also share a common vision, especially regarding  climate change, and we will work every day to strengthen our strategic partnerships in this changing world.

Vive l’amitié entre la France et le Bangladesh

Long live France and Bangladesh friendship