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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 November 2021 COP26: ADB, other MDBs sign joint statement on nature, people and planet

Nine MDBs, including ADB, issued a joint statement affirming their commitment to mainstream nature into their operations at the UNFCCC COP26 World Leaders Summit on 2 November 2021 in Glasgow, UK. In remarks at the MDBs’ roundtable discussions, President Masatsugu Asakawa stated that nature-positive investments will be a key part of ADB’s $100 billion climate ambition. He highlighted ADB’s Healthy Ocean Action Plan, the Regional Flyway Initiative, and the development of a regional Natural Capital Lab. VP Bambang Susantono also joined the launch ceremony. Read the news release

2 November 2021 COP26: President Asakawa presents ASEAN Green Recovery Platform; Joins green finance discussion

President Masatsugu Asakawa on 2 November 2021 announced the ASEAN Green Recovery Platform in opening remarks at a COP26 high-level event hosted by ADB, the Green Climate Fund, and the UK Government. The platform brings together four new financing partnerships for the ASEAN Catalytic Green Finance Facility and aims to use $665 million of partner funds to catalyze $7 billion for green infrastructure across ASEAN. Key speakers included James Cleverly, UK Minister of State at the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office; Sri Mulyani Indrawati, Indonesia Minister of Finance and ADB Governor; Arifin Tasrif, Indonesia Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources; Yannick Glemarec, Green Climate Fund Executive Director; and Remy Rioux, Agence Française de Développement Chief Executive Officer. Read the news release. President Asakawa and VP Ahmed M. Saeed on 2 November also joined Carlos G. Dominguez, Philippines Climate Change Commission Chairperson-designate and Finance Secretary, and ADB Governor, and Jonathan Pershing, US Deputy Special Envoy for Climate, in a high-level panel discussion on green finance. 

28 October 2021 President Asakawa reaffirms support for COVID-19 recovery at BIMP–EAGA Summit

President Masatsugu Asakawa on 28 October 2021 attended the Brunei Darussalam–Indonesia–Malaysia–Philippines East ASEAN Growth Area (BIMP–EAGA) Summit with the Sultan of Brunei Darussalam Hassanal Bolkiah, Indonesian President Joko Widodo, Malaysian Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, and ASEAN Secretary General Lim Jock Hoi. President Asakawa reaffirmed ADB’s support for COVID-19 response and rapid economic recovery, infrastructure development, and regional cooperation. He also noted that ADB as BIMP-EAGA’s Regional Development Advisor stands ready to continue supporting the subregion’s work, aligned with ASEAN revitalization, to maintain open markets, strengthen supply chains, support vibrant economic zones, and promote digital integration. Read the news release.

20 October 2021 President Asakawa discusses climate issues with multilateral development banks, IMF heads

President Masatsugu Asakawa on 20 October 2021 met with the heads of multilateral development banks (MDBs) and the IMF. The heads discussed their institutions’ climate change ambitions, and President Asakawa noted ADB’s recent announcement to raise its climate finance ambition to $100 billion cumulatively through 2030. The President also informed the other MDB Heads about the adoption of ADB’s new Energy Policy and ADB’s plans for COP26, including the planned launch of the Energy Transition Mechanism. The MDB heads also briefly discussed the importance of supporting countries’ investments in digital infrastructure.

16 October 2021 President Asakawa meets WBG President, IMF Managing Director, senior US government officials in Washington, DC

During his mission to Washington, DC on 14-16 October 2021, President Masatsugu Asakawa met with World Bank Group President David Malpass and IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva, and discussed Asia’s economic outlook, ADB’s COVID-19 response, and plans for a green, resilient, and inclusive recovery, among other issues. In addition to his meetings with developing member country government officials and US think tank and academic leaders in Washington, DC, President Asakawa met with key US government counterparts, including US Acting Under Secretary of Treasury for International Affairs Andy Baukol and David Lipton, Senior Counselor to Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen. He also met with Under Secretary of State for Economic Growth, Energy, and Environment Jose Fernandez, and Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for International Finance and Development Roland de Marcellus. With the US counterparts, President Asakawa discussed ADB’s climate commitments and approach in Afghanistan and Myanmar, domestic resource mobilization, and taxation.

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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.