Masatsugu Asakawa elected ADB president

Kathmandu, December 2

Masatsugu Asakawa has been unanimously elected president of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) by its board of governors.

Asakawa, 61, currently special adviser to Japan’s prime minister and minister of finance, will assume office as ADB’s 10th president on January 17, as per a media release. He will succeed Takehiko Nakao, who will leave office on January 16. Asakawa will finish the unexpired term of ADB President Nakao, which ends on November 23, 2021.

“Asakawa’s extensive and diverse experience in international finance and development will serve ADB well in pursuing its vision of a prosperous, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable Asia and the Pacific,” Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economy and Finance of the Republic of Korea and Chair of the ADB Board of Governors Hong Nam- Ki has been quoted as saying.

In a career spanning close to four decades, Asakawa has held a range of senior positions at the Ministry of Finance of Japan, including vice minister of finance for international affairs, and gained diverse professional experience in development policy, foreign exchange markets, and international tax policy.

He served as finance deputy for the 2019 G-20 Osaka Summit and the G-20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors meeting in Fukuoka, Japan.

Furthermore, in the immediate aftermath of the global financial crisis, he took part in the first G-20 Leaders’ Summit Meeting in his capacity as executive assistant to the then prime minister Taro Aso. Asakawa has had frequent engagement with the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, including as chair of the committee on fiscal affairs from 2011 to 2016.

Asakawa served as a visiting professor at the University of Tokyo from 2012 to 2015 and at Saitama University from 2006 to 2009.

He obtained his Bachelor of Arts from the University of Tokyo in 1981 and MPA from Princeton University in 1985.

Established in 1966, ADB is owned by 68 members — 49 from Asia and the Pacific region.

In 2018, it made commitments of new loans and grants amounting to $21.6 billion.