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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.

2 July 2021 President Asakawa speaks at International Economic Association World Congress on priorities for securing recovery

President Masatsugu Asakawa on 2 July 2021 delivered opening remarks at the International Economic Association (IEA) World Congress 2021, hosted by Indonesia, alongside Indonesia Minister of Finance and ADB Governor Sri Mulyani Indrawati and IEA President Professor Kaushik Basu. He provided an overview of the economic outlook for developing Asia, highlighted policy priorities for securing a lasting and equitable recovery, and announced the launch of a new ADB-IEA Award to promote innovative research on key development challenges in Asia.

1 July 2021 President Asakawa opens ADB's Regional Vaccine Advisory Group

The Regional Vaccine Advisory Group (RVAG) held its inaugural meeting on 1 July 2021 to help ADB and its developing member countries better understand the regulatory oversight, risk management strategies, and safety considerations in COVID-19 vaccine rollouts. President Masatsugu Asakawa at the meeting emphasized the importance of enhancing domestic vaccine manufacturing in Asia and the Pacific, strengthening regulatory capacity, and establishing networks to exchange regulatory information. The RVAG will meet quarterly and is unique in convening an eminent group of vaccine regulators across Asia and the Pacific and North America. Read the news release.

24 June 2021 President Asakawa, Singapore Finance Minister discuss COVID-19 response, domestic resource mobilization, and green financing

President Masatsugu Asakawa and Singapore’s Minister for Finance and ADB Governor Lawrence Wong in a virtual meeting on 24 June 2021 discussed recent developments and areas of cooperation, including the impact of COVID-19 pandemic, vaccination progress in the region, ADB's COVID-19 response, domestic resource mobilization and the G7 accord on global minimum tax, ADB’s Asia-Pacific Tax Hub, and opportunities in green financing. President Asakawa acknowledged Mr. Wong in steering the Singapore-ADB partnership, highlighting the importance of collaboration particularly on private sector operations. ADB Vice Presidents Ahmed M. Saeed and Ashok Lavasa, Southeast Asia Department Director General Ramesh Subramaniam, and Private Sector Operations Department Director General Suzanne Gaboury joined the meeting.

14 June 2021 16th Asia Clean Energy Forum kicks off online

The 16th Asia Clean Energy Forum (ACEF) opened online on 14 June, with over 3,000 registered delegates, including policy makers, energy specialists, private sector participants and civil society organizations. In opening remarks, President Masatsugu Asakawa on 15 June 2021 expressed the keenness of ADB to play a leading role in helping Asia and the Pacific members meet their nationally determined contributions under the Paris Agreement. This year’s ACEF also serves as a platform for stakeholder consultations on ADB’s new energy policy. VP Bambang Susantono delivered introductory remarks. Read the news release.

20 May 2021 President Asakawa meets with ADB Alternate Governor for France

President Masatsugu Asakawa on 20 May 2021 met with the Director General of the Treasury in the Ministry of Economy and Finance and ADB Alternate Governor for France, Emmanuel Moulin. They discussed ADB’s COVID-19 response, climate ambitions, Asian countries’ debt sustainability and fiscal consolidation, regional tax hub for domestic resource mobilization, and international tax cooperation. The President thanked Mr. Moulin for France’s constructive engagement with ADF 13 and underscored the importance of the partnership between France and ADB. 

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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.