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Isa Khan

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Bangladesh and France are likely to see significant progress regarding purchase of ten A350 from Airbus, having Dhaka's own sovereign earth-observation satellite and endorsing an adaptation pact aimed at supporting Bangladesh in adapting to the effects of climate change during the forthcoming visit of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to France.

"A date is still being searched, because at that level, you have too many agendas. It's not something you do in five minutes. So there will be a visit," French Ambassador to Bangladesh Marie Masdupuy said on Wednesday (22 May).

She said there will be ministerial-level visits before the prime minister's visit to France and Bangladesh will receive a "large and important" delegation of business people from France probably in next fall. "So, this is also very encouraging."

The French envoy said Airbus is actually in discussions on two different files – one is the aircraft with Bangladesh's national flag carrier – Biman Bangladesh Airlines and the other one is about the satellite systems that Bangladesh would like to acquire for earth observation purposes.

"So both discussions are going on quite well. And we hope that soon there will be signatures and finalisation of these," said the ambassador who interacted with the journalists in two separate segments – France in its bilateral relations with Bangladesh as well as international issues of common interest.

Building on Hasina's visit to France in November 2021, at her invitation, President Emmanuel Macron paid a bilateral visit to Bangladesh from 10-11 September 2023.

Both countries welcome enhanced cooperation in strategic sectors. France thanked Bangladesh for its commitment concerning the acquisition of 10 A350 from Airbus.

The two countries underlined as well the importance of continued cooperation on improved air traffic management in all airports of Bangladesh.

Likewise, as a contribution to the 2041 Vision of a Smart Bangladesh, the two countries welcome the conclusion of a space partnership between Airbus DS and Bangladesh Satellite Company Ltd. (BSCL) that will strengthen Bangladesh's position as a Space nation after it masters its own sovereign earth-observation satellite.

Asked about Airbus further, the French envoy said, "We're very confident." And on the satellite issue, she added, "I'm absolutely hopeful, completely hopeful because our French offer is the best. I have nothing to add."

Economic opportunities

Responding to a question on the economic front, the ambassador said there are economic challenges, which are at the core of the graduation process, and post-graduation situation.

"We are aware of the efforts of your government to uphold a diversification of the economy in your country. So, the dependence on one main area of the industry is reduced compared to others because this will be key when it comes to transitioning out of the LDC status, and still getting access to special trade regimes, in particular with the EU," she said.

So, she added, it is an economic challenge but it is also a human challenge because to see an economic boost, Bangladesh needs manpower.

The ambassador said the labour issue is very important. "So, I see these two aspects, diversifying the economy and upholding the situation of the workers in your country, this will help for the transition."

In the economic and trade field, the two countries see a growing interest from Bangladeshi and French companies in various areas like energy, food, shipbuilding, engineering, etc.

"And we also started looking into possible investments by Bangladeshi companies in France, for example, in Pharma or RMG, retail and other areas," she said.

On the Rohingya issue, she said they are quite worried by the deterioration of the situation, currently, within the camps in Cox's bazar and the situation around on the other side of the border and the risks that are mounting.

The French envoy said they are confident that Bangladesh authorities are doing everything they can to maintain the security situation in and outside the area. "We will continue to support …we are always very grateful to your country's hosting the Rohingya people."

She said repatriation of the Rohingyas remains the goal which means that the situation in Myanmar has to be changing and improving because in the current conditions obviously Rohingya people cannot go back to their country.

Asked about a disinformation spread on social media on visa issues, the ambassador said she never pays attention to this kind of disinformation efforts or whatever.

"But that time, I replied to the guy because it was completely a lie. If I remember correctly, we had not refused any visa because we did not receive any application. So how can you refuse something that you were not even asked for?" she explained.

Responding to a question, the ambassador said she will not go into details of what is actually in the discussions because for some reasons of confidentiality.

Highlighting the strategic issues, the envoy highlighted cooperation in the areas of aerospace connectivity, defence and digital and cyber issues.

Bangladesh an important partner

Bangladesh and France shared the same vision for a "free, open, peaceful, secure and inclusive" Indo-Pacific region, based on international law and with shared prosperity for all.

Taking note of the French and European strategies concerning the Indo-Pacific, both parties agreed to work towards promoting regional peace and stability and to explore further opportunities for cooperation in maritime security and the blue economy.

"Bangladesh is definitely a very important partner of France in this implementation of our Indo-Pacific vision. Because of the position of your country, because of your weight, in terms of population, economic growth, the perspective which is being outlined, it is very important that we have good connections, and that we understand each other's issues and try to support each other," said the French ambassador.

