fbpx Twenty Years After the Asian Financial Crisis: Achievements and Ways Forward | Asian Development Bank
Host Country Event

Twenty Years After the Asian Financial Crisis: Achievements and Ways Forward

Thursday, 4 May 2017, 11:00 am–12:30 pm, InterContinental Ballroom

Opening Remarks

Minoru Kihara State Minister of Finance, Japan

Minoru Kihara is the state minister of finance in Japan. He previously served as director of the Japan Liberal Democratic Party for education, sports, culture, and science and technology. In 2005, he was elected as a member of the House of Representatives, and has been elected three times since. He also served as junior executive, Japan Airlines Co., Ltd. before. He graduated with a bachelor of arts degree in Japanese literature at Waseda University. He was born in 1969.

Keynote Speakers

Junhong Chang Director, ASEAN+3 Macroeconomic Research Office (AMRO)

Ms. Chang was appointed director of the ASEAN+3 Macroeconomic Research Officein May 2016. Her career in public and international public service spans over two decades. Past appointments include deputy director general of international economic relations in the Ministry of Finance of the People's Republic of China (PRC), alternate executive director for the PRC at the World Bank Group, and advisor to the executive director for the PRC at ADB. Ms. Chang holds a PhD in economics from the Institute of Asia Pacific Studies of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.

Sri Mulyani IndrawatiGovernor for Indonesia, ADB; and Minister of Finance, Indonesia

Ms. Indrawati previously served in the same post of minister of finance of Indonesia from 2005 to 2010, before she was appointed as managing director of the World Bank Group in June 2010.


Masatsugu AsakawaVice Minister of Finance for International Affairs, Japan

Masatsugu Asakawa is vice minister of finance for international affairs and responsible for all international policies of the Japanese Ministry of Finance (MOF). Since joining the ministry in 1981, he has held many senior positions, including director general of the International Bureau, deputy vice minister for policy planning and coordination. He also served as executive assistant to the Prime Minister of Japan (2008-09), and deputy prime minister and finance minister (2012-13). He was also head of the Technical Assistance Management Unit, Fiscal Affairs Department at the IMF, and executive assistant to the President of ADB.

Zeti Akhtar AzizZeti Akhtar Aziz Former Governor, Bank Negara Malaysia

Dr. Zeti served as governor of Bank Negara Malaysia from May 2000 until April 2016. In this capacity, she successfully managed the repair and resolution of the financial system during the Asian financial crisis and the consequent strong recovery of the economy. In the Asian region, Dr. Zeti was actively involved in strengthening regional financial integration. She was a founding member of the Bank for International Settlements Asian Consultative Council, and was the first co-chair of the Financial Stability Board Regional Consultative Group for Asia. Dr. Zeti received her PhD in economics from the University of Pennsylvania.

Mitsuhiro Furusawa Deputy Managing Director, International Monetary Fund

Mr. Furusawa joined the IMF after a distinguished career in the Japanese government, including several senior positions in the Ministry of Finance in recent years. He served as special advisor to Japanese Prime Minister and special advisor to the minister of finance before joining the IMF. His overseas postings for the Japanese government have included IMF executive eirector, minister (finance) at the Embassy of Japan in the United States, and counselor (finance) at the Embassy of Japan in France.

Wencai ZhangWencai Zhang Vice-President (Operations 1), ADB

Wencai Zhang is responsible for operations in South Asia and the Central and West Asia regions. Prior to joining ADB in December 2013, Mr. Zhang was the director general of the Department of External Economic Cooperation at the Ministry of Finance (MOF), People's Republic of China (PRC). He also served as the deputy director general of the International Department of the MOF, where he worked with various multilateral initiatives, including the G20, ASEAN+3, and APEC. He was also executive eirector for the PRC at ADB and was the advisor to the executive eirector of the PRC at the World Bank in Washington, D.C.

William W. Grimes Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Professor of International Relations and Political Science, Frederick S. Pardee School of Global Studies, Boston University

Mr. Grimes specializes in East Asian political economy. He is the author of Unmaking the Japanese Miracle: Macroeconomic Politics, 1985-2000 and Currency and Contest in East Asia: The Great Power Politics of Financial Regionalism, which was awarded the Masayoshi Ohira Memorial Award and Honorable Mention for the Asia Society’s Bernard Schwartz Book Award. He received his BA from Yale University and his MPA and PhD from Princeton University. He is a life member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

Yongding YuMember of the Advisory Committee of National Planning, Commission of National Development and Reform, People’s Republic of China

Closing Remarks

Carlos G. Dominguez IIISecretary of Finance, Philippines

Carlos Dominguez has over 40 years of experience managing various organizations in the public and private sectors. He was a shareholder, board chairman, or member of over a dozen corporations across various industries such as power, agriculture, mining, banking, hospitality, real estate, and investment. Notable positions held by Mr. Dominguez were Philippine cabinet secretary of the environment and natural resources and agriculture during the presidency of Corazon Aquino, past president of leading Philippine corporations such as Philippine Airlines and the Philippine Associate Smelting and Refining Corporation, and the former Bank of the Philippine Islands Agricultural Bank. Mr. Dominguez has a master’s degree in business administration from Ateneo De Manila University and attended the executive management program at the Stanford University.


Takatoshi ItoProfessor, School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University

Mr. Ito has taught extensively both in the United States and Japan since finishing his PhD in economics at Harvard University in 1979. He taught at the University of Minnesota (1979-1988), Hitotsubashi University (1988-2002), and the University of Tokyo (2004-2014) before assuming his current position in 2015. He held visiting professor positions at Harvard University, Stanford University, and Columbia Business School, and University of Malaya. He has distinguished academic and research appointments.

Seminar Summary

Against the backdrop of the 1997 Asian financial crisis and its aftermath, this seminar discussed current issues and relevant approaches defining the future of regional financial cooperation in Asia.

In his opening remarks, Minoru Kihara commended the remarkable achievements in ASEAN+3 regional financial cooperation since the Asian financial crisis, while stressing the need for further vigilance against possible future shocks.

In their keynote speeches, Ms. Sri Mulyani Indrawati looked back on Asian financial crisis in Indonesia and reiterated her country’s commitment to enhance the resilience of the Indonesian financial market, while Ms. Junhong Chang, highlighted the importance of “regional multilateralism” in coping with possible future financial shocks.

The panel shared their perspectives on challenges and expected activities for tackling the issues around ASEAN+3 regional financial cooperation.

The general view of the panelists was countries are now better prepared for a crisis, with regional financial cooperation mechanisms such as the Chiang Mai Initiative Multilateralization (CMIM), AMRO, and the Asian Bond Markets Initiative (ABMI), as well as improvement in macroeconomic policies by individual countries. Nevertheless, many panelists called for further strengthening of defenses against possible future shocks, including through enhanced surveillance, possible increase in the International Monetary Fund (IMF) debt limits policy for the CMIM, and better coordination between CMIM and IMF.

In his closing remarks, Mr. Carlos G. Dominguez III commended the improved governance in the ASEAN+3 economies after the crisis, as well as shared recognition of the need for prudent financial regulation and sound fiscal policy, while calling for regulators not to let their guard down against possible future shocks.