Economic Wing

Economic Wing

Functions of Economic Wing

The Economic Wing is headed by an officer who holds the diplomatic rank of a Minister. As a functional unit of the Economic Relations Division (ERD), the Wing is assigned with the responsibilities for strengthening the existing bilateral economic relations between Japan and Bangladesh. The Wing has been employing its efforts for mobilization of development assistance, technical cooperation, transfer of technology, human resource development through higher education and training in different Japanese universities and institutions.

The key specific functions of the Wing include:

Maintaining strong liaison/ interaction with key institutions of the host government including Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Finance, Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) to mobilize bilateral development assistance in the form of loan, grants and technical assistance for Bangladesh.
Monitoring trend(s) of macro-economic indicators as well as overall scenario of the host government and reporting to ERD about their perceived impacts on Official Development Assistance (ODA) flow to Bangladesh.
Expediting signing of loan and grant agreements with the host government and disbursement of fund in favour of on-going projects and programmes.
Maintaining regular contacts with key actors of the host government including ministers, parliament members, bureaucrats, academicians and civil society leaders to strengthen bilateral socio-economic and cultural relations between the two countries.
Promoting Japanese investment in Bangladesh through maintaining regular contacts with and disseminating information on business-friendly environment among potential investors of the host country.
Exploring potential human resource development opportunities in the form of undergraduate, graduate and postgraduate scholarships, training and scientific research for Bangladeshi nationals at different Japanese universities.
Monitoring and assessment of academic performance of Bangladeshi JDS fellows studying at different universities of Japan.
Facilitating establishment of memorandum of understanding on academic and research collaboration between relevant universities of Japan and Bangladesh.
Pursuing JICA and Japan Overseas Cooperative Association (JOCA) for expanding the scope of JICA Volunteer Programme in Bangladesh.

Bilateral Economic Relations

The diplomatic relations between Bangladesh and Japan was established on February 10th, 1972 and bilateral ties evolved during the last 43 years on a strong foundation. Till date, Japan is the single largest bilateral development partner of Bangladesh. Japanese assistance to Bangladesh encompasses a wide range of cooperation in power and energy, transportation, telecommunication, agriculture, health, education, infrastructure, water and sanitation, environment, human resource development and in other sectors of economy in the form of loan, grant, technical assistance, development studies, and dispatching of volunteers and experts. Japanese loans are concessional in nature carrying an interest rate of 0.0 I percent and repayment period of forty years including a ten-year grace period.

Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) operated as two separate entities under the Government of Japan till September 2008. JICA provided grant assistance while JBIC dealt with concessional loans. After merging with JBIC, since October 2008 JICA has been dealing with all forms of development assistance including loan, grant and technical assistance.

Japanese development assistance to Bangladesh

The JICA Bangladesh office was established in 1974 and the first Japanese ODA loan to the Country was made in the same year. Since then, Bangladesh received commitment of a total amount of US$11,176.76 million development assistance from Japan out of which US$7,798.24 million has been disbursed in favour of different development projects and programmes up to financial year 2012-13. In 2013, the two Governments signed 33rd and 34th ODA loan packages for a total amount of about US$1,830 million. The major projects under these packages include i) Dhaka mass rapid transit development project, ii) National power transmission network development project, iii) Bheramara combined cycle power plant development project, iv) Kanchpur, Meghna and Gumti bridges rehabilitation project, v) Karnaphuli water supply project (Phase II), vi) Northern Bangladesh integrated development project and vii) Renewable energy development project. The 35th ODA loan package is under process and expected to be signed shortly. The commitment and disbursement of Japanese development assistance to Bangladesh during recent years are as follows:

(Million US$)

Financial Year Total Commitment Total Disbursement
1-00 339.815 316.151
2-01 151.732 287.434
3-02 207.546 243.362
4-03 12.565 79.381
5-04 111.126 45.039
6-05 245.193 31.045
7-06 29.466 31.616
8-07 368 88.743
9-08 452.5 103.041
10-09 450.703 121.27
11-10 650.99 121.343
12-11 98.89 247.592
2012-13 1820.322 348.584

Source: Economic Relations Division

Grant and technical assistance

Since independence, Japanese grant and technical assistance have been contributing significantly to the socio-economic development, particularly in health, education, disaster management, agriculture and rural development sectors of Bangladesh. During last decade about 200 civil servants and bankers of Bangladesh obtained Masters degrees from reputed Japanese universities under Human Resource Development Scholarship (JDS) programme. Besides, every year a good number of students/ fellows from Bangladesh get various types of scholarships to study in different universities and institutes of Japan. As of January 2014, about 1,500 such students/ fellows have been perusing their academic programmes and research in the country.

Japan Overseas Cooperation Volunteers (JOCVs) are one of the important engines as well as a strong bridge of friendship between Japan and Bangladesh. They are highly motivated young people who facilitate technology transfer and socio-economic development through direct interaction with common citizens of Bangladesh. The first JOCV to Bangladesh was dispatched in 1973 and till December 2013 more than 1,110 volunteers employed their notable efforts in agriculture, rural development, education, health and family welfare, sanitation, ICT, sports and some other priority sectors of the country. Presently about 80 JOCVs are working in Bangladesh.

Useful links
Economic Relations Division (ERD): http://www.erd.gov.bd
Finance Division: http://www.mof.gov.bd/en
Board of Investment: http://boi.gov.bd
Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics: http://www.bbs.gov.bd/home.aspx
Japan International Development Agency (JICA): http://www.jica.go.jp/english/index.html
Contact

Economic Minister
Tel: 03 3234 5801 Ext. 200
Fax: 03 3234 5802
Email: sahida2013@gmail.com