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New president for ADB

Released at: 17:09, 03/12/2019

New president for ADB

Photo: ADB

Mr. Masatsugu Asakawa to take up post on January 17.

by Doanh Doanh

The Asian Development Bank (ADB)’s Board of Governors has elected Mr. Masatsugu Asakawa as President.

Mr. Asakawa, 61, currently the Special Advisor to Japan’s Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, will assume office as ADB’s tenth President on January 17. He will succeed Mr. Takehiko Nakao, who will leave office on January 16. Mr. Asakawa will finish the unexpired term of President Nakao, which ends on November 23, 2021.

In a career spanning close to four decades, Mr. Asakawa has held a range of senior positions at Japan’s Ministry of Finance, including Deputy 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 Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), including as Chair of the Committee on Fiscal Affairs from 2011 to 2016.

Mr. 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 MPA from Princeton University in 1985.

The ADB’s country partnership strategy for Vietnam is based on promoting job creation and competitiveness, increasing the inclusiveness of infrastructure and service delivery, and improving environmental sustainability and climate resilience. ADB’s cumulative assistance to Vietnam amounts to $16.7 billion.

Vietnam graduated to a Group C country, with access only to ordinary capital resources, on January 1 this year. The ADB will help Vietnam build a new core pipeline of projects that includes more responsive financing modalities and value-adding innovations and technology, and can leverage either more concessional co-financing or increased private sector participation, including through public-private partnerships (PPPs). The ADB will also continue to support climate change adaptation and mitigation measures to respond to the heightened environmental risks facing Vietnam.

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.

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