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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.

30 September 2020 President Asakawa discusses COVID-19 vaccine issues with ADB Distinguished Speaker

Nobel Laureate in economics and University of Chicago professor Michael Kremer on 30 September 2020 held a virtual courtesy call with President Masatsugu Asakawa to kick off the 2020 ADB Distinguished Speaker Program. Mr. Kremer and the President discussed how ADB can help its developing member countries secure access to a safe, effective, and affordable COVID-19 vaccine. 

24 September 2020 2nd Meeting of Advisory Group on Digital Technology for Development

President Masatsugu Asakawa convened the 2nd consultation meeting of ADB’s Advisory Group on Digital Technology for Development. He highlighted the importance of digital technology in ADB’s COVID-19 response, and outlined areas where technology can further support its developing members such as strengthening regional cooperation and addressing worsening inequality. The eight-person Group flagged the importance of education technology which can enable greater resilience of education systems and rapid up- and re-skilling during and beyond COVID-19. Members emphasized the importance of ensuring affordable digital connectivity which can enable greater participation in the digital economy. Strong cross-sector partnerships and collaboration on issues such as data governance and capacity development were highlighted as key enablers. The Group was established in 2019 to advise ADB on the use of digital technologies.

23 September 2020 ADB endorses strategy to help Indonesia emerge stronger from COVID-19

ADB on 23 September 2020 approved a country partnership strategy 2020-2024 for Indonesia. President Masatsugu Asakawa highlighted that the CPS provides a flexible and agile framework for ADB to help Indonesia incorporate green recovery and other sustainable development options, while strengthening domestic resource mobilization to support the recovery efforts.

18 September 2020 53rd Annual Meeting (Second Stage) concludes

The second part of the 2020 virtual Annual Meeting concluded on 18 September 2020. The Board of Governors approved the resolutions and concluded its second Business Session. President Masatsugu Asakawa, in his address A Steadfast Partner in Times of Uncertainty to the Board of Governors, highlighted ADB’s role as a trusted and reliable partner of Asia and the Pacific especially during times of uncertainty and crises. Read the news release. Watch the opening video and the session. See Flickr photos.

18 September 2020 President speaks at the 23rd ASEAN+3 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors Meeting

President Masatsugu Asakawa on 18 September 2020 joined finance ministers and central bank governors from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, People's Republic of China, Japan, and the Republic of Korea at the 23rd AFMGM+3 meeting at the ADB 53rd Annual Meeting (Second Stage). He spoke about ADB responses to the COVID-19 pandemic and shared five key policy areas for a robust, inclusive, and sustainable recovery in the region. Read the speech and see photos on Flickr.

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.