French Ambassador to Bangladesh Jean-Marin Schuh on Wednesday emphasised the commitment of their government to continue promoting climate resilient development of Bangladesh, reports UNB.
He said the French government will continue promoting Bangladesh's development through Agence Francaise de Developpement (AFD) with an improved access to soft financing, technical expertise, and cooperation with French partners.
"France, through AFD, is committed to supporting Bangladesh in achieving its development goals," said the French envoy while addressing a loan agreement signing ceremony at the Economic Relations Division (ERD) in the city.
The Ambassador said he is quite aware of Bangladesh's ambition to become a middle-income country by 2021. "[Its] growth is tremendous, average GDP growth for the past 5 years has reached more than 7 per cent."
Still, he said, the country is facing a few challenges such as infrastructures development, climate change mitigation, promoting innovation for digital Bangladesh, human capital development and governance which have become the main priorities of the government of Bangladesh.
Ambassador Schuh said AFD is new in the donors' landscape of Bangladesh since it started its journey in Bangladesh in 2013 with a mandate to promote green and inclusive growth.
He said AFD-funded projects are 100 per cent Paris Agreement compliant and generate at least 60 per cent climate 'co-benefice'.
"Despite this quite recent common history, AFD and the government of Bangladesh have now developed a very constructive collaboration, which needs to be pursued and expanded," said the French envoy.
The Ambassador said the successful migration of Bangladesh's energy mix towards a low carbon trajectory is a multistep process and strengthening of a smart electrical distribution network must act as a foundation for this transformation.
Bangladesh signed a 30-million Euro (MEUR) loan agreement with AFD related to the additional financing of the power supply expansion and efficiency improvement investment programme implemented by Dhaka Power Distribution Company (DPDC).
This is an extension of the initial 100 MEUR financing provided to the DPDC to construct and modernise 14 electrical substations and the associated power lines for distribution network.
French Ambassador Schuh and Regional Director for South Asia Jacky Amprou signed the credit facility agreement on behalf of the AFD while Economic Relations Division (ERD) Secretary Monowar Ahmad represented the government of Bangladesh at the signing ceremony held at the ERD.
Meanwhile, a statement issued by the French embassy in Dhaka on Wednesday said the loan is a parallel co-financing with Asian Development Bank under the Power Efficiency Programme.
This additional financing will cover extra costs related to the purchase and commissioning of new equipment and the increased cost of raw materials, it said. The project as a whole will improve the quality of energy distribution for 241,000 households or 1.1 million people.
The upgrading of the electrical network will allow DPDC to provide energy with a lower emission factor and will reduce the carbon footprint of the diesel generators, said the statement.
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