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Masatsugu Asakawa

10 December 2020

President Asakawa meets with heads of multilateral development banks

President Masatsugu Asakawa on 10 December 2020 met with the heads of multilateral development banks (MDBs) and the International Monetary Fund to discuss the role of MDBs in building a more resilient post-COVID-19 world and MDBs’ engagement with global fora. President Asakawa shared updates on the economic outlook of Asia and the Pacific, and on ADB’s response to the pandemic including the Asia Pacific Vaccine Access Facility proposal. He conveyed his views on MDBs’ role in optimizing their balance sheets and emphasized ADB’s priorities to enable green, resilient, and inclusive recovery. The heads committed to close collaboration to support developing members' recovery from the crisis. Read the news release.

9 December 2020

President Asakawa underscores ADB's commitment to combat illicit financial flows at International Anticorruption Day celebration

President Masatsugu Asakawa emphasized how ADB's anticorruption measures and capacity building initiatives complement efforts by media and civil society in fighting illicit financial flows at the 10th celebration of ADB's International Anticorruption Day, held on 9 December 2020. Under the theme Strengthening Governance Systems to Combat Illicit Financial Flows at a Time of COVID-19, Sarawak Report Founder and journalist Clare Rewcastle Brown shared her 1MDB investigation experience. Policy Director at Global Financial Integrity, Lakshmi Kumar highlighted the regional policy interventions that can strengthen efforts against illicit financial flows. Read the President's speech

8 December 2020

President Asakawa discusses COVID-19, collaboration opportunities with regional development bank heads

President Masatsugu Asakawa on 8 December 2020 met with heads of regional development banks - African Development Bank President Akinwumi Adesina, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development President Odile Renaud-Basso, and Inter-American Development Bank President Mauricio Claver-Carone. They discussed challenges faced by regional development banks in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic and opportunities for collaboration during the recovery period. President Masa noted that vaccine access and delivery; green, resilient, and inclusive economic recovery and digitalization; optimization of balance sheets including exposure exchanges; domestic resource mobilization; and institutional development as possible areas for collaboration. The heads showed interests in experience and lessons learned in vaccine support, climate finance, and work environment during the pandemic that will affect how regional development banks will work in the future. AfDB turned over role of chairing the RDB heads meetings for 2021 to EBRD. 

7 December 2020

President Asakawa urges CAREC countries to embrace digitalization to strengthen COVID-19 recovery

In a keynote address at the 19th CAREC Ministerial Conference on 7 December 2020, President Masatsugu Asakawa highlighted the importance of digitalization and the private sector to accelerate regional cooperation and drive innovation as the CAREC region bounces back from the COVID-19 crisis. He joined Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani, and other senior officials from CAREC’s 11 member countries at the virtual meeting on 7 December which endorsed the CAREC Program Results Framework, the Tourism Strategy 2030, and the Gender Strategy 2030. Read the news release.

1 December 2020

President Asakawa addresses regional challenges at high-level anticorruption panel

President Masatsugu Asakawa on 1 December 2020 discussed the key regional challenges arising from corruption and the flow of dirty money at the 19th International Anti-Corruption Conference opening plenary session, Designing 2030: Truth, Trust, and Transparency. In his speech, the President outlined how IFIs like ADB must address these challenges through the operations they finance, the knowledge solutions they provide, and the partnerships they convene. 

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Masatsugu Asakawa

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Masatsugu Asakawa is the President of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Chairperson of ADB’s Board of Directors. He was elected President by ADB’s Board of Governors and assumed office on 17 January 2020.

Prior to joining ADB, he served as Special Advisor to Japan’s Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, and has a close-to-four decades’ career at the Ministry of Finance with diverse professional experience that cuts across both domestic and international fronts.

In the immediate aftermath of the Global Financial Crisis, Mr. Asakawa, in his capacity as Executive Assistant to Prime Minister Taro Aso, took part in the first G20 Leaders’ Summit Meeting in November 2008. He was instrumental in orchestrating a globally coordinated financial package to abate the financial crisis, including a $100 billion loan from Japan to the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Then in 2016, in his capacity as Vice Minister of Finance for International Affairs, he took on a leading role for the G7 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors’ meeting in Sendai under the Japanese presidency, where a sustainable and inclusive development agenda was extensively discussed.

Most recently, he served as Finance Deputy for the G20 meetings under the Japanese presidency, playing a pivotal role for the success of the G20 Osaka Summit as well as the G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors’ meeting in Fukuoka. Some of his outstanding achievements in Osaka include the endorsement by the G20 Leaders of the “G20 Principles for Quality Infrastructure Investment” and the “G20 Shared Understanding on the Importance of UHC Financing in Developing Countries”. Before these, he had occupied various prominent positions within the Finance Ministry, including director positions in charge of development policy issues, foreign exchange markets, and international tax policy.

Mr. Asakawa’s professional experience extends beyond the realms of the Japanese government. Most notably, he served as Chief Advisor to ADB President Kimimasa Tarumizu between 1989 and 1992, during which time he spearheaded the creation of a new office focused on strategic planning. Also, he had frequent engagement with the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development in such positions as Chair for Committee on Fiscal Affairs (2011–2016). Furthermore, he was a senior staff at the Fiscal Affairs Department of the IMF (1996–2000). In the meantime, he gave lectures as Visiting Professor at the Graduate School of Economic Science, Saitama University (2006–2009), and at the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, University of Tokyo (2012–2015).

Mr. Asakawa obtained his BA from University of Tokyo (Economics Faculty) in 1981, and MPA from Princeton University, USA, in 1985.