By CHINO S. LEYCO
The new head of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) vowed to strive in ensuring that the multilateral institution would remain the preferred choice of its clients and partners.
Masatsugu Asakawa, who assumed office as the 10th president of the ADB, said that he will be working in close cooperation with bank’s 68 member countries, noting he is confident that the Manila-based lender can stand up to the challenges the region faces.
“I am thrilled to be in Manila where I will dedicate myself to ADB members in the region and beyond, while listening carefully to their voices,” Asakawa, 61, said in a statement.
“With the expertise of ADB staff, and by further enhancing its effectiveness and efficiency, I am confident that ADB can stand up to the challenges that the region faces,” he added. Asakawa succeeded Takehiko Nakao, who stepped down last Thursday.
“I pledge to do my best to achieve a more prosperous, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable Asia and the Pacific,” Asakawa said. “I am honored to assume the role of ADB president.”
“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,” he added.
In a career spanning close to four decades, Asakawa 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 also 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.
Asakawa has had frequent engagement with the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, including as Chair of the Committee on Fiscal Affairs from 2011 to 2016.
Asakawa’s extensive international experience includes service as chief advisor to former 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.
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 master of public administration from Princeton University in 1985.