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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.

26 April 2021 President Asakawa, ADB Governor for Canada discuss COVID-19 response, gender, and climate change

President Masatsugu Asakawa and Canada's Minister of International Development and ADB Governor Karina Gould on 26 April 2021 discussed ADB’s COVID-19 response and its commitment to a green, resilient, and inclusive post-COVID-19 recovery in their first meeting. They also spoke about ensuring women and girls are integrated in the recovery process by aligning projects and programs toward achieving ADB’s gender objectives. On climate change, the President stressed ADB's commitment to supporting DMCs’ low-carbon strategies and noted the importance of alignment with the Paris Agreement. He thanked the minister for Canada's contribution to ADF-13 and the country's continuous support for vulnerable countries in the region. 

21 April 2021 President Asakawa meets with heads of MDBs, IMF

President Masatsugu Asakawa on 21 April 2021 met with the heads of multilateral development banks (MDBs) and the IMF to discuss the MDBs' contribution to health financing and response to climate change ambitions. President Asakawa shared updates on ADB's COVID-19 response including the Asia Pacific Vaccine Access Facility. The heads underscored the importance of enhancing the capacity for vaccine production by investing in vaccine manufacturers and the need to support resilient healthcare systems. The President also conveyed ADB's commitment and targets to support climate action and encouraged the MDB Working Group on Climate Change to advance the remaining methodological work for MDBs' alignment with the Paris Agreement. 

19 April 2021 President Asakawa, BNP Paribas Chairperson discuss development priorities, COVID-19 response

President Masatsugu Asakawa and BNP Paribas Board of Directors Chairperson Jean Lemierre in a conference call on 19 April 2021 discussed strategic priorities of the two institutions and recent developments relating to the COVID-19 pandemic and ADB's response. The President conveyed his appreciation regarding collaboration with BNP Paribas in the areas of private sector lending and capital markets, in particular the thematic bond issuances which support ADB's strategic climate goals. They look forward to working together through cofinancing and enhancing private and public sector partnership to further increase finance mobilization.

15 April 2021 President Asakawa speaks at Chatham House on shaping Asia's recovery

President Masatsugu Asakawa on 15 April 2021 addressed Chatham House partners and major corporate members at a virtual briefing on shaping Asia's recovery. He discussed the region's key priorities to manage risks and bounce back better from the COVID-19 pandemic, and highlighted how ADB is helping its members toward the path of resilient and sustainable recovery. 

14 April 2021 President Asakawa, AFD CEO Rémy Rioux discuss collaboration ahead of annual consultation

President Masatsugu Asakawa and Agence Française de Développement Group Chief Executive Officer Rémy Rioux on 14 April 2021 reaffirmed the importance of collaboration between the two institutions, particularly on issues such as climate change ambitions, and green, resilient and inclusive post-COVID-19 recovery. The two leaders held the discussion ahead of the start of AFD-ADB annual high-level consultations on 14 and 15 April 2021, where the President delivered opening remarks. Read the news release

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