Hisaka - Private Sector Operations Department | Asian Development Bank

Hisaka - Private Sector Operations Department

Hisaka KimuraWhen did you join ADB and what is your current role?

In 2006, I joined ADB as a “green banker,” and have since focused on environmental infrastructure projects, including clean energy and energy efficiency. In the People's Republic of China (PRC) and Mongolia, I'm responsible for exploring opportunities for ADB's involvement in new technologies, structuring and implementing projects.

I’m making my dreams come true at ADB. When I joined ADB there were no private sector clean energy projects in the PRC. Over the past 6 years, thanks to strong support from the management and team, we built a wide variety of green projects in the PRC.

What brought you to ADB? Did it turn out as you expected?

Previous to joining ADB, I worked in London for the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and Ernst & Young. The first International Conference for Renewable Energies inspired me about the green market potential of Asia, the PRC in particular. I find, because I was looking at the Asian market from outside, that I appreciated it more and was excited by the opportunity to do something that might make a difference.

I’m making my dreams come true at ADB. When I joined ADB there were no private sector clean energy projects in the PRC. Over the past 6 years, thanks to strong support from the management and team, we built a wide variety of green projects in the PRC.

What are you currently working on?

I'm currently processing municipal environmental projects based on public-private-partnership. In addition to ADB's direct loan and equity, I also try to mobilize commercial co-financing for our projects through syndication. Evolving technologies and emerging contractual structures are challenging the tolerance of commercial banks’ credit committees. While the challenges of the current financial market are enormous, I believe that by addressing issues through supporting a wider structure, we have an opportunity to fundamentally restructure the traditional financing approach to development and bring about a more substantial impact.

What's it like for you to work in ADB's Manila HQ and Resident Mission (RM)? What kind of adjustments did you need to make, if any?

I worked in HQ in the first two years and then was seconded to PRC Resident Mission (PRCM) in Beijing. HQ and RM have different roles to play, but work together as a team. My core work remains same. The main difference between working in HQ and RM is in whom I primarily interact with during office hours.

At HQ, I benefited from the close mentoring of senior bankers inside the department. I also enjoyed a wide range of interdepartmental networks though various brown bag workshops arranged by sector experts. It has helped me deepen my understanding on what ADB can do and what’s our priority.

In PRCM, I'm more exposed to the market. Many people just drop by my office without prior appointments. My typical day is filled with back-to-back meetings for project development and project implementation. It’s quite busy, but as a technology geek, it is a lot of fun to learn what’s new in the market. I also participate in the country partnership strategy formulation process to understand the government’s future direction.

How do you see your future in ADB?

Realizing our member countries’ vision for green development will require constant innovation. I view ADB’s future role as that of a regional hub which will help the member countries’ innovation by supporting cutting-edge clean technologies, game changing business models, and new processes to do things differently.

Furthermore, I think we can act as a curator – we have been very selective. That in itself is a creative process. Thus each of our projects has a great story, and the project portfolio embodies our vision. We can exhibit Asian model projects for current and future reference for the private sector and government stakeholders beyond the region. It would be great if we can create a butterfly effect from Asia.

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