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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.

14 October 2021 President Asakawa meets with heads of regional development banks

President Masatsugu Asakawa on 14 October 2021 met with several heads of regional development banks: African Development Bank President Akinwumi Adesina; European Bank for Reconstruction and Development President Odile Renaud-Basso; and Inter-American Development Bank President Mauricio Claver-Carone who hosted the hybrid meeting. President Asakawa emphasized ADB’s commitment to tackle climate change and noted ADB’s recent announcement to raise its climate finance ambition to $100 billion. He also expressed ADB’s support for an MDB joint statement at COP26. The heads exchanged views on the MDB preparations for COP26 and the prospects for private finance as part of the global effort on climate and green recovery. They also exchanged views on G20 coordination and current efforts to support long-term financing options for member countries as part of post-COVID-19 recovery.

14 October 2021 President Asakawa calls for urgent actions to preserve biodiversity for the sustainable future at COP15 forum

President Masatsugu Asakawa on 14 October 2021, along with other key dignitaries, delivered opening remarks at the Convention on Biological Diversity COP15 Ecological Civilization forum. He highlighted the importance of nature and ecosystems and the urgent need for coordinated action to reverse their alarming decline and adopt more nature-positive approaches. The 2-day forum in Kunming, People's Republic of China provides an opportunity to discuss the achievements in biodiversity conservation and strengthen the alignment between people and nature in pursuit of green and sustainable development. Read the news release

13 October 2021 President Asakawa meets with US Treasury Secretary, UN Secretary-General, and others during his New York mission

During his mission to New York between 11-13 October 2021, President Masatsugu Asakawa met with US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and other MDB heads, remotely from New York, and announced ADB's elevation of its ambition to deliver climate financing to its developing member countries to $100 billion from 2019–2030. While in New York, the President met with UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and UNDP Administrator Achim Steiner, with whom he discussed the upcoming COP26 climate summit, alignment with the Paris Agreement, climate finance, the Asia Pacific Tax Hub, and collaboration in Afghanistan, among other issues.

President Asakawa met with JP Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon and representatives from Goldman Sachs and discussed climate finance and ways to achieve a green, resilient, and inclusive post-COVID-19 recovery. He also met with Rockefeller Foundation President Rajiv Shah, with whom he discussed potential financing partnerships between the Rockefeller Foundation and ADB around energy transitions. The President also met Antha Williams, Global Head of the Environment Program at Bloomberg Philanthropies, with whom he discussed the energy transition and opportunities around clean energy and oceans health. 

12 October 2021 ADB raises 2019-2030 climate finance ambition to $100 billion

President Masatsugu Asakawa announced on 12 October 2021 that ADB is elevating its ambition to deliver climate financing for its DMCs to $100 billion in 2019–2030. “The battle against climate change will be won or lost in Asia and the Pacific,” he said. “The climate crisis is worsening daily, prompting many to call for increased climate finance. We are taking action to meet this call by elevating our ambition to $100 billion in cumulative climate finance from our own resources by 2030.” Read the news release.

11 October 2021 ADB opens third annual digital forum: DigitalxADB

President Masatsugu Asakawa in his opening remarks at the virtual DigitalxADB Forum on 11 October 2021 stressed the importance of supporting continuous digital transformation for developing member countries and ADB to achieve a more inclusive, resilient, and sustainable recovery. He recognized the significance of making equity investments in early-stage technology companies to address climate and gender challenges in emerging Asia. ADB’s Digital Agenda was also highlighted as a key driver for optimizing business processes, strengthening cybersecurity and data governance, and leading digital innovation.

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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.

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.