Masatsugu Asakawa has been unanimously elected as the new president of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) by its board of governors.
Mr Asakawa, 61, special advisor to Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and also the finance minister, will assume office as ADB’s 10th President on Jan. 17, 2020.
He will succeed Takehiko Nakao, who will leave office on Jan. 16, 2020. Mr Asakawa will finish the unexpired term of President Nakao, which ends on 23 Nov. 2021, according to a statement of the ADB.
“Mr 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 Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economy and Finance of the Republic of Korea and Chair of the ADB Board of Governors Mr Hong Nam-Ki.
“The ADB Board of Governors looks forward to working with Mr Asakawa.”
In a career spanning close to four decades, Mr. 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 G20 Osaka Summit and the G20 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 G20 Leaders’ Summit Meeting in his capacity as Executive Assistant to the then Prime Minister Taro Aso.
Mr. 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 the Saitama University from 2006 to 2009.
He obtained Bachelor of Arts from the University of Tokyo in 1981, and MPA from the Princeton University in 1985.
The 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.