MANILA – The Asian Development Bank said on Monday its board of governors has unanimously selected Japan’s Masatsugu Asakawa has as the bank’s new president.
Asakawa, a former Japanese vice finance minister for international affairs, would replace his compatriot Takehiko Nakao, who had resigned in September.
Currently working as a special adviser to Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Asakawa would take charge on Jan. 17 and continue on the post until November 2021, when Nakao’s tenure was set to expire, the Manila-headquartered ADB said in a statement.
“Asakawa’s extensive and diverse experience in international finance and development will serve the ADB well in pursuing its vision of a prosperous, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable Asia and the Pacific,” said Hong Nam-ki, South Korea’s finance minister, who heads the bank’s board of governors.
Asakawa, 61, is set to become the 10th president of the ADB, modeled closely on the World Bank and founded in 1966 to reduce poverty in the Asia-Pacific region and boost economic growth while sustaining the environment and regional integration.
The financial institute assists its members, and partners, by providing loans, technical assistance, grants, and equity investments to promote social and economic development.
In a career spanning nearly four decades, Asakawa 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 in 2008-09.
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.
He served as a visiting professor at the University of Tokyo from 2012 to 2015 and at Saitama University from 2006 to 2009.
The Manila-based organization’s president has always been from Japan, the country which makes the largest economic contribution to the ADB and consequently has the largest vote share.
In 2018, the bank made commitments of new loans and grants amounting to $21.6 billion. The bank has 68 members: Some 49 from the Asia-Pacific Region.