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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.

11 May 2023 President Asakawa speaks at Southeast Asia summits

On 11 May, on the sidelines of the ASEAN Indonesia 2023 in Labuan Bajo, President Asakawa joined the 15th Brunei Darussalam–Indonesia–Malaysia–Philippines East ASEAN Growth Area (BIMP–EAGA) Summit with the Sultan of Brunei Darussalam Hassanal Bolkiah, Indonesia President Joko Widodo, Malaysia Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim, and Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. President Asakawa also attended the 15th Indonesia-Malaysia-Thailand Growth Triangle (IMT-GT) Summit with President Widodo, Prime Minister Ibrahim, and Thailand Minister of Finance and ADB Governor Arkhom Termpittayapaisith. President Asakawa commended ADB developing member countries on the progress of their respective regional development agendas. He highlighted ADB’s support to both subregional initiatives, and noted several priority areas that are crucial in shaping their future, including addressing climate change, tackling food insecurity, expanding economic corridors, and strengthening tourism revival. President Asakawa also met with Prime Minister Ibrahim bilaterally. Read the article.

05 May 2023 2023 Annual Meeting: Georgia to host 57th Annual Meeting in Tbilisi in 2024

President Asakawa welcomed Georgia as the host country of the 57th ADB Annual Meeting of the Board of Governors. He congratulated Georgia Minister of Finance and ADB Governor Lasha Khutsishvili for his appointment as the next Chair of the ADB Board of Governors and thanked Georgia for offering to host the event in Tbilisi from 2 to 5 May 2024. Read the news release.

05 May 2023 2023 Annual Meeting: President Asakawa meets with civil society organizations

President Asakawa, at a meeting with civil society organizations on 5 May in Incheon, highlighted the value of collaborating with CSOs and listening to their feedback on policy review and the whole project cycle. The CSOs recommended core areas of action for ADB and other stakeholders to overcome multiple crises; highlighted the importance of ensuring decent work in the region’s recovery; reiterated the Paris alignment under the bank’s energy policy and climate change action plan; and stronger safeguard policy. Ambassadors from the Asia and the Pacific Youth Symposium presented the Youth Agenda report for education, skills development, and employment opportunities for young people.

04 May 2023 2023 Annual Meeting: ADB seminar emphasizes multilateral development banks' role to address climate crisis

President Asakawa welcomed and introduced former UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon as keynote speaker of the Transforming MDBs to Address the Climate Crisis seminar on 4 May in Incheon. Mr. Ban highlighted the MDBs' role in transforming economies to a low-carbon and resilient model, which requires a collaborative development approach focusing on longer-term objectives, and expansive and innovative investments. Panelists shared their insights on what is needed for MDBs to serve as effective partners in ensuring such a successful shift. Tuvalu Finance Minister and ADB Governor Seve Paeniu shared his views on how MDBs can bring adaptation and resilience efforts to scale.

04 May 2023 2023 Annual Meeting: ADB launches IF-CAP, a landmark climate finance program

President Asakawa, together with the heads of delegations from Denmark, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and the United States officially launched the Innovative Finance Facility for Climate in Asia and the Pacific (IF-CAP) on 4 May in Incheon. IF-CAP’s initial partners are in discussions with ADB to provide grants and guarantees which will be leveraged to expand ADB’s lending capacity and accelerate climate action in developing member countries. The ambition for IF-CAP’s overall size is $3 billion, which could facilitate up to $15 billion in new loans for climate mitigation and adaptation.

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.

President in the News