She said France adopted its own Indo Pacific strategy long ago. "So, our view is a very cooperative approach when it comes to the Indo Pacific, recognizing the mounting importance of this region, in the economy of the world, in the human dynamics of the world, and also in culture and other areas."

The envoy said they have a collaborative approach, meaning it is not a confrontational approach. "And we think that within that region there are important actors, like of course, China and India."

In their view, she said maintaining dialogue and cooperation with everybody in the region is important.

"So, to support us in this approach, of course, we're very pleased to have other partners within the region," she added.

 

PutinBro

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Her reply to a question about defence cooperation and Rafale jets, 'I don't want to go into details about defense cooperation for reasons of confidentiality. But, let me tell you, industrialists as well as military chiefs are regularly visiting Bangladesh. Navy, Army, Air Force all have discussions and common interests. Although there are regular discussions in this regard, I cannot go into details due to confidentiality'.

প্রধানমন্ত্রীর ফ্রান্স সফরে উড়োজাহাজ কেনার চুক্তির আশা ফরাসি রাষ্ট্রদূতের
 
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PutinBro

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Imraan said the same thing some time ago 🙃
She and her politicians saying such stuff for the last 16 years.This time she's using the hill tracts insurgency issue to brew up new propaganda to fit her party's narrative and gain popular support.These are generally meant for common public not any official statement against USA.
 
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Isa Khan

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First part was about Kuki-Chin. The white man could be Peter Haas or Donald Lu. But it's most probably Donald Lu who was thought to be involved in Imran Khan's removal. The naval/air base part is nothing new. The rest were total nonsense.
 

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The Cabinet Committee on Government Purchase has approved a proposal to import 40 megawatts of hydropower from Nepal at a per unit rate of Tk8.17, including transmission charges.

The decision was made during a meeting of the purchase committee on Tuesday (11 June), chaired by Finance Minister Abul Hasan Mahmud Ali. Cabinet Division (reforms and coordination) Secretary Mahmudul Hossain Khan informed journalists about the approval during a briefing after the meeting.

Mahmudul said, "Since electricity will be transmitted to Bangladesh through the Indian grid, we will have to pay India a trading margin of 0.059 rupees per unit. Additionally, Bangladesh will have to give transmission costs to India, however, that has not been determined yet."

He further said the agreement will be between the Bangladesh Power Development Board (BPDB) and the Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA).

Responding to questions from reporters regarding the signing of the contract, Mahmudul said the date for agreement signing has not been finalised yet. "There will be a tripartite agreement between Bangladesh, India, and Nepal since the electricity will come from Nepal via India's transmission lines."

Regarding the time required for the electricity to reach Bangladesh, he said that the prime minister's visit to Nepal is likely forthcoming, and the agreement might be finalised during that visit.

"The initial contract will be for five years, costing approximately Tk130 crores annually, totaling around Tk650 crores over the period. The power will be integrated into Bangladesh's national grid at Bheramara using the Indian grid."

Earlier, the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs had granted in-principle approval for importing 40MW of hydropower from Nepal using the Indian national grid.

Following this, BPDB issued an international procurement proposal, to which NEA and India's NTPC Vidyut Vyapar Nigam Limited (NVVN) submitted proposals. NTPC is India's National Thermal Power Corporation.

The power price at India's Muzaffarpur substation is set at ¢6.40 per kilowatt, with NVVN's trading margin at Rs0.0595. Transmission charges will be according to the Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC) of India.

According to sources in the power division, BPDB is ready to finalise the contract with Nepal within this month. Following the agreement, it will take up to two months to connect the power to Bangladesh's national grid. Nepal has prepared to supply 24MW from its Trishuli project and 16MW from another plant.

 

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Ambassador and head of delegation of the European Union to Bangladesh Charles Whiteley on Monday said that the EU wanted to see more collaboration in the area of security and defence in Bangladesh beside their support in achieving the goal of green transition.

‘We want to see more collaboration in the future on security and defence in particular…This is an area where we can learn from each other,’ the EU envoy said, responding to a question at the DCAB Talk in the capital.

 

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DHAKA, June 14, 2024 (BSS) - Bangladesh has signed separate Air Service Agreement (ASA) with Switzerland and European Union to establish direct air connectivity with more countries in Europe.

Civil Aviation Authority of Bangladesh (CAAB) Chairman Air Vice Marshal Mafidur Rahman and Swiss Federal Office of Civil Aviation (FOCA) Director General Christian Hegner signed the ASA on behalf of their respective sides in Bern, Switzerland on June 4, a CAAB press release said here today.

