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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.

15 November 2021 President Asakawa discusses climate, COVID-19 issues with Italy’s Ambassador to the Philippines

President Masatsugu Asakawa and the Ambassador of Italy to the Philippines, Marco Clemente, met for the first time in a courtesy call on 15 November 2021. They discussed ADB’s climate agenda, the COVID-19 response with a focus on ADB’s program in the Philippines, and the recently signed MOU with state lender Cassa Depositi e Prestiti (CDP) under which Italy will provide EUR132 million in cofinancing for the ASEAN Catalytic Green Finance Facility projects. 

12 November 2021 President Asakawa meets Belgium's Ambassador to the Philippines

President Masatsugu Asakawa and the Ambassador of Belgium to the Philippines, Michel Parys, met for the first time in a courtesy call on 12 November 2021. They discussed ADB’s climate agenda and COVID-19 response with a focus on ADB’s program in the Philippines. 

10 November 2021 President Asakawa, BNP Paribas Chairperson Lemierre discuss areas of collaboration to support COVID-19 recovery

President Masatsugu Asakawa and BNP Paribas Board of Directors Chairperson Jean Lemierre, in a conference call on 10 November 2021, discussed the strategic priorities of the two institutions, and how BNP and ADB can collaborate and support ADB’s developing member countries for a green, resilient, and inclusive recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. President Asakawa conveyed his appreciation with regard to the ongoing collaboration with BNP in the capital markets.

3 November 2021 COP26: ADB launches groundbreaking Energy Transition Mechanism partnership for Southeast Asia

President Masatsugu Asakawa, Indonesia Finance Minister, and ADB Governor Sri Mulyani Indrawati, and the Philippines Finance Secretary and ADB Governor Carlos Dominguez on 3 November 2021 launched the Energy Transition Mechanism (ETM) partnership, with the President noting that “ETM can usher in a transformation in the battle against climate change in Asia and the Pacific.” UK Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury Helen Whately spoke on the critical role of the energy transition. The US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, Denmark Foreign Minister Jeppe Kofod, and Japan Vice Minister of Finance Masato Kanda shared recorded messages of support for the ETM, along with UN Secretary General’s Special Envoy on Climate Ambitions and Solutions Michael Bloomberg. Read the President's speech and the news release.

The Government of Japan, at the launch, announced that it would provide $25 million equivalent in grant funds to support ETM activities. President Asakawa and Rockefeller Foundation President Raj Shah exchanged an MOU on a clean energy partnership between the two institutions. IKEA Foundation’s Chief Executive Per Heggenes also joined the ceremony. See the ETM launch videoADB Insight videoexplainer article, and news release.

2 November 2021 COP26: ADB, EIB sign new partnership memorandum of understanding

President Masatsugu Asakawa and European Investment Bank President Werner Hoyer signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on the sidelines of the COP26 on 2 November 2021 in Glasgow, UK. The MOU aims to facilitate further collaboration, including opportunities for cofinancing, between the two institutions, particularly in core areas of climate action and environmental sustainability. Read the news release.

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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.