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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.

14 March 2023 President Asakawa joins 50-year partnership celebration with Bangladesh Prime Minister in Dhaka

President Masatsugu Asakawa and Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on 14 March 2023 in Dhaka led a celebration of 50 years of ADB development partnership with the country. In separate meetings with Prime Minister Hasina and Finance Minister and ADB Governor AHM Mustafa Kamal, President Asakawa expressed commitment to scale up financial and knowledge support to address the country’s key development challenges, including climate change adaptation, and mitigation, economic diversification, human capital development, and domestic resource mobilization, to help achieve the country’s goal of becoming an upper middle-income country by 2031. Prime Minister Hasina conveyed her deep gratitude to ADB and requested continued support to strategically focus on skills development, health, ITC-based entrepreneurship, quality infrastructure, and climate change while helping unleash the potential of the private sector.

During his visit, President Asakawa visited various ADB-supported project sites, including a rail station under the Chittagong–Cox’s Bazar Railway Project, facilities for water supply, food distribution, and waste management in Cox’s Bazar camp for displaced people under ADB’s Emergency Assistance Project, and a training center under the Skills for Employment Investment Program, which contributes to women employment and entrepreneurship. The President also visited a green and clean garment factory.

09 March 2023 Asian Development Fund 13 midterm review meeting concludes

Asian Development Fund (ADF) donors, representatives from selected concessional assistance countries, and ADB Management and senior staff met on 9-10 March 2023 in ADB headquarters for the midterm review of ADF 13. The meeting was opened by President Masatsugu Asakawa and chaired by VP Ahmed Saeed. Discussions focused on implementation of ADF 13 in 2021-2022 and the outlook for 2023-2024, and on a long-term vision for ADF.

08 March 2023 ADB celebrates International Women’s Day

President Masatsugu Asakawa, in his opening remarks on 8 March 2023, underscored that digital technology is an excellent enabler for gender equality and that empowered women are leaders and change agents. He also highlighted ADB’s commitment to gender equality in the workplace as the bank develops the new internal gender action plan. GCash President and CEO Martha Sazon, in her keynote speech at ADB's International Women's Day event, shared her insights as a woman leader and her work in empowering women through technology and innovation. 

07 March 2023 President Asakawa highlights ADB’s continuing support to harness capital markets at stock exchanges meeting

President Masatsugu Asakawa delivered a virtual keynote address at the Asian and Oceanian Stock Exchanges Federation (AOSEF) Top Executives Meeting on 7 March 2023, sharing insights on regional collaboration of capital markets in bridging the financing gap needed for development. President Asakawa elaborated on ADB’s initiatives to develop sustainable capital markets, including the development of a sustainable finance ecosystem in ASEAN+3 under the Asian Bond Markets Initiative; the introduction of ASEAN sustainable bond standards through the ASEAN Capital Markets Forum; and ADB’s participation in the International Organization of Securities Commissions to deepen the partnerships. President Asakawa also highlighted the importance of strengthening capital markets to attract private sector investment in scaling up climate action. Sixteen top executives of AOSEF members participated with the Japan Exchange Group, Inc. serving as the secretariat.

06 March 2023 President Asakawa meets with Saudi Fund for Development CEO

President Masatsugu Asakawa, in a meeting with Sultan Abdulrahman Al-Marshad, Chief Executive Officer of the Saudi Fund for Development (SFD) on 6 March 2023 in ADB headquarters, discussed the economic prospects for Asia and the Pacific region, ADB’s $100 billion climate ambition and $14 billion food security package, and other initiatives, including the Energy Transition Mechanism. Mr. Al-Marshad noted that the SFD is looking to expand its operations in the region, including in the Pacific where SFD currently does not operate. He emphasized that SFD is keen to partner with ADB, and expressed his appreciation for the constructive meetings with VPs Shixin Chen and Ahmed Saeed earlier in the day. 

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.

President in the News