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Masatsugu Asakawa

24 March 2020

President Asakawa offers support for Viet Nam’s COVID-19 response

President Masatsugu Asakawa, in telephone calls with State Bank of Viet Nam Governor and ADB Governor Le Minh Hung on 24 March 2020 and Viet Nam’s Minister of Finance Dinh Tien Dung on 20 March 2020, discussed the government’s response measures and ADB’s offer of support to contain the spread of COVID-19 and mitigate its economic impact. ADB stands ready to provide Viet Nam with an initial support package that includes quick-disbursing budget support, policy-based lending, and expedited disbursement of existing loans. Read news release, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram posts. 

19 March 2020

President Asakawa visits ADB headquarters to thank personnel for their services

President Masatsugu Asakawa visited ADB headquarters on 19 March to personally thank the skeletal workforce of staff, security guards, and cleaners maintaining essential functions in the headquarters facility, preparing the building for the time when ADB personnel are cleared to return. There were no hugs or handshakes—everyone maintained the WHO-approved 1 meter (3 feet) of social distance—but there were plenty of smiles, especially when President Masa put his hand over his heart to signal his appreciation for their selfless efforts. ADB remains fully operational during the COVID-19 pandemic. See photos and read Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram posts. 

18 March 2020

President Asakawa unveils $6.5 billion support to help combat COVID-19

Recognizing the urgency of the global coronavirus pandemic, President Masatsugu Asakawa on 18 March 2020 introduced ADB’s new $6.5 billion assistance package for developing member countries DMCs to tackle COVID-19. “It is our profound determination to help combat the pandemic; to protect the poor, the vulnerable, and wider populations across the region; and to ensure economies will rebound as swiftly as possible,” he says. See the video and read the news release, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram posts. 

11 March 2020

ADB marks International Women’s Day

In opening remarks at a breakfast celebration with staff held on 11 March 2020 in ADB headquarters, President Masatsugu Asakawa reiterated his full commitment to gender equality in ADB’s operations, knowledge and workplace and stressed that gender equality is everyone’s business. Guest speaker Irene Santiago, a global gender equality advocate and Peace Advisor to the Davao City Mayor, emphasized the importance of women’s participation in peace building and the changes needed in the rule of law to support women’s empowerment. See Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram posts. Download photos from Flickr

5 March 2020

President Asakawa opens ADB office in Singapore

President Masatsugu Asakawa and Singapore Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance, and ADB Governor, Heng Swee Keat officially opened ADB’s new office in Singapore on 5 March 2020, deepening collaboration on some of the most pressing development challenges facing Asia and the Pacific. They agreed that the Singapore Office will create even more avenues to enhance cooperation between ADB and Singapore across the region. The opening of the new office marks a new stage in the expansion of ADB’s private sector operations. Read news release, and Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram posts. Download photo from Flickr



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.