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Masatsugu Asakawa

25 November 2020

President Asakawa meets with OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurria

On 25 November 2020, President Masatsugu Asakawa and OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurria held a virtual meeting to discuss support for their COVID-19 responses and agreed to further strengthen collaboration on key areas to ensure robust and sustainable recovery from the pandemic such as economic analysis, domestic resource mobilization, international tax cooperation, and anticorruption. The President highlighted ADB’s $20 billion COVID-19 response package and ADB’s plans for support for vaccine roll-out in Asia and the Pacific. The leaders agreed to deepen collaboration through the Regional Hub on domestic resource mobilization and international tax cooperation that ADB announced at its Annual Meeting in September this year, to be launched officially in 2021. Read the news release

20 November 2020

President Asakawa and UK Alternate Governor discuss climate-resilient recovery from COVID-19

President Masatsugu Asakawa and UK Minister for Asia at the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office and ADB Alternate Governor Nigel Adams met in person in Ortigas, Philippines on 20 November 2020 to discuss cooperation on shared priorities for Asia and the Pacific, including the need for a low carbon and climate resilient recovery from COVID-19. “I am sure there are many other opportunities for us to build on the strong relationship between the UK and ADB, such as on gender—including girls’ education—support in fragile and conflict affected situations, deepening engagement with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations on green infrastructure, the COVID-19 response, and vaccine deployment,” the President said. He also thanked the UK for its strong support on ADF 13 as well as the Technical Assistance Special Fund. Read the news release.

13 November 2020

President Asakawa discussed the deepening and long-standing partnership with Thailand

President Masatsugu Asakawa and Thailand’s Finance Minister and ADB Governor Arkhom Termpittayapaisith on 13 November 2020 discussed via video conference ADB’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic and the deepening of the ADB-Thailand partnership. The President congratulated Minister Arkhom on his appointment as Finance Minister. The Minister expressed his appreciation for ADB’s long-term partnership with Thailand and its financial and technical support particularly the recently approved $1.5 billion COVID-19 Pandemic Response Option (CPRO) loan. President Asakawa assured Minister Arkhom of ADB’s continued engagement with Thailand, through seamless ‘One ADB’ support combining sovereign and non-sovereign programs, financial and knowledge solutions, and support for regional cooperation and integration. He briefed the Minister on the regional hub for Asia and the Pacific on domestic resource mobilization and international tax cooperation and invited Thailand to join the hub. Minister Arkhom appreciated the initiative as being highly beneficial to borrowing member countries, including Thailand, in their recovery effort from the COVID-19 pandemic. 

11 November 2020

President Asakawa and Luxembourg ADB Governor discuss COVID-19 challenges and partnership

ADB President Masatsugu Asakawa and Luxembourg Finance Minister and ADB Governor Pierre Gramegna on 11 November 2020 discussed ADB’s response to COVID-19, the pandemic’s impact on developing members, and reviewed ADB and Luxembourg’s long-standing partnership. Mr. Asakawa thanked Luxembourg for its commitment to the 13th replenishment of the Asian Development Fund and its support over the years to ADB initiatives on financial sector development and climate change, in particular. The President briefed the Governor on ADB’s Article 6 Support Facility, the Climate Action Catalyst Fund, and ADB’s work with green bonds. The two parties also discussed the new financial vehicle for climate change Luxembourg is setting up, as a potential platform for future collaboration. Read the news release

10 November 2020

President Asakawa urges focus more on project implementation with stronger capacity and enhanced project design

President Masatsugu Asakawa in his keynote address at the Forum on Successful Project Design and Implementation on 10 November 2020 emphasized the critical importance of project implementation with appreciation to staff of ADB and implementation agencies who work hard to ensure that ADB’s planned commitments are effectively put into action. The President encouraged them to be flexible and agile to adapt to the COVID-19 pandemic with more frequent communication.

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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.