Emmanuel Macron defended his "third way in the Indo-Pacific" in Bangladesh on Monday, torn between the United States and China, and mentioned a "commitment" from a Bangladeshi company in favor of a future purchase of ten A350s from the European aircraft manufacturer Airbus.
“I thank you for the choice of confidence for European aeronautics, and the commitment to these ten Airbus A350s is an important point,” declared the French president to the press alongside Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.
According to his entourage, the two parties are “working to finalize a contract” between the local company Biman and Airbus.
Biman having until now always purchased American Boeings, this would be a "real breakthrough" and the expression of the French desire to "conquer new territories", according to the French delegation.
The amount of such a contract would exceed 3.2 billion dollars (2.9 billion euros) if it is finalized and if we stick to the latest list price communicated by Airbus. However, the list price is rarely applied due to the discounts granted.
Beyond these commercial negotiations, Mr. Macron reiterated his desire to “build a new page” in relations with Dhaka.
“We share the same attachment to democratic values, the rule of law and human rights, a triptych without which there can be no sustainable development,” he said, also referring to a “community of strategic views" and a "common desire" not to "give in to any external pressure".
“I defend, as you know, this third way in the Indo-Pacific based on respect for the sovereignty and strategic autonomy of our partners,” insisted the French president, positioning France as a force for proposing “sustainable alternatives”.
The Indo-Pacific, or Asia-Pacific, is this vast area covering the Indian and Pacific Oceans, the scene of growing international tensions between the United States and China, and where France, with its overseas territories , intends to develop its presence alongside regional partners.
The French president also affirmed that he wanted to strengthen cultural exchanges, cooperation in the field of space, and wanted to assist Bangladesh in its efforts to adapt to “phenomena of rising waters” and “extreme climatic events” to which it is “particularly vulnerable”.
Sheikh Hasina thanked France for its “confidence” in “the constant and spectacular progress of the economy” of the country and for its “support” for its “policy of sovereign independence, particularly in the context of persistent geopolitical instability” .
11/09/2023 18:18:24 - Dacca (AFP) - © 2023 AFP