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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 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.
President Masatsugu Asakawa participated in the 30th Pacific Developing Member Countries Governors and ADB Management Meeting on 16 September 2020, ahead of the opening of the second stage of the 53rd ADB Annual Meeting. VP Ahmed M. Saeed moderated the meeting where the governors made interventions on issues that include their response to COVID-19, climate change, and support to the private sector. Read the President’s remarks.
Asian Institute of Management President and Dean Jikyeong Kang, in a courtesy call on 15 September 2020 with President Masatsugu Asakawa, thanked ADB for sponsoring through the ADB-Japan Scholarship Program more than 500 AIM postgraduate students since 1988, and highlighted ongoing partnerships on the ADB-AIM hackathons since 2018. President Asakawa expressed interest in working with AIM to help build the capacity of ADB staff in using advanced technologies, including cybersecurity and data science.
President Masatsugu Asakawa and Republic of Korea Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economy and Finance and ADB Governor Hong Nam-Ki in a call on 14 September 2020 discussed the Republic of Korea’s support for ADB and its operations, including contributions to ADF and trust funds, cofinancing, and knowledge collaboration. President Asakawa expressed thanks for the Republic of Korea’s offer to host ADB’s 56th Annual Meeting in 2023 to showcase the country’s development experience and share this with developing member countries across the region.
President Masatsugu Asakawa on 10 September 2020 opened the joint ADB-UN Women ministerial webinar on Promoting Gender Equality in the COVID-19 Response and Recovery. In opening remarks, the President Asakwa highlighted ADB’s prioritization of gender equality in the COVID-19 Pandemic Response Option program and efforts to narrow the gender gap. Senior ministers and government officials from Fiji, India, Indonesia, Republic of Korea, Philippines, and Samoa shared their views on putting a gender lens to their COVID-19 approach. VP Bambang Susantono, in closing remarks, reaffirmed ADB’s commitment to gender equality, SDGs, and strengthening the partnership with UN Women.
President Masatwsugu Asakawa on 9 September 2020 participated in the ASEAN Coordinating Council on Subregional Development special session comprising ASEAN Foreign Ministers. He discussed ADB’s support for COVID-19 response through regional cooperation and financing. The President highlighted that stronger open regionalism can lead to more robust and sustainable recovery. He reaffirmed ADB’s support for ASEAN, the various key subregional initiatives, and ASEAN member states, as a financier and provider of knowledge in the wake of the pandemic. Read the speech.
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.