Economic Relations Division (ERD) is one of the four divisions of the Ministry of Finance, Government of the People's Republic of Bangladesh. The other three divisions of the Ministry of Finance are: 1. Finance Division (FD) 2. Bank and Financial Institutions Division and 3. Internal Resources Division (IRD). Mr. Abul Maal A. Muhith is the Hon'ble Minister for the Ministry of Finance. Secretary of the government Mr. Md. Abul Kalam Azad is the Secretary of ERD.
ERD is one of the important Divisions of the Government of Bangladesh which mobilizes external resources for socio-economic development of the country. ERD leads as the focal point of the Government for interfacing with the development partners as well as for co-ordination of all external assistance inflows into the country. It assesses the needs of external assistance, devises strategy for negotiations and mobilizing foreign assistance, formalize and enables aid mobilization through signing of loans and grant agreements, determines and executes external economic policy.
The interesting feature of the aid regime is that over the years, the character of the resource flow into the country has dramatically changed. The mode of foreign assistance has shifted its focus from food/commodity aid to project assistance. Foreign assistance today is basically intended for investment, which is very crucial for attaining economic development/growth and successful implementation of the MDG's. However, due to increase in demand for resources and changed outlook of the development partners, the share of grant has substantially decreased. Foreign aid has contributed immensely in the development of the socio economic sectors like education, health, agriculture, power and energy, infrastructure etc.
The main focus of ERD is to coordinate, plan, mobilize and determine allocation of external assistance in relation to the country's development programme priorities. ERD also maintains external economic relations with governments and international and regional bodies. As the Government's aid coordinating authority, ERD undertakes aid programming and budgeting, initiating, negotiating and signing agreements, and informing the development partners of the use of development assistance. Foreign debt management including repayment of principal and interest amounts due to different lenders constitutes an important part of ERD's work.
More detailed information on ERD’s function will be found in ERD Handbook in Publication section.