Bangladesh has started discussions with French policymakers to build the country’s second satellite, Bangabandhu-2. The French company Thales Aleni, which designed and built Bangabandhu-1, the first satellite of the country, has expressed its willingness to build the second satellite for the country as well. During a meeting last month with a group of journalists from Bangladesh visiting the country at the invitation from the French government, a French policymaker disclosed his country’s interest in the project. The policymaker also expressed France's interest in funding Bangladesh’s development projects.
French senator Jacky Deromedi, who is in charge of the France-South East Asia Friendship Group of the Senate, told The Independent that Bangladesh has made remarkable progress in the last few years. She said that time is now ripe to increase French investments in different sectors of Bangladesh including power, infrastructure and transport.
On March 26, the Independence Day of Bangladesh, a programme was held at the Bangladesh embassy in France. At that event, Jacky Deromedi discussed the possibility of building Bangabandhu-2 with the Bangladesh ambassador to France, Kazi Imtiaz Hossain. “We talked about the possibility of France helping Bangladesh launch its second satellite. We also had a discussion on enhancing French presence in Bangladesh,” said the French senator.
Thales Aleni, had built Bangabandhu-1, which was launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida, the US, using a Space X Falcon rocket.
Bangabandhu-1 was the country"s first commercial satellite and almost all the local satellite TV stations are using it,
thus saving a huge sum in foreign currency. The Prime Minister announced last year that her government would plan the launch of Bangabandhu-2.
Jacky Deromedi said Bangladesh has come a long way to become a developing country from South Asia. “Bangladesh has accomplished a lot of things in the last few years. I visited Bangladesh at the beginning of this year and saw first-hand the changes happening there,” she added.
During her trip to Bangladesh, Jacky Deromedi also visited a large garments factory in Hemayetpur. “I saw a lot of reforms have taken place,” she said.
Terming Bangladesh as one of the most vulnerable countries to climate change, she said France would like to help Bangladesh in this regard.
Member of the French National Assembly, Daniele Obono, who is in charge of the France-Bangladesh Friendship group of the Assembly, told journalists that France wants to extend its hand of support to Bangladesh in fighting climate change. She said as per the declarations made in the Paris Accord, France is keen to help Bangladesh in adapting to climate change.
Jean-Claude Pires from the Agence Francaise de Development (AFD) told the visiting journalists that the development wing of the French government is interested in enhaninge its cooperation with Bangladesh. “We are now looking at opening new chapters in Bangladesh,” he said.
The French Development Agency has already given a loan of 482 million euros and a donation of 15 million euros to Bangladesh.