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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.

08 October 2021 ADB, Kazakhstan discuss COVID-19 assistance, development priorities, partnership strategy

President Masatsugu Asakawa and Kazakhstan President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev on 8 October 2021 discussed ADB’s assistance in the country’s COVID-19 pandemic response and development priorities. President Asakawa affirmed ADB’s commitment to support Kazakhstan’s sustainable and inclusive growth, and efforts to meet the climate targets under the Paris Agreement. President Tokayev acknowledged ADB’s role in promoting the country's socio-economic development. The two leaders also discussed the forthcoming 2022-2026 country partnership strategy. Read the news release.

30 September 2021 President Asakawa discusses lessons learned from the COVID-19 crisis at ADB Knowledge Forum

President Masatsugu Asakawa on 30 September 2021 highlighted the lessons learned from the COVID-19 crisis, focusing on how knowledge was shared and applied across organizations and countries, in a panel discussion including the Prime Minister of Samoa Fiamē Naomi Mataʻafa, the 8th Secretary General of the UN Ban Ki-moon, and the Chief Scientist of WHO Soumya Swaminathan. President Asakawa highlighted the need to focus on long-term prospects while supporting DMCs in their immediate needs to recover from the crisis.

28 September 2021 President Asakawa speaks at Foreign Press Center Japan

President Masatugu Asakawa on 28 September 2021 spoke at an online press briefing hosted by the Foreign Press Center Japan. The President gave an overview of the economic outlook for developing Asia, including the impact of COVID-19, and elaborated on ADB's response to the pandemic. He also discussed ADB’s priorities for the post-pandemic world, in particular its efforts to combat climate change and strengthen domestic resource mobilization. About 50 people, mainly journalists and members of the diplomatic corps based in Tokyo, participated in the virtual event.

14 September 2021 Tax, digitalization are focus of President Asakawa’s discussion at an International Monetary Fund (IMF) event

President Masatsugu Asakawa, at an IMF event, discussed the present and future of taxation in an increasingly digitalized world and the global and domestic reforms needed to meet these challenges. He touched on the opportunities created by digitalization for revenue mobilization in Asia, the main implementation challenges facing developing Asian countries, and expressed ADB’s commitment to address the challenges faced by digitization. The event coincided with the launch of an IMF paper that analyzes taxation and digitalization in Asia. 

09 September 2021 President Asakawa addresses Greater Mekong Subregion Summit

President Masatsugu Asakawa affirmed ADB's commitment to foster regional cooperation and integration, and remain a steadfast partner of the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) and the GMS program in opening remarks on 9 September 2021 at the 7th GMS Summit. He emphasized the importance of the GMS Economic Cooperation Program Strategic Framework 2030 (GMS-2030) and the GMS COVID-19 Response and Recovery Plan 2021-2030 to achieve the vision of a more integrated, sustainable, prosperous, and inclusive GMS. He noted that the GMS-2030 will aim to promote inclusion, ensure green and sustainable recovery, support open regionalism, and complement renewed globalization. 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.