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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.

02 May 2024 2024 Annual Meeting: ADB’s support to address development challenges highlighted at Pacific Governors meeting

President Masatsugu Asakawa participated in the 34th Pacific Developing Member Countries (DMCs) Governors and ADB Management Meeting on 2 May at the 57th ADB Annual Meeting in Tbilisi. In his opening remarks, the President reaffirmed ADB’s commitment to support the Pacific DMCs in addressing challenges for sustainable development. and he highlighted the need to enhance fiscal resilience through tax reforms and better debt management, strengthen public-private partnerships, and foster regional cooperation.

Representatives from the Pacific subregions delivered statements on their unique development challenges and priorities: Mark Brown, Prime Minister and ADB Governor for Cook Islands (Polynesian subregion); Mckinnie Dentana, Permanent Secretary to the Ministry of Finance and Treasury and ADB Alternate Governor for Solomon Islands (Melanesian subregion); and Teuea Toatu, Vice President and Minister for Finance and Economic Development and ADB Governor for the Republic of Kiribati (Micronesian subregion).

Lautimui‘a Uelese Va‘ai, Minister of Finance and ADB Governor for Samoa, and the meeting's Chairperson, summarized the governors’ statements focusing on climate finance, private sector development, and financial services; and also addressing issues on regional cooperation and ADB’s new operating model. VP Scott Morris moderated the meeting, and in his closing remarks, acknowledged the development priorities, concerns, and recommendations raised by the governors at regional and national levels.

02 May 2024 2024 Annual Meeting: President Asakawa attends Georgia Seminar Day

At the Georgia Seminar Day held on 2 May, President Masatsugu Asakawa stated that Georgia truly embodies the theme of the meeting, “Bridge to the Future,” as the country is one of the region’s leaders in technological innovation and a strong and important connector between Europe and Asia. Georgia’s Minister of Finance and Chair of the Board of Governors and ADB Governor Lasha Khutsishvili and Vice-Prime Minister and Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development and ADB Alternate Governor Levan Davitashvili also participated in the event.

01 May 2024 2024 Annual Meeting: President Asakawa tours 2024 Annual Meeting site

President Masatsugu Asakawa on 1 May visited some of the venues in Tbilisi, Georgia where the 57th Annual Meeting of the ADB Board of Governors will be held from today to 5 May. Over 3,600 participants have already registered. See photos on ADB's Flickr. Read the news release. Visit the Annual Meeting website and schedule of events

20 April 2024 President Asakawa meets with US Secretary of the Treasury and other key stakeholders in Washington DC

ADB’s significant progress under the MDB’s Evolution Agenda was highlighted by the US Secretary of the Treasury Janet Yellen during a meeting with President Masatsugu Asakawa on his mission to Washington DC, from 16-20 April. Secretary Yellen highlighted ADB’s leadership as a premier development institution for Asia and the Pacific and offered congratulations on key advancements such as its progressive climate ambitions and push towards gender diversity amongst staff and on the Executive Board. At a meeting with the US Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Podesta, President Asakawa reaffirmed a shared commitment to decarbonization, and underscored the need for scaling up climate change mitigation and adaptation measures.

ADB and the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development signed an updated Memorandum of Understanding, renewing their mutual interest in achieving sustainable, balanced, inclusive growth and poverty reduction in Asia and the Pacific. The scaling-up private sector operations and progress under the MDB Reform Agenda were highlighted during the MDB leaders meeting with the G20 Independent Expert Group. President Asakawa also convened bilateral meetings with key senior officials from ADB members, including France, Indonesia, Italy, Kyrgyz Republic, Pakistan, Philippines, and Uzbekistan.

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.

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