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Masatsugu Asakawa elected ADB president

  • Published at 02:05 pm December 2nd, 2019
Masatsugu Asakawa
File photo of Masatsugu Asakawa Reuters

He will begin his office on January 17, 2020

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

Asakawa, 61, who currently serves as special advisor to Japan's prime minister and minister of finance, will assume office as ADB's 10th president on January 17, 2020.

He will succeed outgoing president Takehiko Nakao, who will leave office on January 16, 2020.

Asakawa will finish the unexpired term of  Nakao, which was to end on November 23, 2021, said a press release from ADB on Monday.

“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,” said  South Korean Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Hong Nam-Ki, who also  chairs the ADB Board of Governors. 

In a career spanning close to four decades, Asakawa has held a range of senior positions at the Ministry of Finance of Japan, including that of 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 G20 Osaka Summit and the G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors’ meeting in Fukuoka of Japan, reports UNB.

Furthermore, in the immediate aftermath of the global financial crisis, he took part in the first G20 Leaders’ Summit Meeting in his capacity as executive assistant to the then Prime Minister Taro Aso.

Asakawa has had frequent engagement with the Organization 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 his MPA from Princeton University in 1985.

ADB is committed to achieving a prosperous, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable Asia and the Pacific, while sustaining its efforts to eradicate extreme poverty.

In 2018, it made commitments of new loans and grants amounting to $21.6 billion. Established in 1966, it is owned by 68 members—49 from the region.

ADB is a leading multilateral development partner of Bangladesh in the energy, transport, and education sectors.

In 2018 alone, ADB approved a record $2.5 billion in assistance to the country.