This agreement opens the door for direct air travel between Bangladesh and another European country, said the CAAB.

Under the agreement, designated airlines from both countries will be able to operate 7 passenger flights and 7 cargo flights per week.

Additionally, the agreement allows the designated airlines from both countries to operate flights through code-sharing with their own and third-country airlines.

Swiss International Air Lines and Edelweiss Air AG have been nominated from Switzerland's side, while Biman Bangladesh Airlines, US-Bangla Airlines, and Novoair have been nominated from Bangladesh's side to provide services between the two countries.

On June 7, another bilateral air service agreement was signed between Bangladesh and the European Union (EU) in Brussels, Belgium.

The main objective of the agreement is to ensure the implementation of uniform regulations for air service operations with EU member countries.

CAAB chairman and Director of the Directorate General for Mobility and Transport of the European Commission Filip Cornelis inked the deal on behalf of their respective sides.

Bangladesh Civil Aviation and Tourism secretary Mokammel Hossain were present at both the signing ceremonies in Switzerland and Belgium.

 

PutinBro

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Rome wants to increase relations with Dhaka in the field of defense and security. Italy is interested in making an agreement with Bangladesh in this regard. The country expects to deepen the relationship with Bangladesh through this agreement. The matter will be discussed in the upcoming political consultative meeting at the level of foreign secretary.

Bangladesh-Italy political consultative meeting will be held tomorrow Sunday. Italian Foreign Ministry Secretary General Riccardo Guariglia is coming to Dhaka on a two-day visit with a high-level delegation to attend the meeting. Foreign Secretary Masood Bin Momen will lead the delegation of Bangladesh in the meeting.

A memorandum of understanding was signed in June last year to organize a political consultative meeting between the officials of the two countries. In continuation of that, the second meeting is being held in Dhaka. According to a source in the Ministry of External Affairs, the meeting will discuss immigration, trade, Bangladeshis living in Italy and possible agreements. Apart from this, a part of the Italian delegation will visit the Rohingya camp on June 25.

An official of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, on the condition of anonymity, told Samakal that the Italian Foreign Minister congratulated the Awami League government after winning the election on January 7. At that time, he proposed to sign a defense agreement to deepen the relationship between the two countries.

The official of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that Italy has already sent a letter specifying the characteristics, details and prices of various types of military equipment. The proposal may be decided during Ricardo Guariglia's visit. Italy wants to increase maritime partnership in addition to defense pact. For this, the country is interested in working with Bangladesh Coast Guard and Navy.

ঢাকার সঙ্গে প্রতিরক্ষা ও নিরাপত্তা চুক্তিতে আগ্রহী রোম
 
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At that time, he proposed to sign a defense agreement to deepen the relationship between the two countries.

The official of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that Italy has already sent a letter specifying the characteristics, details and prices of various types of military equipment. The proposal may be decided during Ricardo Guariglia's visit. Italy wants to increase maritime partnership in addition to defense pact. For this, the country is interested in working with Bangladesh Coast Guard and Navy.

Italy tried two times.....FAILED. The prices they mentioned in the letter must be too much.
 

Afif

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Italy tried two times.....FAILED. The prices they mentioned in the letter must be too much.

Or/And our bureaucracy sucks tremendously.
 

PutinBro

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*Italy has offered to sell EFT, 2nd satellite and OPV to bangladesh.

*Despite their efforts BD won't sign any defence mou at this moment.According to news by Prothom Alo the reason is reserve crisis and procedural issues regarding the agreement.
 

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*Italy has offered to sell EFT, 2nd satellite and OPV to bangladesh.

*Despite their efforts BD won't sign any defence mou at this moment.According to news by Prothom Alo the reason is reserve crisis and procedural issues regarding the agreement.
I think the contracts will go to france or others.and bd doesn't want to buy from italy as @Isa Khan said.

MRCA to 🇫🇷
Satellites to 🇫🇷
OPV to 🇫🇷 /🇹🇷 /🇳🇱/🇬🇧
 

Afif

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*Italy has offered to sell EFT, 2nd satellite and OPV to bangladesh.

*Despite their efforts BD won't sign any defence mou at this moment.According to news by Prothom Alo the reason is reserve crisis and procedural issues regarding the agreement.

The reality is, we are still hoping economy would recover. Even though there is a chance it may never does and we may head toward semi Pakistan style economy. It is hard sustain long term growth consistently while maintianing the title of one of the most corrupt countries in the world. (Not to mention, our current economic and GDP per Capita stats are already manipulated by discounting 20 million peoples in census and other irregularities)
 

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