New ADB president takes office

Business Desk | Published: 22:05, Jan 19,2020


Masatsugu Asakawa

Masatsugu Asakawa assumed office as the 10th president of the Asian Development Bank on Friday, said a press release.

Asakawa succeeds Takehiko Nakao, who stepped down on January 16, 2020, it said.

‘I am honoured to assume the role of the ADB president and to begin working in close cooperation with our 68 members. ADB has been a trusted partner of the region for more than half a century, supporting strong growth that has improved the lives of people across Asia and the Pacific. I will strive to ensure ADB remains the preferred choice of its clients and partners,’ Asakawa said.

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

He served as the finance deputy for the 2019 G20 Osaka Summit and the G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors’ Meeting in Fukuoka, Japan.

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 Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, including as committee chair on fiscal affairs from 2011 to 2016.

Asakawa’s extensive international experience includes service as chief adviser to ADB president Kimimasa Tarumizu between 1989 and 1992, during which period he spearheaded the creation of a new office in ADB focused on strategic planning.

He obtained his bachelor’s of arts from the University of Tokyo in 1981 and MPA from Princeton University in 1985.

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