ADB names Japanese international finance, dev’t expert as its next president

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Asian Development Bank President-elect Masatsugu Asakawa speaks during an interview with Reuters in Tokyo.

THE ASIAN DEVELOPMENT BANK (ADB) on Monday announced the selection of Masatsugu Asakawa, special advisor to Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Finance Minister Taro Aso, as its president starting next year.

In a statement on Monday, ADB said Mr. Asakawa will assume office on Jan. 17 next year, succeeding Takehiko Nakao who steps down on Jan. 16.

Mr. Asakawa will serve the balance of Mr. Nakao’s term which ends on Nov. 23, 2021, ADB said.

He had been vice-minister of Finance for International Affairs, and had been engaged in development policy, foreign exchange markets and international tax policy.

“Mr. Asakawa’s extensive, 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,” Hong Nam-Ki, chairman of ADB’s Board of Governors as well as the deputy prime minister and minister of economy and finance of South Korea, said in the statement.

ADB said Mr. Asakawa had also served as the Finance Deputy for the 2019 G20 Osaka Summit and the G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors meeting in Japan.

In the immediate aftermath of the global financial crisis back in 2008, he participated in the first G20 Leaders’ Summit Meeting as the executive essistant to then Prime Minister Taro Aso.

Mr. Asakawa was 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. — B. M. Laforga