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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.

31 August 2020 President Asakawa addresses UN ESCAP event on post COVID-19 landscape

President Masatsugu Asakawa joined the UN Deputy Secretary General, Ministers from Fiji and Maldives, the UN ESCAP Executive Secretary and other speakers on 31 August 2020 in the Regional Conversation on Financing for Development in the Era of COVID-19 and Beyond in Asia and the Pacific, an online event organized by UN ESCAP. In his remarks, the President emphasized the need to rebuild the post-COVID-19 with green, resilient, inclusive actions underpinned by enhanced tax policy and administration including new carbon tax, strengthened financial markets to mobilize domestic savings, and expanded issuance of thematic bonds to tap private financial resources. Read the news release.

24 August 2020 President Asakawa opens Asia and the Pacific Transport Forum 2020

President Masatsgu Asakawa, in opening remarks at the forum, spoke on the need for transport to emerge from the pandemic as a driver of sustainable growth, saying that the sector should be guided by three critical factors. "You can remember these through the familiar letters 'SDG,' which in this case stands for 'Safety, Data, and Green',” he said. Read the news release.

20 August 2020 President Asakawa, VP Susantono join international conference on water-related disasters under COVID-19

President Masatsugu Asakawa gave opening remarks at an online conference hosted by the High-level Experts and Leaders Panel on Water and Disasters (HELP) in Tokyo on 20 August 2020. The conference, co-sponsored by ADB, urged stronger and more integrated risk management on health and water-related disasters to address the COVID-19 crisis. The President stressed that in designing and implementing projects, ADB is promoting improved synergies between water access, hygiene, and disaster prevention outcomes. VP Bambang Susantono made a presentation in the high-level panel on Building the World Back Better by Addressing Water and Disaster Risk Reduction under COVID-19. Read the news release.

19 August 2020 President Asakawa reaffirms support for Armenia's efforts to mitigate COVID-19 impact

President Masatsugu Asakawa on 19 August 2020 held a virtual meeting with Armenia Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan to discuss ADB’s ongoing support for the government’s efforts to mitigate impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The President reaffirmed ADB’s commitment to supporting Armenia and commended the government’s swift actions to strengthen its health system and manage the economy. Read the news release.

17 August 2020 President Asakawa's conversation with country directors

President Masatsugu Asakawa met with the country directors, regional directors, representatives, and deputy country directors at the 15th annual Country Directors Forum held virtually on 17 August 2020. He thanked the country directors for their strong leadership in the time of COVID-19, underscored CDs' critical role in representing all of ADB, discussed the challenges facing our clients and opportunities to support them, and highlighted how the review of resident mission operations will further strengthen the role of the RM for development impact. Read the President's remarks.

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.