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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.

4 March 2021 President Asakawa delivers keynote speech at Johns Hopkins-ADB event on COVID-19

President Masatsugu Asakawa on 4 March 2021 delivered a keynote speech during the Johns Hopkins-ADB virtual conference on Meeting the Challenge of COVID-19 in Asia. The President, in his presentation, provided an overview of the economic outlook for developing Asia and explained ADB’s continuing support to its members during the COVID-19 pandemic. The conference was moderated by Professor Kent Calder, Director of the Edwin O. Reischauer Center for East Asian Studies.

18 February 2021 President Asakawa delivers keynote message at ESCAP's High-level Dialogue

President Masatsugu Asakawa on 18 February 2021 delivered a keynote message during ESCAP's High-Level Dialogue themed, “Shaping the Future of Regional Cooperation in Asia and the Pacific.” The President discussed how ADB is supporting DMCs during the COVID-19 crisis, including through the APVAX, and highlighted three key areas for stronger regional cooperation, including building resilience especially against health security risks; restoring strong trade, deep regional supply chains, and vibrant investment; and strengthening domestic resource mobilization and international tax cooperation. The event was led by Armida Alijahbana, Under-Secretary-General of UN and Executive Secretary, ESCAP.

12 January 2021 President Asakawa speaks at Japan National Press Club

President Masatsugu Asakawa on 12 January 2021 in Tokyo spoke at an online conference hosted by the Japan National Press Club. The President gave an overview of ADB's work, its response to COVID-19, and plans to provide vaccine support to developing member countries. He also elaborated on the five priorities to achieve inclusive, resilient, and sustainable growth in Asia, including deepening regional cooperation and integration; investment in human capital and social protection; promoting green infrastructure; harnessing digitalization; and strengthening domestic resource mobilization. About 100 people, mainly journalists, participated in the virtual event. 

18 December 2020 President Asakawa joins the launch of flagship Asian Water Development Outlook (AWDO) 2020

The Asian Water Development Outlook 2020, launched on 18 December 2020, provides a national water security index for 49 ADB regional members that shows an increasing trend for improved water security across the region. “The need for water security is even more urgent due to the COVID-19 pandemic because access to water, sanitation, and hygiene offers the primary line of defense against the spread of COVID-19 and other diseases. Far too many people across Asia and the Pacific continue to suffer from limited access to these vital services,” said President Masatsugu Asakawa, who joined VP Bambang Susantono and leaders of major partners in the publication at a webinar on the report. Read the news release.

11 December 2020 Last Board of Directors meeting for 2020

At the last ADB Board of Directors meeting for 2020, President Masatsugu Asakawa on 11 December, gave a virtual toast of appreciation to ADB Board members, Management, and staff for their sustained hard work in helping developing members of Asia and the Pacific cope with the ravages of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic and in continuing to fulfill the goals of the Bank’s Strategy 2030.  

In what the President noted was a particularly challenging year for the region, ADB has provided a $20 billion package to counter the impacts of the pandemic and a further $9 billion to procure and deliver safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines.

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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.

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.