French National Day [fr]
Speech of H.E. Mrs Loan Forgeron, Ambassador of France in Brunei, during the reception given at the Residence of France on the occasion of the French National Day, on 12th July 2016. The Minister of Home Affairs, Pehin Orang Kaya Seri Kerna Dato Seri Setia Dr Awang Haji Abu Bakar bin Haji Apong, was the guest of honour.
Pehin Orang Kaya Seri Kerna Dato Seri Setia Dr Awang Haji Abu Bakar bin Haji Apong, Minister of Home Affairs, Pengiran Pengiran, Pehin Pehin, Dato Dato, Datin Datin, Dear Excellencies, Dear compatriots, Distinguished guests,
I am very pleased to welcome our guest of honour Yang Berhormat Pehin Orang Kaya Seri Kerna Dato Seri Setia Dr Awang Haji Abu Bakar bin Haji Apong, Minister of Home Affairs, at our French National Day celebration. I would like to personally convey my deepest gratitude to Pehin and Datin for gracing us with their presence this evening.
- H.E. Mrs Loan Forgeron, Ambassador of France in Brunei, with Pehin Orang Kaya Seri Kerna Dato Seri Setia Dr Awang Haji Abu Bakar bin Haji Apong, Minister of Home Affairs, guest of honour, and his spouse.
I also wish to express my sincere thanks to the CEOs of Total Brunei and BNP Paribas/Baiduri Bank for their sponsoring of our national day and for their continued faithful and strong support alongside the French Embassy.
- H.E. Mrs Loan Forgeron with Pehin Orang Kaya Seri Kerna Dato Seri Setia Dr Awang Haji Abu Bakar bin Haji Apong, Minister of Home Affairs, his spouse, and Mr Yves Grosjean, CEO of TOTAL
This is the first time since my arrival that we have the pleasure to celebrate the French National Day with our Bruneian friends under the umbrella of our campaign CREATIVE FRANCE whose goal is to promote French attractiveness throughout the world. I invite you to be a part of this. We are sharing on these days many happy events too, Hari Raya and His Majesty’s 70th birthday in a few days. This year also marks the 30th year of presence of the Alliance Française in Brunei.
This festive and friendly season however could not occult some concerns related to our current environment. The rise of the terrorist threat has spread insecurity worldwide, included in South East Asia. The European Union has to face many challenges, economy, security, and its destiny after the Brexit.
It’s also an exciting milestone for Brunei to achieve its economic diversification and its regional integration which represent outstanding opportunities. France is always standing alongside Brunei and will continue to be involved in overcoming this watershed moment successfully. This period is bringing exceptional incentives to reinforce the abilities and skills of Bruneian people.
Thanks to the French most famous companies and our network of SMEs, we aim at sustaining Brunei’s new phase of its economic transition. We do hope we could encourage the implementation of many French and Bruneian joint-ventures and French private investment. France has world-class knowledge in various areas: the agro-business, the tourism industry, the information and communication technologies, and specially defence cooperation which could be strengthened in an insecure context.
The French added value lies in its sustainable dimension. Our priority is to contribute to the knowledge and the technology transfer through long-term partnerships. Every facet of our cooperation is enriched by the exchange of experience and the interaction between partners. This is further strengthened by the active members of the French Bruneian Business association.
The specificity of the French-Bruneian relationship is also feeding by our cultural exchange. The Alliance Française, in Brunei for nearly 30 years as the only foreign cultural institute, offers a strategic window over the French-speaking culture and a unique opportunity of dialogue and cooperation with French-speaking worlds.
Thanks for your help, Pehin, and for the help of the Ministry of Home Affairs and of the Ministry of Primary Resources and Tourism, the Alliance Française organised the Francophonie week last March and it was a very successful event. Fabienne Sylla-Pousse, the director of the Alliance Française, here with us, under the president and the committee’s umbrella, is committing to carrying on reinforcing the diffusion of the French language and culture.
Brunei is also improving further in its communication worldwide. In this context, Pehin, I would like to announce that for the first time a special edition of a French magazine, l’Essentiel des relations internationales, will be entirely dedicated to the Sultanate of Brunei.
On Mr. Laurent Taieb’s initiative, the CEO of this press magazine, present among us today, to whom I would like to convey my heartfelt gratitude, L’Essentiel des relations internationales devoted a special issue to Brunei on the occasion of His Majesty’s 70th birthday. Its goal will contribute, I do hope, in reinforcing Brunei’s attractiveness to politic and economic leaders from France and French speaking countries.
- H.E. Mrs Loan Forgeron with Mr Laurent Taieb, Director of the magazine "l’Essentiel"
Before opening the reception, I would like to express my warmest thanks to my fellow compatriots. Though you aren’t the most prominent community in Brunei, your efficient and dynamic role in our cooperation with Brunei deserves our pride and gratitude. I encourage each of you to continue further to represent France and its values in your mission. The friendly ties that have been created over the years between the Bruneian and the French people are going further every day stronger and closer thanks to all of you, French and Bruneian people.
Today we celebrate the French National Day together and the core values that our Republic has been carrying for more than two centuries: liberty, equality, fraternity. These values are endangering currently by rising violence and fanaticism, by clinging attitude to identity and selfishness.
With more fraternity and tolerance, we can achieve our essential challenges together for a better world and for the younger generation, even if it’s a long and difficult process full of traps.
Thank you for your attention.
Long life to the French-Bruneian friendship,
Vive la République, vive la France !