Bangladesh is set to roll out red carpet for President of France Emmanuel Macron when he arrives in Dhaka on Sunday evening on a bilateral visit.
The French president is coming here after attending the G20 summit in New Delhi.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, who is scheduled to return home at 3:30pm wrapping up her G20 visit in India, will receive President Macron at 7:30pm at the Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport, an official told UNB on Saturday.
Macron is the first leader to visit Bangladesh since former French President Mitterrand visited Bangladesh on 22 to 24 February, 1990.
President Macron will hold a summit meeting with PM Hasina at Prime Minister's Office on Monday morning and join a banquet to be hosted by her in honour of the visiting guest on Sunday evening.
The two leaders are expected to witness signing of a couple of bilateral instruments and hold a joint press briefing.
Macron will pay homage to Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman at the Bangabandhu Memorial Museum at Dhanmondi 32 on Monday morning.
"We are thrilled to see a growing interest from both sides to enhance business, in particular to build on France technology and know-how in order to support the move from Digital Bangladesh to Smart Bangladesh," said the Embassy of France in Dhaka.
The visit of President Macron at the invitation of PM Hasina will be the occasion to "concretize some projects and boost" further economic relations between the two countries, said the French side.
The bilateral trade relationship has gone a long way since early 1990.
Total trade between Bangladesh and France soared from 210M€ to 4.9 billion€ today with France being the 5th country for exports.
French companies are now involved in various sectors including engineering, energy, aerospace and water sectors.
The governments of Bangladesh and France sincerely hope that the visit of the French President to Bangladesh will further elevate the friendly relations between the two countries to a new height, said the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The French president will be accompanied by, among others, Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs Catherine Colonna.
PM Hasina visited France in November 2021 at the invitation of the French President Emmanuel Macron.
France is seeing the visit as an "opportunity to deepen" the bilateral relations between the two countries.
The French government confirmed the visit on Monday describing Bangladesh as a country that is experiencing "rapid economic growth and seeking to diversify" its partnerships.
"Bangladesh and France also show great convergence in the face of global challenges, particularly within the framework of the Paris Agenda for Peoples and the Planet, which Bangladesh actively supports," reads the announcement.
Since the country is particularly vulnerable to climate change, the president will recall France's determination to stand by Bangladesh on its humanitarian front, in particular in the face of regular floods.
Bangladesh is also an important contributor to international solidarity actions, whether through its contingents in peacekeeping operations or in hosting Rohingya refugees.
In Bangladesh, the President Macron will continue the concrete declination of the French strategy in the Indo-Pacific, after welcoming Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Paris this summer and visiting Papua New Guinea, Vanuatu and Sri Lanka.
Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen said Bangladesh and France would discuss ways to enhance trade and investment between the two countries apart from discussing issues like climate change and regulated migration during the talks.
“Women empowerment, enhancing trade and commerce and regulated migration – these are normal issues. Climate change is a big issue. The President of France has taken a leadership role,” Momen said, adding that Bangladesh will raise the loss and damage issue and its making functional of its relevant fund in a big way.
The French President is scheduled to leave Dhaka at 2pm on Monday.
Foreign Minister Dr Momen will see him off at the airport.