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ADB is committed to achieving a prosperous, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable Asia and the Pacific, while sustaining its efforts to eradicate extreme poverty. Established in 1966, it is owned by 68 members—49 from the region.

Masatsugu Asakawa

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.

09 April 2024 President Asakawa reports on $14 billion progress, calls for stronger partnerships on food system transformation

In his welcome remarks at the 2024 Asia and the Pacific Food Security Forum, President Asakawa emphasized the urgent need for global action, including stronger partnerships, to address food insecurity and transform food systems. He highlighted that ADB attaches high priority to these issues, as demonstrated by the $7.7 billion commitment in public and private sector support for food security during 2022-23, about 52% of the $14 billion food security support announced by ADB for 2022-25. Prior to the forum, the President met with World Food Programme Executive Director Cindy McCain to discuss enhanced collaboration in addressing emergency humanitarian situations and scaling up ADB's program on nutrition security.

During the forum, ADB signed a cooperation agreement with the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) and a letter of intent with the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development of India. The forum provided opportunities to discuss policy and financing priorities to accelerate food systems transformation leading to long-term food security in the region. Around 500 onsite and 1,000 online participants joined the forum held from 9 to 12 April in ADB headquarters. Read the news release.

05 April 2024 President Asakawa announces new ASEAN Climate Finance Policy Platform at 11th ASEAN High-Level Dialogue

Lao PDR Minister of Finance and ADB Governor Santiphab Phomvihane and President Masatsugu Asakawa opened the High-Level Policy Dialogue of the ASEAN Ministers of Finance: Enhancing the Role of Ministries of Finance for Climate Action in Southeast Asia held on 3 April in Luang Prabang. President Asakawa shared ADB’s plan to launch an ASEAN Climate Finance Policy Platform to support finance ministries in the region's collective action in the battle against climate change. At the event, VP Scott Morris joined Malaysia Minister of Finance II Amir Hamzah Azizan, Indonesia Vice Minister of Finance Suahasil Nazar, and Philippines Department of Finance Undersecretary Joven Balbosa in a panel discussion on climate finance challenges.

President Asakawa on 5 April joined the 11th ASEAN Finance Ministers’ and Central Bank Governors’ Meeting with International Financial Institutions. The President highlighted ADB’s work with countries through the ASEAN Infrastructure Fund and ASEAN Catalytic Green Finance Facility to unlock climate finance, and emphasized ADB’s work to strengthen climate resilience in the region through transforming food systems, leveraging digital technologies, and regional cooperation. President Asakawa also held bilateral meetings with Lao PDR Minister of Finance and ADB Governor Santiphab Phomvihane, Malaysia Finance Minister II Amir Hamzah Azizan, and Singapore Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance and ADB Governor Lawrence Wong. President Asakawa visited an ADB-financed Greater Mekong Subregion tourism project at the Kuang Si Waterfall, and met project beneficiaries. Read the news release.

28 March 2024 President Asakawa calls for proactive fiscal policy at the China Development Forum in Beijing

During his visit to the People's Republic of China (PRC) from 23 to 28 March, President Masatsugu Asakawa stressed the need for proactive fiscal policy to achieve the country’s high-quality development goal in his address at the China Development Forum in Beijing. President Asakawa met with Vice Premier Ding Xuexiang and discussed strong ADB-PRC partnership on climate change and sustainable development. In his meeting with Minister of Finance and ADB Governor Lan Fo’an, the President exchanged views on the developments in the PRC economy and ADB’s current partnership strategy for the country, especially in aging population, domestic resources mobilization, and knowledge management. He also met with Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference Deputy Secretary General Zou Jiayi, World Bank Group President Ajay Banga, and Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank President Jin Liqun. 

President Asakawa continued to Shaanxi province on 26 March and met with Governor Zhao Gang to discuss areas of ADB support to the province. He also visited the ADB-financed Shaanxi Qinling Biodiversity Conservation and Demonstration Project sites and spoke to local communities in support of biodiversity conservation. Read the news release and President’s speech.

20 March 2024 President Asakawa meets with Georgia Minister of Finance and Chair of the Board of Governors Khutsishvili

President Masatsugu Asakawa on 20 March met with Georgia's Minister of Finance and ADB Governor and Chair of the Board of Governors Lasha Khutsishvili to discuss development priorities and the strong partnership between ADB and the country. Minister Khutsishvili and his delegation also met with ADB Executive Director Rachel Thompson, held a Board colloquium on Georgia's economic development, and briefed the Board on the arrangements for the 57th ADB Annual Meeting to be held in Tbilisi from 2 to 5 May. 

14 March 2024 President Asakawa meets Viet Nam Prime Minister, attends 30-year partnership celebration in Ha Noi

During his first mission to Viet Nam as ADB President from 12 to 14 March, President Masatsugu Asakawa met with Viet Nam Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh, National Assembly Deputy Chairman Nguyen Duc Hai, and other senior government officials including Governor of the State Bank of Viet Nam and ADB Governor Nguyen Thi Hong, Minister of Planning and Investment Nguyen Chi Dung, and Minister of Finance Ho Duc Phoc to discuss priorities and ADB’s ongoing and future support to the country, including in climate change, the Viet Nam Just Energy Transition Partnership, and private sector development.

President Asakawa and Prime Minister Chinh on 13 March led the celebration of 30 years of Viet Nam - ADB partnership. The President also met with Viet Nam Resident Mission staff, visited the Selex Smart Electric Vehicles Joint Stock Company, which is supported by ADB Ventures, and the Ha Noi College of Electro Mechanics Main campus funded under the Skills and Knowledge for Inclusive Economic Growth Project, which aims to upgrade the teaching and learning environments of national technical and vocational training institutes. A roundtable interaction of President Asakawa with senior representatives of the private sector was also held. Read the news release.

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. In August 2021, he was reelected for a 5-year term starting on 24 November 2021.

Under Mr. Asakawa’s leadership, ADB made significant contributions to the region’s COVID-19 pandemic response and recovery planning with a $20 billion comprehensive response package and $9 billion Asia Pacific Vaccine Access Facility. He also played a key role in rolling out a series of new and innovative financing initiatives—including an Energy Transition Mechanism — to spur the region’s low-carbon development and elevated ADB’s 2030 cumulative climate financing ambition to $100 billion as ADB continues to focus on the battle against climate change.

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.