Masatsugu Asakawa elected ADB new president

MANILA (Xinhua) – The Asian Development Bank (ADB) announced yesterday that its Board of Governors has “unanimously elected” Masatsugu Asakawa as ADB president.

Asakawa, 61, currently 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 Takehiko Nakao, who will leave office on January 16, 2020. Asakawa will finish the unexpired term of 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,” said Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economy and Finance of South Korea and Chair of the ADB Board of Governors Hong Nam-Ki, adding that “the ADB Board of Governors looks forward to working with Asakawa”.

In a career spanning close to four decades, the ADB said 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.

Masatsugu Asakawa was ‘unanimously elected’ by the Asian Development Bank’s Board of Governors. PHOTO: ADB

Asakawa served as finance deputy for the 2019 G20 Osaka Summit and the G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors meeting in Fukuoka, Japan, the ADB said.

Furthermore, in the immediate aftermath of the global financial crisis, the ADB said Asakawa 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 Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, including as chair of the Committee on Fiscal Affairs from 2011 to 2016, the ADB said.

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

According to the ADB, Asakawa obtained his Bachelor of Arts from the University of Tokyo in 1981 and MPA from Princeton University in 1985.

Established in 1966, the ADB comprises 68 members, 49 of which are from the region.